Hello! My name is James Engelhardt and I am from Burke, Virginia, a town located right outside our nation’s capital. Growing up in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, it seemed that everyone’s family had military connections, and mine was no exception. Despite his retirement soon after my birth, I learned a lot about service to the nation from my father, who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. Additionally, as a result of not living far from Annapolis, where the Naval Academy is located, I visited that campus frequently for football games and other festivities. In fact, early on I thought that was where I wanted to go to college and, upon graduation, serve in our nation’s other seagoing service. However, I learned about the Coast Guard Academy from a family friend, who invited us to visit the Academy’s grounds. Admittedly, after visiting the CGA during my freshman year in high school, I fell in love with the beautiful campus as well as the Coast Guard’s more humanitarian mission.
I applied to the Academy my senior year in high school and fortunately was accepted. I can’t say that at any point I have regretted my decision. Through the Coast Guard I have met extraordinary people, traveled to several exotic places, and already provided meaningful service to the United States. If you have any questions about the Academy, military service, or college life, I invite you to read my blogs, which I hope you will enjoy. If I have left any burning questions unanswered, please email me at James.D.Engelhardt@uscga.edu. Fair winds and following seas, and Go Bears!