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cadet blogs

My New Major...Management

(Academics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo As Winter Storm Juno hits New England, I finally get a chance to catch up on my cadet blogs. School was cancelled Tuesday and Wednesday, which was a nice break in the routine. January flew by, and starting next week it will be February! This semester for me so far hasn’t been as stressful as the last, as I am taking four less credit hours, and I am already adjusted to the duties of a 3/c cadet. I am excited to take classes in my new major, Management, like Financial Accounting and Organizational Behavior and Leadership. Financial Accounting has been a bit of a struggle for us all, but that’s just because it’s something most of us have never learned. I switched my major to Management because I wanted to learn about how the Coast Guard efficiently manages manpower, materials, and money. I am interested in a Human Resources ashore career between afloat assignments, and I think I can make a difference in how Coast Guard command cadre relates to its people through its Human Resources Directorate.

 

Watching workers complete the Academy-wide slate re-roofing project, I thought about my roots. I was born to a working class family and my community has given me an opportunity to attend college, a federal service academy at that. I am excited to learn the ins and outs of management today so that one day I can make a difference in the lives of Coast Guardsmen around the world. Pretty idealistic, so I better get to studying for my Physics II test tomorrow.

 

More about William.

 

For the Parents of Prospective Cadets

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo I know this is blog is primarily intended for prospective cadets. That being said, I’m going to take the road less traveled and address a different demographic with this entry. Many of you readers have received or will be receiving appointments to the Academy, and for that I congratulate you. And I ask you now to call your parents over, who may have mixed reactions to this occurrence in your life, and ask them to give up a couple minutes of their time for this entry.

 

Why hello, parents, it’s very nice to meet you! Your child just got his or her appointment, and from what I’ve heard from my own classmates, either you’re thrilled or very worried. Regardless of which category you belong to, I have some advice for you. I got it from watching my own parents, and how they’ve walked with me from day one of my Coast Guard career, starting with when I originally considered applying.

 

You want the best for your child and so you might very well want to offer your insight into their college choices. When you do this, remember to consider whatever you believe will make your daughter or son happiest – not just now, but in the future. Not just what you think is best, but what you see as being best for them. My parents both attended the Air Force Academy, and I actually had appointments to both there and the Coast Guard. I often get asked if they ever pushed me into accepting my USAFA appointment. I am very fortunate to be able to say “no.” This is because my parents knew a very important truth about attending a service academy – to survive at one, to thrive, you must absolutely want to be there. My parents knew me well enough to know that the Air Force was a great place, and was their dream, but not the place that would ultimately make me happy. If there was any pressure, it was toward the Coast Guard because they understood that the missions of this force aligned best with my desires and aspirations. I know they would have leapt for joy had I become a Zoomie, but they did something I have always been thankful for – they encouraged me to take a path even they didn’t know much about, and become a Coastie. (They might be wondering what went wrong, considering I grew up ten minutes from an Air Force base, but God works in very strange ways.)

 

They supported my decision, and I could not be more grateful for that. Parents, your child has a huge decision in front of him or her. You’ll have your own thoughts on that decision, and they may or may not line up with what your child is thinking. Please, please, please, and please again – offer your positive support wherever he or she winds up going. You have no idea just yet how much of a difference it makes to know that, even when the cadre are in your face or the homework is piled on the desk, there are people at home who are proud of you and invested in your success. It’s a difficult school, and every cadet here has bad days and wants that encouragement. Help your child stick with the challenges of the Academy – and then you’ll get that idea I just mentioned. And I’ll bet you’ll find it feels awesome.

 

More about Abby.

 

Regular College is Overrated

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Kimura Photo Every Veteran’s Day, cadets at the Academy have the opportunity to march in the Veteran’s Day Parade held in New York City. Luckily for me, I snagged a spot to be one of about a hundred cadets representing the Coast Guard Academy to honor America’s veterans. Although the occasion was an escape from the rigor of Chase Hall with extra liberty to enjoy the city, the parade also illustrated the reverence of the servicemen and women who have already served and sacrificed for our country.

 

A captain giving a pre-parade talk to the Coast Guard group, consisting of cadets, officers, enlisted and auxiliary, summed up the purpose of the cadets perfectly. The great majority of cadets never served prior to attending the Academy, and had only experienced military life through the Academy, making us seem very miniscule in comparison to the officers and enlisted with years of duty. Although with the little experience we had, the captain emphasized the importance that we represent the future of our Coast Guard following in the footsteps of those before us.

 

This had a large impact on me because sometimes I wonder what have I done, I only go to school? But there is a larger reason that the captain highlighted; we chose to be here, and commit to stay here to eventually graduate and be commissioned as Coast Guard officers. That decision ultimately makes us stand out from other college students because we have a larger purpose than just attending college.

 

More about Amy.

 

Snowy Day

(Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Coburn Photo Since I am from New Hampshire I am very much accustomed to snow days, but I have to say snow days at the Academy are pretty awesome. We got hit with Winter Snow Storm Juno at the beginning of the week and in turn got around two feet or more of snow. They announced at lunch on Monday that the Academy was going to be closed both Tuesday and Wednesday. The wardroom erupted and I knew that I was in for a good couple of days. After school, everyone rushed to the cadet bookstore and the exchange to pile up on snacks and hot chocolate and then the snow began.

 

On Tuesday morning we didn’t have to get up till 0745 and we were allowed to do whatever really we wanted for most of the day, besides go outside, because there was a blizzard going on. It was a great time to catch up on homework (and sleep) and everyone was in a great mood. On Wednesday the storm had died down, so we were allowed out of Chase. My friends and I decided to go and play in the snow. We went down behind the gym, near the obstacle course and had a great time sledding down hills, and playing on the obstacle course in the snow. What was really cool was seeing my friends from Florida and the south reacting to seeing snow (or a lot of snow) for the first time. Some of them liked it and others vow to never touch snow again. All in all it was a great day and I really hope there are more snow days to come.

 

More about Mimi.

 

A Month of Closure

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo December has been a month of closure. I say goodbye to 2014, and what a year it has been. 2014 was jammed packed with 4/c indoctrination boards, the end of 4/c year, 3/c summer on Eagle and a 210 foot cutter, and the first half of 3/c year. Last semester was challenging not only because I had 20 credit hours, but also because there was nobody constantly checking up on me. Unlike 4/c year, there isn’t a whole lot of pressure to keep up grades, room standards, or really much of anything. So it was a challenge to keep myself motivated when nobody was watching. At the Academy, there is a sponsor parent program, which pairs cadets with local adults around the Academy community to unwind during liberty hours. I was paired with a Senior Chief Petty Officer, who has helped me escape the Academy over the weekends to golf and enjoy good food.

 

Last week, I went to the International Debutante Ball in New York City, where the wealthiest families around the world introduce their daughters to high society. I got to go for free, and spend a few days in the Big Apple. The ball was amazing: the pageantry and showiness was like nothing else I’ve seen, and the ball started at 6:30 p.m. and ended around 2 a.m.! I met dukes, duchesses, and cadets from other Academies at the Waldorf-Astoria. Before the ball, I saw the United Nations Building, Rockefeller Center, and the New York City Library. It was nice to roam around aimlessly and not have to worry about school for a while.

 

More about William.