Skip Navigation Links
APPLY | LOGIN | CREATE AN ACCOUNT | PARENTS | PROSPECTIVE CADETS | VIRTUAL TOUR | ESPAÑOL | SEARCH
FacebookFlickrTwitterYou Tube
CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Can I Go To Flight School, Now?

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo Wow – it’s already October and I haven’t wrote a blog since the summer. This is unusual, and I’m totally sorry. This semester is flying by in a whirlwind, but I guess that’s a good thing! This semester I am the 2/c in the Parents Weekend Division, which means a lot of preparation, organizing, and work. I’m also busy at work with the Aviation Club and, now, the dance team which I just joined this year. So far, fall of 2/c year is great and I’m lovin’ it.

 

Reflecting on this past summer, which was by far the best one yet at the Academy, my favorite experience was the Cadet Aviation Training Program (CATP). I spent a week at Air Station Mobile in Mobile, Alabama to get a good taste of what aviation is like. I always knew before going that flying was something I wanted to do; however, after this week I was 100% assured of this. I left Mobile with the greatest sense of fulfillment. I felt like I really found my “purpose” in life. I love the aviation community, the missions of the various aircraft, and, most importantly, I love the sheer act of flying.

 

I had the opportunity to actually fly a 65 (a type of helicopter) which was THE coolest thing I’ve ever done. I still feel slightly embarrassed recalling the pilot who laughed at me saying I looked like a little kid on Christmas when I took the controls. However, I am proud of that. It just goes to show that I’ve truly found my little piece of happiness in the Coast Guard. I loved my experience so much that I plan on requesting assignment to an air station my 1/c summer. And, of course, I am going to apply to flight school. Hopefully I will be honored with that opportunity come billet night.

 

But billet night is a long way away. As for now, I’m focusing on getting good grades, setting a good example for now my 3/c and 4/c, and staying positive about life in general. I guess it goes without saying that I’m pretty happy with where I’m at and I’m excited for what the rest of 2/c year has to bring.

 

Please email me with any questions you may have about anything. I love helping out prospective kaydets! :)

 

More about Allie.

 

Peer Tutoring

(Academics, The Cadet Experience) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo Being a 3/c means more involvement and responsibility within the corps. It also means a greater number of opportunities. Through the past five weeks of being back at the Academy, I’ve been offered many chances to become more involved in all three fields of cadet life: academics, athletics, and military. The clubs and activities fair wasn’t rained out this year, so I signed up for several clubs there. After 4/c year and having become accustomed to Academy life, I want to take advantage of more of the opportunities offered here.

 

During CAP week, I found out that I had been recommended by an English teacher to become a peer tutor. Peer tutoring at the Academy is a program where cadets are trained and qualified to help other cadets with academic assignments. A peer tutor must attend eight hours of training and can earn an academic grade and credit hour by logging 24 hours of tutoring over a semester.

 

Being an English peer tutor comes naturally to me. I’ve always valued creativity, but at a military academy, it can be a hard skill to maintain. Expressing thoughts through writing and encouraging others to do so is one way I keep in touch with my creative side.

 

It is also a great opportunity to help other cadets succeed. Certain collaboration policies allow for only help from peer tutors or instructors, and some people are more comfortable asking other cadets for help than approaching teachers. Additionally, meeting with someone in Chase Hall is a lot more convenient than having to hike to an academic building at night. This is one of the great things about the Academy; there are so many ways to get help. Unlike an ROTC program where not everyone understands the challenges you face, everyone here is going through or has been through relatively the same thing. People are more than willing to help each other. There are countless support systems to help a person succeed if utilized.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me at Sarah.R.Ritchie@uscga.edu.

 

More about Sarah.

 

New Year, New Responsibilities

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Schroeder Photo The new school year has finally started and I couldn’t be busier. After a seemingly short summer, this past month has been a blur. Over the summer, I had the opportunity to do a bunch of really cool things; my favorite being the Cadet Aviation Program (CATP), and the Coastal Sail Program.

 

For the CATP, I got to fly down to Elizabeth City, North Carolina for a week and ride on Coast Guard aircraft, both fixed wing and rotary. I also had the opportunity to get hoisted from the water into a helicopter, which is easily the coolest opportunity I have gotten while at the Academy.

 

The Coastal Sail Program is a two week transit on a 44-foot sailing yacht around New England to places such as Newport, Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island, Cape Cod and Nantucket. I was on a boat with seven of my classmates and a safety officer. This trip taught me a lot about leadership and what kind of leader I wanted to be because of the high amount of exposure to peer leadership. It was really cool to be sailing around New England and stop in such cool places as well.

 

The biggest thing of second class summer though is being cadre. I got to be Swab Summer cadre second phase, which was both tiring and rewarding. It served as a good transition into the school year because this fall I am my company’s guidon. The company guidon is basically the senior second class in charge of the training of the fourth class over the semester. Being Swab Summer cadre allowed me to get to know each of my fourth class very well, which has helped this semester.

 

Besides being guidon, I am very busy with my own academics and with rugby. This year is my major’s toughest year, and I am still trying to find a balance between school, sports, being guidon, and having a social life. Things are getting better each week though, and I am generally content with how life is going. I know that this semester will be very rewarding for me.

 

More about Jade.

 

Fifteen Things I Didn't Expect to Learn at West Point

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Frost Photo Going on exchange to another service academy is a unique opportunity that I'm lucky to get to experience. After six weeks of being at West Point, I've finally settled into a schedule with classes and grown closer with the triathlon team. Here are some things that I've learned and experienced over the past several weeks:

 

  1. At less than 5,000 cadets, West Point would be considered a small college to anyone, but it still seems ginormous to a Coastie. And, when everyone asks what the biggest difference between West Point and Coast Guard, the answer is the size every time.
  2. Thinking that because you are just one in a sea of 4.5 thousand, no one will notice you is the biggest lie you could tell yourself because navy blue ODUs do not blend in at all with Army green ACUs. You can be pinpointed from a mile away.
  3. Submersing yourself in a new environment is more challenging than expected, and it gives you a renewed understanding for what the 4/c are going through.
  4. No one understands how you talk; they don't understand your saltiness. The "deck" becomes merely the floor, "p-ways" are hallways, "bulkheads" are hallways, and "shipmates" are battle buddies.
  5. Everything has an acronym, and it's impossible to keep track of them.
  6. People will and do look at you like you have two heads for saying "Bears!" And "Go Bears!" to everything, and it's impossible to explain what needs no explanation to any CGA cadet.
  7. All 2/c cadets a called "cows." It's weird.
  8. You salute without a cover on in the Army and in both gym gear and cadet casual (a.k.a. rec gear).
  9. People will ask you what branch you are going into, and they are blown away when you say your options are flight school, deck watch officer, engineering officer in training, or sector. You quickly learn it's not worth trying to explain that it's not really "branching" like it is in the Army.
  10. Everyone thinks that "The Guardian" is representative of the entire Coast Guard, and they ask you every time if you're going to be Ashton Kutcher.
  11. You will spend all your money at Starbucks and the cadet restaurant, especially if you live closer to it than the mess hall, like me.
  12. Optional breakfast is the greatest thing a cadet could ask for, and West Point does it right. We're talking Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, granola, Nutella, Starbucks iced and hot coffee... It's good. However, you will quickly miss the wardroom dinner selection.
  13. A lot of really awesome speakers come to talk to cadets almost every week, and they are opportunities that you want to take advantage of.
  14. There are so many club sports teams and clubs to join. Joining the triathlon team here has been my best decision yet. You meet amazing people that are completely welcoming to exchangers, and it gives you a close-knit group to experience the semester with.
  15. You learn a lot about yourself. You learn how you handle change when you feel like you're the only one going through it, you learn what a different service values compares to the Coast Guard, and compared to your own, you learn how to lead others when you still need guidance yourself, and you learn how to learn from those whom you lead.

 

More about Christi.

 

A Month In

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Daniels Photo Here we are, already over a month into the school year, looking at being halfway done with many of our books. Looking at the semester so far, there’s one leadership trait I know I’m lacking, especially in those early mornings. Being an approachable 3rd class cadet is one of the most important things you can be. The new 4th class need people to look to for answers, and if you aren’t able to be there, then they lack that figure. I’m trying to make myself more approachable so that I can be of the most use, starting with my outlook on the day.

 

Something that carried over from last year for me was the stigma that each day would drag on and on, and there was not much to look forward to except sleeping the next night. I’ve changed that, and realized that within every day there are opportunities to make it better, enjoying the little things in each day, and being cheerful when responding to the monotonous greetings, inquiring about anyone’s day in a sincere fashion goes a long way here.

 

As winter approaches, it seems that the corps knows what’s coming, the feet of snow, bridgecoats and parkas, and sliding on the ice all the way down the hill. While we may not be able to run around and have all-out snowball wars, the crisp air brings on a feeling of anticipation, not just for the end of drill season, but also for the new year. Even though it’s a few moths still to come, the anticipation is growing. Graduation for some, boards and carry-on for others, new rooms, new roommates, and new classes. Until next time!

 

More about Drew.