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Home / The Wait Is Over: 1/c Jose Hernandez’s Billet Night Experience

The Wait Is Over: 1/c Jose Hernandez’s Billet Night Experience

Stefanie Senkow | March 21, 2023

1/c Jose HernandezOne of the culminating experiences of a cadet’s First Class (senior) year—Billet Night. It’s the ceremony where cadets receive their first assignments upon graduation. Cadets submit a “dream sheet” of their top assignment choices weeks prior. They await Billet Night to see where they will be headed as newly-commissioned officers.

What did you consider when making your billet dream sheet?

As a Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering major, I wanted to become a student engineer. Next, I prioritized my selections on the platform. I have always had a fascination with the MECs (medium endurance cutters) due to their rich history, mission set, and capabilities.

What is your billet?

USCGC ESCANABA to be a student engineer in Portsmouth, VA.

What was your first reaction when your name was announced, and your billet was revealed?

It was all surreal. Standing on the stage and just holding the folder felt like ages. When they finally said to open it, I just saw “student engineer” on the USCGC ESCANABA and I was ecstatic. I am going to a great boat with great people, and I couldn’t be happier!

What is your next step now?

Now that I know that I am going to Portsmouth, I am looking for a place to live in VA and getting things squared away for when I leave the Academy on May 17th.

What advice would you give to rising first class or prospective cadets about Billet Night?

I am a firm believer that there are no bad jobs in the Coast Guard. I came to the Academy to leave home and have an adventure. Something that really stuck with me is advice I received from a faculty member. She told me to put in billets that seem fun and interesting in your career. In short, put in billet assignments that are far from home, fun, interesting, and go have an adventure.

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