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cadet blogs

Fantastic April

(Just for Fun, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo Another fantastic month has come and gone. It’s hard to believe with all of the schoolwork and military obligations that graduation is right around the corner. Only two and a half more weeks of school and we are in the final stretch to commencement. The feeling is just beginning to become real and a little scary. I don’t want to leave all of my amazing friends but I am also so excited and ready to head to my first ship. It is such a strange feeling and is very hard to explain.

 

Billet Night was an incredible night full of excitement and memories. I will be headed to CGC Legare, a 270-foot cutter home-ported in Portsmouth, Virginia! I am beyond excited to report aboard and be given the opportunity to carry out the missions of the Coast Guard. It will be a challenging two years full of learning but I am so ready to perform to my highest potential and serve this great organization well.

 

Another awesome event for the Class of 2015 this past month was Castle Dance. This is the 1/c formal held at a castle in Newport, Rhode Island. It was a very classy night with a lot of dancing and fun with my classmates. Additionally, it was nice to wear a dress and be able to have my hair down for this formal event.

 

Last weekend was Easter and a group of us went to my friend Carolyn’s house in upstate New York. Her family was so welcoming and made our Easter weekend so incredibly special. It is so nice to be able to get a home-cooked meal and feel like a part of a family when your own is so far away.

 

One of the things that I cherish most about the Academy is the lifelong friends and family you make in just four short years. I did not ever imagine myself being fortunate enough to be a part of so many families and it is so nice to have constant support from so many wonderful people.

 

I hope spring has sprung for many of you reading this and that warmer weather starts making its way up here soon.

 

More about Sara.

 

Aaand… We’re Back

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chang Photo Unfortunately, I could not stay in Orlando forever. Universal Studios, the beach and Disney World had become my home away from home from my home away from home. (Try to figure that one out). And while I dearly miss the Florida sun, palm trees and Mickey and Minnie, the time to come back North had come. I guess all good things must come to an end but there are good things to come here, too.

 

We found out our 3/c summer assignments and I was lucky enough to be put on the first phase of Eagle, where we’ll make our way down to the Bahamas and end in Staten Island, New York. And it’ll only get better from there. Along with six other 4/c and two 2/c, I’ll be on the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, coming from Japan and making its way back to its home port, Seattle, Washington. Out of the nine of us going, four are bilingual. We have two Korean-speakers, a Japanese speaker and myself, speaking Mandarin. Being able to sail on completely different coasts and go overseas is something I never would have thought I’d be able to do so early on in my Coast Guard career. It’s going to be a good summer.

 

More about Olivia.

 

A Better Kind of Busy

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Quintero Photo I thought that 1/c year would be a breeze in regard to academics but it has been busy! However, this is a different type of busy. It is not the 4/c kind of busy where you have a lot of core classes and 4/c duties. It is a better kind of busy. For example, I have been actively working on my senior project, which allows me to use what I have learned in the Management department for the last three years. Since I am in a leadership role now, it comes with more responsibility and work. Honestly though, it is a good thing that I have been keeping busy because it makes time go faster until graduation. It is not that I want to necessarily leave the Academy because it is a horrible place but, instead, I look forward to being out at sea and working for the Coast Guard. From the three summers that I spent in different units of the Coast Guard, I have learned that it is a great service to be in. That is because the people that make up the service are some of the best men and women in the world and are great to work with. And that is why I cannot wait to get out there and use the skills and training the Academy has given me.

 

Meanwhile, I am enjoying free time with my classmates who, after graduation, I won’t see for a while. One of the ways I spend time with my classmates is through sports. Since it is the spring season for rugby, we have been practicing a lot and going to tournaments.

 

More about Carlos.

 

Service Academies Exchange Program

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo Each fall semester, the Coast Guard Academy participates in an exchange program with the Air Force Academy, Naval Academy and West Point. (The Merchant Marine Academy is not able to participate due to their trimester (as opposed to semester) program.) Officers at each academy negotiate how many cadets to exchange; it is usually two to five per academy. The opportunity to participate in this semester-long exchange program is provided to cadets going into their 2/c (junior) year. It involves an application process during which you provide your GPA, PFE score, military score, and a paragraph explaining why you’re interested in being on exchange. They look for people who are well-rounded and can represent the Academy well. The connections these students will make with other cadets and midshipmen could become vital in joint service operations in the future.

 

I have been interested in this exchange program since my first semester here. One of my 2/c was an Army cadet on exchange here at the Coast Guard Academy. In spring semester of 4/c year, I started talking to Coast Guard cadets who had gone on exchange in the fall, asking them what they thought of the program and what their experience was like. They all said it was a great opportunity to see something different, make new friends and enjoy a big-school environment for a little bit. They all said, “Apply if you can,” so when the application came out at the beginning of the semester, I did. I should also mention that I was talking to one of my best friends about it and we decided to both put Navy as our top pick. Since her family lives about 20 minutes away from the Naval Academy, I’d have a sponsor family.

 

About a month and a half later, the list was released. Originally, I got West Point but I was also first alternate for the Naval Academy. At the time, the Air Force Academy and West Point were each taking five cadets and the Naval Academy was only taking two. Just last week, I found out that they decided to exchange one more with Navy, and I got it! I am so excited for this opportunity and can’t wait to share more about this experience with you next semester!

 

More about Sarah.

 

Pride and Responsibility

(Academics, Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Hellooooo! (That’s the way I normally greet my friends from down the hallway.)

 

So, I am writing to you from the confines of a lacrosse bus, the insides of which I have become all too familiar with! We are currently transiting back from one of our rougher games, Springfield College, and I guess spirits are as high as they could be for a team of cadets who are stuck in stop-and-go traffic at 2218 with miles to go and loads of homework waiting, all while bearing a tough loss of 17 to 1.

 

I might try to take this blog to let you know that those players that we face each week on the field see us in a light that does us justice like how the sun gives the moon justice while in its crescent phase. We have to hold our heads high because, at the end of the day, those players from other colleges step off the lax field to do some homework, go to bed, and most likely go to class around 1000 the next day, take three classes and then go to practice again. From this bus, as a team we will trek up to Chase Hall, shine our shoes (the fourth class), work on a paper, study for calculus, prep our uniforms, and set our alarms for 0555 (or 0610 if you are me and prefer to milk every last minute of sleep from the night). We go to trainings after 0620 breakfast and then begin a full day of classes at 0800. For me, as an MES major, I attend four 50-minute classes in the morning and then two in the afternoon, take fifty minutes to get down to the lacrosse field, practice for two hours, audition for the talent show, and then lock myself in the library to write a morals and ethics paper and to work on some biochem homework. I am not writing this to make people feel bad or to complain about my life, I am simply taking a reality check because losing 17-1 kind of hurts.

 

So now for the good stuff: the SUMMERS!!! I have recently found out that I will be reporting to the CGC Morgenthau in Honolulu, Hawaii for all 11 weeks of my summer training. How cool is that?! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I not only saw that I will be going to Hawaii, but that I will be going with my best friend, Hanna Jansson! We are MES majors together and had been praying that wherever we ended up it would be fun as long as we were together. We are ecstatic and have contacted our POC from the cutter and now the time will fly by through tests, projects, papers, labs, and finals. My birthday week is of course finals week and I will be gifted by a morals and ethic final on the 5th of May; I couldn’t be more pleased. I am quite busy with lacrosse, and school, and the talent show, for which I will be performing some songs, accompanied by my friend Holden on the keyboard. I am also the Master at Arms for Delta Company’s regimental review department and, as such, am privileged to inform the corps when drill is cancelled, and cursed to also be the one to ask that they be formed up on the parade field at 0650. Alas, I cannot believe that April has come and that in this month, I will be receiving my class ring as well as preparing to become a first class cadet. These years have flown and I am truly blessed to have experienced them all with my closest friends. So next time we get beat into the ground in a lacrosse game (let’s face it, it’s gonna happen), we need to hold our heads up high because when I hear that National Anthem play, I am filled with pride and responsibility, while other teams giggle, sway and speak, I am standing tall, at attention, ready to serve (and play!).

 

More about Lucy.