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cadet blogs

Something to Consider

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Friedman Photo I’m pretty sure almost every blog starts this way, but time is flying by. As the corps returns from spring break, eyes are pointed toward summer training, and the increase in rank that comes with the Class of 2017 graduation and the Class of 2021 swearing in.

 

The Admissions Office is starting to send out appointments so I’d like to offer some food for thought to those agonizing about what to do as your future seems to hang over you now more than ever.

 

 

  1. If you are wait-listed and want to come here do NOT give up hope. I was wait-listed for the prep school program. After emailing my Admissions Officer at least once every other week, I was able to gain entry into the CGAS program and now I am about to recommit and become a 2/c. The wait list is just that, a wait list, not a denial. If you want to be here, this, more than ever, is your time to show it.
  2. Know why you want to be here. This may seem obvious, but even the most driven of people will be tested during their time at the Academy. If you are going here solely for the “free” college or because your parents want you to, odds are you will not make it to graduation. I put free in quotation marks because you give up a lot of freedom coming here, but if this is your dream and you want to be in the Coast Guard it is a worthwhile sacrifice.
  3. Choose the Academy because of the service, not the service because of the Academy. If you are choosing between academies remember that you will spend four years at the Academy, and at least five years in the service of that Academy. Know about the branch you are joining, not just the Academy. If you just want to go to the Coast Guard Academy but not serve in the Coast Guard you’re going to be in a difficult spot.

 

I know there is a lot to think about, but you’re about to make a big choice, a bigger one than you probably even realize. When I accepted my appointment, I knew I wanted to be in the military and I wanted to serve in the Coast Guard because I believe in the humanitarian aspect of our missions. This is a simple reason, but believing in the mission, and the amazing people at the Academy, is what helped push me through the hard days that are there by design.

 

If you have received an appointment, congratulations, it is not easy and it is something you should be proud of. If you are wait-listed, do not give up. I’m proof you can make it to the Academy and be successful. If you were not admitted, also don’t give up. If you want to be here go to another school, talk to your Admissions Officer at the Academy about what kind of classes to take and make you an even better candidate for the next application cycle. There are A LOT of cadets at the Academy who already have degrees and came to the Academy after the fact.

 

If you have any questions about the Academy or my limited knowledge of the operational Coast Guard, please feel free to email me Jill.M.Friedman@uscga.edu. I hope I have helped in your decision process. The great Class of 2019 can’t wait to meet you all!

 

More about Jill.

 

New Year, Last Semester

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Hill Photo Happy New Year, am I right? Okay, I was so not looking forward to getting back to reality after an awesome vacation with the family back home in South Florida, but I came back loaded down with: a positive mindset, warm Under Armour gear, inspirational books, and decorations to remind me of home. I love my new room and roommate—it’s on third deck instead of fourth (less stairs!) and its warmer and in a more central location to my company dayroom, or main hang-out room.

 

Upcoming events for me this semester:

 

  • I am worried about passing boards (what 4/c have to pass to become 3/c – It is essentially a test on all the information from the Running Light)
  • Excited for six weeks on USCGC Eagle (Please 1st phase and Bermuda) and two weeks in the fleet this summer
  • Trying Crossfit Club because I eat too many cheddar bunnies not to…thanks new roomie :)

 

In other news, to keep spirits up during the “dark ages” of winter in Connecticut, I have found strength, hope, and guidance from teachers and mentors. Officers who went through the CGA themselves, keep saying, “It gets better” and that life in the fleet is something to look forward to. Oh, and LT Parker’s pet Husky, Aries is adorable. I am also resolved to read my textbook so that I am prepared ahead of time for class. Thus far, I have understood all of the Calculus II, Physics and Statics Engineering and Design material covered, so that’s a plus.

 

Comment on the weather: at first, seeing all the snow was a little scary, but it is beautiful and I am adapting. My Southern tank-top-no-shoe-wearing self is learning how to dress for the cold and brave the storms. OOO RAH Coast Guard! (hah)

 

After this first, decidedly not stress-less week of second semester, it was great to unwind and get closer to new friends over a long weekend.

 

Just keep trucking and live in the moment.

 

Thanks for reading (or skimming)!
4/c Kelly Hill

 

More about Kelly.

 

Winter Recap

(Academics, Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Silliman Photo So, I am currently in Annapolis training with the sailing team on our spring training trip. Seeing the immense size of the Naval Academy certainly makes us comprehend how different the Coast Guard Academy really is. Being in Annapolis for the first time and seeing the large, Greco-Roman buildings of the Naval Academy certainly was a culture shock for me in comparing it to the small New England Coast Guard Academy campus with its federal-style architecture. I still would not want to be anywhere else.

 

At the end of winter break after a trip to the U.K. with my family, I flew to San Antonio to attend a conference among other Catholic college students called SEEK. We were part of a group of over 13,000 students including some from other service academies. It was truly a life changing experience, and with the spring semester ready to meet me with the end of the conference, I wish the conference never ended.

 

With the season pass I had to Killington, I took to the slopes for Martin Luther King weekend with a group of 15 cadets, and it was a blast. After that I only managed to get in another three days on my pass, those times going to Sunapee with my family. It was a great season over all, and with the increased liberty of 2/c year, next year will be even better.

 

The sailing team hit the water for the first time last week and we are now well under way for the spring season. The team is a little smaller now, but hopefully we will all get some good racing in.

 

One of my favorite classes this semester has been Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Design. This has introduced me to all the crazy machines of the Academy’s power lab, which has enabled me to begin building a contraption known as a finger engine. I cannot wait to see the finished project.

 

The school year is slowly making its way toward the end. This summer will be a lot different from the last one, but it will be fun in its own ways. I just hope its gets warm a little faster this year.

 

More about Derek.

 

Liberty, Liberty, Liberty

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo A question I get very often from my friends outside the Academy as well as prospective cadets and parents is “when do they let you out?” Well, I decided to discuss this topic to break it down for prospective cadets. For starters, cadets have a summer break, Thanksgiving break, winter break, and spring break. Cadets (everyone except for the freshmen who are in Swab Summer) receive three weeks of leave during the summer following or sometime between training.

 

All cadets go home for almost a week for thanksgiving, and each cadet receives two weeks of leave for winter break. Cadets also receive one week or more for spring break in early March. Otherwise, if you ever need to go home for a family emergency, the Academy does an awesome job getting cadets this special leave when they need it.

 

For normal weekends, there is a graduated liberty system, and more privileges come with each successive year at the Academy. Freshmen, or 4/c cadets, can take off from Saturday at 12 p.m., or 1200, and need to return Sunday morning before midnight. Their liberty resumes on Sunday at 8a.m., or 0800 and they need to be back by 1800, or 6 p.m.

 

3/c cadets, or sophomores, have the same liberty as 4/c cadets, but they are granted liberty on Friday nights as well. They need to return by Friday night at midnight.

 

2/c cadets have Friday liberty as well, but are also allowed to take “short weekends.” This means they have an overnight pass from Saturday until Sunday night at 1900, or 7 p.m.

 

1/c cadets have the same privileges as 2/c cadets, but are also granted Thursday night liberty from 1600, or 4 p.m., until 2200, or 10 p.m. Cadets who have a command position, that is a significant military leadership position, are also allotted the same Thursday night liberty times but on Wednesday nights as well. When it has been determined that 1/c have met and exceeded the standard during the spring semester, 1/c cadets are granted gangway, when we can take off so long as we do not have a formation, class, or military obligation. 1/c cadets are also allowed to maintain and own cars on base.

 

So, I hope I was able shed some light on the leave and liberty process here at the Academy—don’t worry, they do let us out and there is a lot to do here in the area!

 

More about William.

 

Mentors at the Academy

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo The purpose of today’s blog post is going to be about the mentors I have met here at the Coast Guard Academy. I didn’t fully realize until this year how crucial it is to have great role models to look up to, but I believe the mentors you meet along the way at the CGA are some of the most critical influences in our journey as cadets.

 

In regard to my own personal mentors, I have some mentors that I have met through created programs here and some I have met on my own. Earlier this year, I signed up to be part of the cadet mentoring program where you are paired with a civilian or military mentor from the Academy community. I got lucky enough to be partnered with a woman from the Institute for Leadership that had gone through the Academy and was part of the same singing group that I am part of today. Our biweekly meetings have enabled us both to foster a strong mentor-mentee relationship, and the advice I receive from her about leadership, school, personal life, and more are incredibly helpful. After every discussion I have with her, I leave feeling less stressed and more ready for what is to come in my future in the Coast Guard. The mentors I have met through the Link in the Chain Program as well always offer words of wisdom and a huge amount of knowledge about the Coast Guard and leadership as an officer.

 

I have other mentors that have not been assigned through a program but that have developed over my time here. Various singing directors, teachers, and academy faculty and staff are always there to offer a helping hand, a listening ear, or advice for when I’m struggling with a decision. All of these people have helped me to grow into, I believe, a better leader. Their positive example encourages me to be that listener for someone else, such as an underclass within my department or a peer. Overall, I don’t know how I would make it through the challenges of this school without the amazing people I have witnessed setting the example for me every day.

 

More about Hannah.