As great as the school year is, a huge part of our education comes during our summers. Each class has a specific summer plan designed to build leadership skills and introduce them into the operational Coast Guard. 4/c summer is Swab Summer, an introduction and boot camp program for incoming cadets. 3/c is your first experience in the fleet where you work as a non-rated enlisted member. 2/c summer you act as a cadre training the incoming cadets as well as practicing your leadership skills on T-boats and the new L-44’s. Finally 1/c summer is back out to the fleet. It allows you to “shop” for a job that you will enjoy as an ensign, as well as getting you familiar with life as a junior officer.
This summer I am going to CGC Willow, which is a 225-foot buoy tender home ported out of Newport, Rhode Island. I am excited to work with the ship’s officers and crew to see what life is like on a black hull, and see if it is something that I want to do once I graduate. The second part of my summer is in Seward, Alaska as an intern at the Alaska Sea Life Center. Here, I will be working with injured seals that need rehabilitation. Once again, I have been lucky to receive an amazing opportunity. This rounds out my summer so that I not only receive professional military training, but also a fantastic academic experience.
I am looking forward to the rest of the semester, and to see what the summer brings. Spring semester always flies, especially with spring training for rowing. After the summer is over, I will be a 1/c cadet and only one year from graduation.
More about Alex.