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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Wired and Jubilant

(Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Another week down and I am still trying to orient myself as a 2/c cadet. In my MES classes, in the cheer team, and in fall lacrosse! Each day is a whirlwind and even though a little windblown, I am having a lot of fun. We just had our biggest football game of the season: MMA, and I have to say it was unforgettable. For my past two games, we have been close, but not close enough to taking a stand against the Mariners. For the past two years, the pep rallies have meant well and the crowd has wanted to be rowdy and supportive and energized, but we have always seemed to fall short. This year though, the stars have aligned. We had a surprisingly fun pep rally, “rave” complete with black lights, strobe lights, fog, and glow sticks, the crowd was crazy and joyous, pumped for a number of reasons. The following days were full of spirit and we prepared for the game Saturday, determined to break the losing streak. The Bears came out strong but we had fallen behind by two touchdowns by the end of the first half. The cheerleaders led the crowd in chants and the entire corps remained focused and hopeful. Finally, we found our groove, the team scored, the fans wild, inspired by our Commandant, Admiral Z doing pushups beside the cheer leaders. I think the best part the game came in the form of a steady rain. The fans took it, in their tropical blue uniforms as if it was supposed to happen. With each success on the field came the explosion of confetti cannons and cheering, so much cheering. Toward the end, the crowd was dumping water bottles on themselves invincible to the rain and the water, completely wired and jubilant.

 

I didn’t even mind that I had night watch; I took a three hour nap and stood watch from midnight to 0400. On Sunday I did homework, helped with the Special Olympics event and then went to yoga! I’d say that all of my weekends have been that busy, throwing me full speed and accelerating through the school weeks.

 

More about Lucy.

 

As Close to a Normal College Experience

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Wu Photo Finally, as a first-class cadet, I am having the closest experience to a normal college possible at CGA. Having a car makes the world of a difference! It was so nice having all of my stuff in my car and being able to drive back to the Academy in August.

 

As a firstie, we now have the privilege of going out on Thursday nights in addition to Friday nights, and unlimited Saturday to Sunday overnights. Also, as a Department Head, which is a minor leadership role, I have the privilege of liberty on Wednesday nights as well. As a second-class cadet, I never used Friday night liberty because I was limited to where I could go. However, now with a car, I am able to drive to parks with running trails and go to yoga classes in Mystic. There is a lot more freedom to go out and do my favorite activities and hobbies. It is even easier to go home now that I have a car with me. This past weekend, I was able to drive home after the CGA vs. MMA football game and surprise my mom for her birthday. She was not even expecting it because normally a trip home takes three hours on a train and then another hour or so of mass transportation from Grand Central Terminal back to my house. It is a tiring process compared to a two hours car drive home.

 

Whether going home for the weekend or just being out in the Connecticut area, it is nice to take a break from the Academy since it often encloses the feeling of stress within the barracks. Even when I do not go out on a day that I have liberty, I like knowing that I have that outlet. This lifestyle is completely different from fourth-class year and it is so weird seeing how far the class of 2015 has come!

 

More about Ellie.

 

The Major Leagues

(Academics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo My, oh, my! The school year’s ramped up so quickly that I missed a month! Well, y’all can’t get rid of me quite that easily, so here I am! Part of the reason I’ve been so busy is thanks to the return of that beautiful creature with which all Academy students are way too familiar – schoolwork! But, it’s a lot more entertaining for me this year. As a third class, cadets finally start taking classes that are specific to their major. For me as a Marine and Environmental Sciences major, those classes include meteorology, marine biology, and differential equations. Third class wind up with very heavy schedules because of that, but what else is new? It’s worth it to experience lab periods where we go out on a boat to collect plankton samples, or spend class time going through weather briefs! I love being a part of my major, and in talking to my classmates in other programs, I know they are also having a good time! It’s nice to finally start studying those topics for which I’ve been waiting since my first year here!

 

The Marine and Environmental Sciences major is one of the smaller ones, with only around 30 or so people in my class following its program. I consider it very valuable to Coast Guard operations – after all, to work in the ocean, we need to understand its characteristics, and to guard its inhabitants (as is one of our explicitly stated missions!), we have to expand our knowledge of how the environment works and what is threatening it. If you have any questions about being an MES major, or just Academy life in general, please feel free to email me at Abigail.A.Culp@uscga.edu! Beat Kings Point!

 

More about Abby.

 

Spirit Mission

(Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo Every so often, especially if you are a firstie in a company or regimental command position, you get “spirit missioned.” A spirit mission is an attempt by the fourth class cadets to steal something of yours and replace it with a funny object, or change the layout of something to create a laughable inconvenience. I never realized how funny/annoying spirit missions are, until I served on the Regimental Staff this fall.

 

The first spirit mission fell on the first day of classes. I forget which company did it, but one set of 4/c stole every four, five, and six-striper’s shoulder boards and replaced them with blank 4/c shoulder boards. However, they forgot to take our extra pairs…so I wore my extra pair as a reminder to follow through the next time. Unfortunately for me, the Class of 2018 took that lesson to heart…

 

Yesterday, I came back from liberty to discover that my combination cover (my white hat that mildly resembles a bus-driver’s) was missing. In its place, the Echo 4/c had left a pink Hello Kitty fedora, with my cadet insignia wrapped around it. We wear our combination covers for drill practice on Monday mornings, so I had to wear my Hello Kitty fedora instead. As if I didn’t stand out enough already in a bright pink hat amongst a sea of white hats, the Charlie 4/c replaced all our swords with brooms. Thankfully, we made a clean sweep of drill!

 

It’s good to see the morale. I hope the 4/c help keep it high as we prepare to BEAT KINGS POINT and get through the rest of the semester.

As always, if you need anything, email me at Peter.M.Driscoll@uscga.edu.

 

More about Peter.

 

Rest of 2/c Summer and USNA Beginning

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Engelhardt Photo Greetings! Hopefully as your summer draws to an end and you begin to return to school you can look back on the amazing things that you did this summer – I know I certainly can.

 

After my first seven weeks of summer training at the Academy I came home for a deserved three weeks of leave. It was great being home, catching up with friends and family, and relaxing before beginning the 2nd half of my summer training.

 

When I returned to the Academy in mid-July, Swab Summer was already in full effect. It was definitely a new experience returning to Chase Hall and hearing swabs sounding off and running down the passage-ways. It was also quite the experience adapting to the challenge of having to avoid swabs during my prep week of cadre training, as the swabs were not supposed to know who the Eagle cadre were. As mentioned earlier, I had opted to be an Eagle cadre for Swab Summer, which meant that I would have the privilege to train the swabs on America’s Tall Ship, the USCGC Eagle, introducing many of them to their first taste of underway life and to the operational Coast Guard fleet.

 

As an Eagle cadre, my “prep” week was a little different than the majority of my classmates. Instead of learning how to properly encourage the swabs/AIMsters/cadet candidates through physical IT (like push-ups) or sounding off (yelling), my fellow Eagle cadre and I practiced the navigational skills that we had learned in our first two years of the Academy – including giving navigation briefs, using mobility boards, and practicing the role of a Conning Officer in the Academy’s simulators. We also got the opportunity to go to Mystic Seaport for a day. The Seaport is a local historical site that mimics a 19th century New England waterfront community. While there we learned more about sailing as well as celestial navigation and the various celestial phenomena. Lastly, during my “prep” week I took my physical fitness exam and my Standard Operating Procedure board to ensure that when I returned to the Academy after my two weeks aboard Eagle I could serve as an active cadre within Chase Hall.

 

Rest of 2/c Summer and USNA Beginning (Continued)  PDF 

 

More about James.