In a couple of weeks the spring semester will come to a close, and although the year has moved on quickly I still can’t wait for it to be over. Since I am a second class, a couple of weeks ago I got word via email about where I will be stationed this summer. All my classmates were anxious to hear where they would be stationed and were optimistic they would get their first pick. The Coast Guard allows you to pick where you would like to be stationed and on what kind of a cutter, then, depending on availability, they assign you. Luckily, most of my classmates and I got our first choice. I was assigned to a 110-foot patrol boat down in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The reason I picked that cutter is because I knew they got a lot of action down in the Caribbean with migrant and drug interdiction. For me that is a potential future job and this summer will be a test of whether that job is for me or not. It’s good they send us out into the fleet to test our skills as future officers so that you can learn from mistakes or discover what you need to work on. Since we go to school for two long semesters sometimes it is easy to forget that you are at the Academy to eventually drive boats or fly. Going out to the fleet is a reminder of what your purpose is at the Academy, because how you do in academics or athletics does not have much bearing in the fleet.
But before I go out into my firstie summer I have to focus on finals, which are coming up. The way my finals schedule is set up has my departure date for Puerto Rico the day after my last final. So I need to study and pack my things up all at the same time. If I do well on the finals, then I won’t need to worry about my grades while I’m on the cutter. From my past experience in 3/c summer, the Coast Guard fleet experience is much different and at times more enjoyable than the Academy itself. That is why I am so eager to get out there. 3/c summer I was assigned to a small boat station to work on 25-foot small boats so I haven’t gotten a chance to be on a large cutter that is operational, aside from Eagle.
More about Carlos.