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cadet blogs

1/c Life

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Martorell Crespo Photo So far, life as a first class cadet is not bad. As a 1/c cadet, I am held to a higher standard than everyone else and we, as a class, are the leaders of the Corps of Cadets. I was given the opportunity to be a division officer and actually have the authority to set high expectations for our division members and even myself to complete our division’s goals. Although it is nice to lead, it is also a challenge because not only do I have to be aware of the members in my division, but also manage my own responsibilities.

 

As a firstie, I have a lot of work to do in the barracks but also in academics, especially with my Capstone project. In your last year at the Academy, you get assigned a major project that you have to work on throughout the semester and it’s not easy. Not only you will have to put a lot of work in it to finish with a successful project, but it will require some late nights and even no sleep on other nights. But overall, life as a 1/c cadet is fun and challenging. Even though you have a lot to worry about, the motivation to graduate and become an ensign is what keeps everyone’s hopes up!

 

More about Irene.

 

Allow Me to Break the Ice

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chen Photo The fall semester has started and let me tell you what a doozy it has been. Last semester, I was informed that I will be part of an advanced research project with two of my classmates for the 2017-2018 year. This project is part of our Government major capstone requirement. My classmates and I were selected to do a project focused on the Arctic. Over the summer, I was given some readings in order to have some basic knowledge on the situation in the Arctic.

 

During the first few days of school, our group was told that we were going to Iceland to kick off our research project. After a couple weeks and a lot of paperwork, we made our way to Iceland. We were able to observe and participate in the first ever multinational live SAR exercise between Arctic countries; this was called Arctic Guardian 2017. Various Arctic nations worked together to recover life boats and personnel if a major catastrophe were to take place in the future. We were able to interact with leaders of other coast guards and even talked with Admiral Z while aboard the Pierre Radisson, the Canadian icebreaker that hosted the damage control drills for all of the nations. It was remarkable, noticing the similarities and differences of our countries.

 

We also had some free time to explore around the city. Did you know that Icelanders have a fascination with hot dogs, also known as pylsurs? I bought a pylsur from Baejarins Beztu Pylsur in Reyjavik, the stand that President Clinton visited. Hands down, that was the most amazing hot dog I have ever eaten; they make their dogs differently and put special toppings on it. It definitely is worth checking out if you’re ever in Iceland. Other than my new obsession with pylsurs, we had the chance to walk around downtown Reykjavík and drive by many beautiful landforms. I even got to see the Northern Lights.

 

I never would have thought that I would get the chance to travel to Iceland and honestly, I have the Academy to thank for that. I have been given an amazing opportunity and cannot wait for many more to come.

 

More about Sarah.

 

Coastal Sail

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Friedman Photo 2/c summer is a big transition for cadets here at the Academy. It’s when you transition from a follower to a leader and go through different training programs to help you discover your leadership style and ultimately develop a leadership philosophy. One of the highlights of 2/c summer is the Coast Sail Training Program.

 

The Academy has 44-foot leadership sailboats that our awesome alumni bought for us to use. Seven or eight cadets under the supervision of a safety officer will take the sail boat out for two weeks and sail around to some of the best ports in New England like Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Block Island, and more. It’s not a vacation though. There are jobs on the boat that everyone will rotate through as well as permanent collateral. My collateral was commissary officer so I was in charge of making sure we had enough food, water, and making a meal plan for the sail. The rotating jobs vary from deck hand, cook, navigator, etc.

 

The most notable day is the day you are watch captain. As watch captain, you are in charge of the boat for the day. You need to work with your navigator to make sure you get to where you need to be because the safety officer is just that, a safety officer. They only step in if they feel a situation is going to become unsafe, otherwise they’ll let you sail in the wrong direction or make other mistakes so you understand what it feels like to be in charge and have everyone look to you if things go wrong.

 

On my watch captain day, we hit a storm coming out of Martha’s Vineyard. We had about 3-foot seas and winds sustaining 15 knots, with gusts up to 20, which is pretty notable on a 44-foot sail boat. On top of that, our sister ship had a steering casualty so we had to divert course and quickly prepare to pull into a new port. It gives you the “oh no” moment when all of your classmates look at you for a decision on what to do next, but that’s the point. It puts you in the spot where you have to make a quick decision with a safety officer who is there to stop things when they can potentially become dangerous. This is so when, not if, you are put in a stressful situation later in your Coast Guard career that it’s not unfamiliar and you’re used to making decisions under pressure. It was a stressful day but was an experience I learned a lot and grew a lot from.

 

If you have any questions feel free to email me Jill.M.Friedman@uscga.edu.

 

More about Jill.

 

Jump In! The Water’s Fine!

(Athletics, Class of 2018, Civil Engineering) Permanent link
Kokomoor Photo Sometimes it is hard to just jump right in. Especially in an institution where the options in front of you are so expansive and offer such different opportunities, it is easy to find oneself overwhelmed and timid. Yet, if I have learned anything at this Academy, it is that the more you throw yourself out into the chaos, the more you will get out of your cadet career.

 

As a 1/c cadet and Civil Engineer major starting my fourth and final year at the Academy, I am finding myself reflecting on everything that I have taken part in and everything that has made me the person that I am today. I am a swimmer for the Women’s Swimming and Diving Team and a Captain for the 2017-2018 season. Swimming has truly shaped the type of cadet that I have become. I have developed a stronger work ethic and grown as a teammate and more importantly, as a shipmate.

 

Swimming for me is a release. It allows me to temporarily escape the mechanics of life in Chase Hall and share in something wonderful with people who love my sport just as much as I do. Everyone here has to have that one thing; an outlet to explore the possibilities afforded to us as cadets at one of the greatest military institutes in the world. For others it is band, rugby, Glee, or if you want to throw a few punches it’s boxing! But for everyone there is a common element: you have to just jump in! You have to get involved and you can never be scared to try something new and fail a few times before finding your bearing.

 

More about Jacklyn.

 

Summer 2017: Internship in Alaska

(Academics, Class of 2018, Civil Engineering) Permanent link
Kimura Photo Internships at the Academy are definitely possible and so rewarding. Every major offers summer internships to cadets entering their senior year. These range from working at the NSA, the White House, U.S. Coast Guard bases, NOAA, Army Corps of Engineers, and many others!

 

I spent my summer internship at the Base Kodiak, Alaska working with the facilities engineering (FE) department. I am a civil major, which is a highly needed field in the Coast Guard. At FE, the floor is composed of a CDR, LCDR, LT, an information technician, mechanical technicians, electrical technician, environmental technicians, and various other contracting officer representatives. The five-week experience allowed me to see and contribute to actual Coast Guard projects. For example, the flight decks were being repaved and we regularly inspected the hangars to prioritize upcoming projects. On the other hand, Base Kodiak has a water treatment facility on site, so monitoring the water quality to the houses fell on the environmental department. In addition, there were building projects being planned, such as replacing WWII era houses or remodeling the Child Development Center’s playground.

 

I was always busy doing something, whether it was FE work, shadowing other technicians there, exploring Kodiak Island, or meeting the junior officers (recent Academy graduates) nearby. While at the internship, I stayed at the barracks on base and borrowed my LT’s truck to get around. Firstie summer has by far been my favorite summer training experience because of the independence I was given to drive to work on my own, cook for myself, plan hikes after work or camp on the weekends.

 

More about Amy.