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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

What’s Important to You?

(Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chang Photo Disclaimer: I’m writing this blog entry to procrastinate from doing actual work. However, in writing this entry I’m also being productive, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

 

Throughout high school, my life revolved around my next track meet. When will my next conditioning day be? What am I going to eat the night before? How can I schedule my schoolwork around it? Granted, I had an awesome time competing and I wouldn’t change anything about it, but I was also missing out on the little things—lunch with friends, a Friday night movie, and countless weekends. Plus, sometimes I was putting track ahead of schoolwork. Although I never failed any classes, it would’ve become a bad habit if I had let it continue.

 

I guess the point of this spiel is that, over time, my priorities shifted quite a bit. Honestly, I’d much rather be free to do my own thing on occasion than be confined within extra obligations. It’s not exactly the most militaristic mindset, but we’re still in college and it’s important to enjoy these years. Having fun and making the most out of the time we have; that’s what’s important to me.

 

More about Olivia.

 

A Full Fall Semester

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Haerr Photo Hey, everybody! Long time since I’ve updated you about life at the Academy. This is now the fall of my 2/c year – crazy how fast three years went!

 

This summer was especially rewarding to be able to embark on many adventures and learn so much about my leadership style. I participated in the Coastal Sail Program, navigating my way to Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island, and several other ports with five of my closest shipmates. It was quite the experience to learn how to navigate safely and efficiently, planning every step and calling every move. I also got to lead the Class of 2020 in their journey to become successful cadets here at the Academy. I was Cadre 2 for Swab Summer, which means I worked with my classmates to develop the swabs for the last four weeks of their summer experience. We taught them drill, basic indoctrination of the Coast Guard, and physically conditioned them. It was a difficult yet rewarding challenge to decide how we would train the swabs.

 

This fall I’m busy with Civil Engineering classes, cheerleading, and being a Master at Arms or MAA. Officially taking major-specific classes has been so exciting, especially because we got our very own hard hats! In the labs, we have made our own asphalt concrete, Portland cement concrete, and have conducted many safe drinking water tests. We’ve taken multiple field trips. Our most recent field trip was to the Groton Waste Water Treatment Plant, where we toured their facilities. In cheerleading, we have progressed many of our stunting skills and sharpened our cheers. We’ve done multiple basket tosses, extensions, half-ups, and full downs! As an MAA, I get to work directly with the 1/c and the department, as well as with the 4/c in Alfa company. It’s kind of the best of both worlds because I get to make positive changes within the department, as well as continually help develop the Class of 2020 and maintain that close relationship with them.

 

As the fall semester continues, I’m nervous for the cold approaching. However, it’s predicted that we will have an exciting winter! We already got our first snowfall last week!

 

More about Kathryn.

 

The Great Boat Race

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo Another October breezes by at the United States Coast Guard Academy. I barely realized the month was over until, well, writing this blog in fact, because this is the first time I’ve taken a breath to reflect on the events of this past month. For this post I’m going to focus a little more on my major – Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. In my graduating class, there are only 23 of us. I really love that it is a small group. For our Principles of Naval Architecture class, our first truly nav arch specific class, we have a three hour lab every week. This week we started a three week long lab where we are going to create our own boat. This lab is called “The Great Boat Race” because for the last session of the semester we will compete against other lab groups to see whose boat has the best overall mission efficiency. The goal is to carry as many sodas (weight) as possible while still moving at a decent speed. We are using programs such as Orca3D to design the hull. At first we started looking at a double catamaran design in order to make our ship light and fast, but unfortunately due to dimension restraints on beam width we could not make two hulls fit with room for soda cans and space in between. So, we decided on a planning hull and we are in the midst of designing it right now. ShopBot is going to cut out our boat using a plastic material and then we will epoxy/paint it to get some aesthetic points. Fingers crossed the race will be a success!

 

More about Hannah.

 

Thanksgiving is for Family and Friends

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Sakowicz Photo The greatest thing about the Coast Guard Academy is not the beautiful river view, or the extremely devoted teachers, it is the family you get when you join. On R-Day you have 30 brothers and sisters in your company and a thousand cadets in the corps that have your back. With each cadet, teacher, officer, and sponsor parent, you gain their entire family as well, and are accepted as one of their own.

 

As a cadet that lives relatively close to the Academy, I have, on many occasions, told my parents that not only was I coming home, but my entire entourage would be joining me as well. No grunts or anger from my mother, just how many blankets and packages of Oreos was she going to need to buy. My home is no longer my home, but a home-away-from-home for all of my friends that live on the West Coast. My two closest friends no longer ask me when I am going home, but call my parents asking if they can crash for the weekend, even if I am not going to be there.

 

Thanksgiving is one of the better examples of cadet adoption. This year my wonderful parents are managing to fit in seven cadets from both the Coast Guard and the Air Force Academy into their home. Thanksgiving is one of the three holidays I get to see my entire extended family, which can be anywhere from 15 to 30 people at a table. Our family tradition starts with a turkey trot, which I am so excited to share with my friends. My cousin is a Division I runner at U- Albany and one of my Coasties is one of the fastest on our cross country team. My family has a small pool on who will take first. My brother and his Air Force friends will blast past the rest of us, saying something about the air being so much easier to breathe. All that matters is when the last of us cross the finish line, there will be a group of my friends and family in matching Flash t-shirts cheering as hard as they can. Dinner will be similar, with every member cooking something different, from the turkey, (and the backup turkey my Dad got before we left), to my aunt’s corn and saltine chowder, the cadets cleaning all the dishes and chasing the smaller kids around the yard. When we all fight over chairs and couches in my aunt’s living room, there is no difference between my friends and my biological family, they are all just my family.

 

More about Emily Rose.

 

Thanksgiving Away From Home

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo The Coast Guard Academy is a wonderfully diverse collection of people. We have cadets studying here who hail not only from all corners of the United States, but from the globe as well! Unfortunately, that geographic dispersion can make one week of leave in particular a challenge for cadets from faraway places: Thanksgiving. In this month of the Military Family, that pain of being separated from your family, especially during a holiday that is traditionally revered as a celebration of such, is heightened a little bit more. The reality is that many cadets don’t get to travel home for Thanksgiving, simply because they live too far away. And speaking from experience, it is tough to imagine your family sharing that time without you there.

 

And yet, if you were to walk through the halls of Chase during the Thanksgiving holiday, you would hear the cacophonies and chaos of… silence. Not a cadet to be seen. If I’ve just been talking about all of these cadets who can’t go home, why isn’t Chase filled with their presence on that fourth Thursday? Simple. It’s because the military family that we are celebrating this month takes a unique form in the lives of cadets. In fact, you could venture to say a cadet has multiple military families: our own families, then those who have adopted us and care for us over the four years we study here.

 

One example of that latter is the Crabtree family. Carl and Christy are the field leaders for the Officer’s Christian Fellowship chapter at the Academy; and during Thanksgiving, they embrace numerous cadets as part of their own family at their home, Shepherd’s Fold. The house is designed to be a retreat center for OCF, and as such can welcome a plethora of cadets at any time of the year; weekends, holidays, summer trainings. Thanksgiving is a particularly lively time for the household. In the past, Carl and Christy have hosted international cadets from such countries as Rwanda and Honduras, and other cadets whose distance from home precludes travelling back to their families. I’m always amazed at the love they show for all of us here. When I asked Carl about opening up his house, he told me, “My wife and I enjoy the privilege of mentoring cadets and giving them a home away from home. Each Thanksgiving we are blessed to have some cadets that do not journey home.” Read that again: blessed. If you want to talk about a loving adoptive military family…there you have it. It’s incredible to see how close these adoptive families grow to us, and how easily they assume a special spot in your own heart. Lives change because of our adoptive families. I am forever grateful for the love and support of my family back home; but in addition, I realize I’m extremely blessed to have met the families who take me and my classmates under their wings when my parents aren’t right there; people who, just by letting me into their house, have become people I trust and care about. I think Carl hits the nail on the head: “We adopt them for the week and some of those relationships last a lifetime.”

 

More about Abby.