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Career Goals

Stephanie Burckhard

Just shy of a year away from graduation. Only a few months away from putting in our billet list. I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do when I stepped foot on CGA nearly three years ago. It was not until I went to USAFA that I began to consider aviation as a career path. It was exhilarating flying the T-53A with several officers in the USAF. I heard great stories and high recommendations to consider aviation. Several mentors at CGA have encouraged me to look at the cutterman lifestyle as well. Currently, I am hoping to go underway my first tour then apply for flight school if I am still interested. If not, I hope to stay on the Law Enforcement side. This next year there will be plenty of time to visit and talk with my friends who are graduating this year about their ENS tour.

The Academy offers several opportunities for cadets to hear about career opportunities through Operations Spotlights (OPS Spotlight). Some that we had this semester included hearing from several Judge Advocate Generals (JAGs) in which they highlighted how important their role is in the fleet. OPS Spotlights are good opportunities for cadets to ask questions and listen to sea stories.

During cadre summer, for one week you are sent to a unit out in the fleet. The following one-week programs were offered for the Class of 2021 last summer:

  • Cadet Aviation Training Program (CATP)
  • Marine Safety Training Program (MSTP)
  • Naval Engineering Training Program (NETP)
  • Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT)

I opted for MSTP at Sector Boston. During this week, I ran into a few Ensigns that I knew from my 4/c year! They talked with us about their position at the Sector. We were also able to get a tour of Sector Boston and CGC Spencer. Some days, we were able to tag along on inspections since we were mostly there to see the Prevention side of the CG.

There is no rush to making a “dream sheet” or planning a set career path anytime soon. This is what 1/c summer is for- to help cadets decide when the time arrives.

I am excited to see where my career path will take me in a few years!

As always, reach out if you have any questions! My email is

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