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cadet blogs

Moving Up in the World

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link   All Posts
Corbett Photo After a few uniform issues, I have what I need to look like a 3/c. However, I will not officially dawn this title until graduation day when I toss my green shields off and replace them with red shields. As my final post, I figured I would talk about what I am doing this summer and then, as promised, more advice for those who want to swear the oath.


This summer I will be in the operational Coast Guard at Station Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That will last for five weeks and then I will report aboard Eagle for six weeks. If you haven’t followed that sort of thing; Eagle is going to Canada during the second phase! I am looking to go kayaking and white water rafting up there. That is the gist of where I will be, but let’s get to why you’re really reading – advice for the swab select.


Here are a few tips:


First off, everything has a purpose. The cadre go through extensive training on how to train the incoming 4/c. They also have been here for two years and know what life is like at the Academy. Listen to them and any advice they offer.


Second, while going through the summer you might be thinking, “Oh, this is awful!” or “Why did I do this?,” but there are 900 cadets here and plenty of classes before us who went through the same if not worse conditions. Everyone goes through it, and you can get through it, too. Don’t give in.


The summer is 90% mental and 10% physical. It is silly but “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you’re right” (Henry Ford). Push-ups and sit-ups are great and all, but that is the easy part. If you give in to the mental game and let the cadre break you, they will, they know how. Stay strong and remind yourself why you are here.


This leads to the next piece; know why you are here. For whatever reason you decided to join this service, hold it close. I joined for a few reasons, one being I want to serve my country as a Coast Guard officer. You need to focus on your reasons and not lose sight of them.


Final big piece, when you get through the first two weeks, the summer is all downhill from there. The first week is processing and a lot of yelling, second week starts physical training. You will start to learn the rules and you will begin to fall into a daily grove. There will still be bad days but by then you have most of the rules of the game. When the cadre switch happens, you have to start “winning” the game. Start impressing them, and show that you want to be here.


I know most of your cadre. They are good people and are not going to purposely seek you out and take you down. Nothing is personal. It is an honor to be at this institution and Swab Summer is the first of many traditions you will have to go through here.


I am short and to the point today, but there is always more to say. If you are looking for an inside voice to talk to, feel free to email me!


Until I see you in the fall, enjoy your final days in high school and be ready for the craziest summer of your life!


More about Shane.