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Best Summer of My Cadet Career

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Pourmonir PhotoJune

 

As school came to an end, summer came swiftly and undetected. One minute I was studying for finals and the next I was getting yelled at. Let me preface this entry with an explanation of what one’s 2/c summer is like. First, you experience 100th Week. That is an entire week devoted to training you for your upcoming duty of training the incoming class of cadets. The rest of your summer might vary from your classmates a little in scheduling but it will be similar in that you will all be entering what will most likely be the most exciting summer of your life. You spend a week shooting to qualify in pistol at the range, a week taking the Rules of the Road class, a week on training vessels practicing your new found knowledge, a week at a Coast Guard air station, and two weeks sailing up the coast. Now with a better understanding of what my summer entailed, let me bring your attention back to 100th Week. They brought in the Cape May Company Commanders to instruct us 2/c cadets on how best to train, develop, and prepare the incoming swabs to become cadets at the Coast Guard Academy. These company commanders spend every day training the men and women who enlist in the Coast Guard. The trainees that leave Cape May go on to become rescue swimmers, saving lives of those lost at sea, or assume the another duty required to be filled in the enlisted workforce. The company commanders spent the week yelling at us for our discrepancies, making us sweat until we dropped, and ensuring we understood the real purpose of training incoming members of the military. They showed us how vital our role was in the success of the swabs. They taught us that Swab Summer is not about yelling and push-ups, but about creating individuals that will stand by us after graduation and defend the constitution with honor, respect, and a devotion to their duties. This lesson will get me through the rest of my time in the Coast Guard, and well beyond. It was just the beginning of definitely the best summer of my cadet career.

 

July

 

My cadre experience, training the Class of 2019, was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I have ever been through. The training environment was stressful and demanding, but the outcome was worthwhile. Day to day as a class we were responsible for teaching the swabs how to thrive in a military environment. From day one, their hair was cut and their uniforms were issued, and from an outsider’s perspective they might have seemed like trained military members. The true task at hand was to make them understand the importance of our core values. It was to connect them with the spirit of our mission; to challenge them to make their bodies sounder, their hearts stouter, and their minds more alert. We were expected to teach them initiative and leadership skills by meeting adversity head-on, and providing them with a valuable experience in their development as future leaders. They had to prove that they are worthy of the traditions of commissioned officers in the Coast Guard. Being a part of a process that prepares people to save lives and defend our constitution was more rewarding then I could have imagined. With our 35 incoming swabs, we spent a lot of time explaining the basics. Throughout the summer, I quickly realized that I learned more from my trainees than I could ever teach them. Their positive attitudes and determination made this cadre experience better than I could have imagined.

 

August

 

The paramount experience of my summer was definitely the Coastal Sail Training Program. I was placed on a boat with six of my classmates and a safety officer. I was given eight days to learn how to sail, how to work with my classmates, and how to lead my peers. This may sound easy but the journey proved to be a lot more difficult than I thought. My cadre section dealt with sailing all summer, so we knew the basics of sailing. The leading proved to be more stressful than I had expected. Everyone has a different leadership style, so learning to follow different leaders involves dedication and effective communication. I created a bond with my classmates that will get me through my time here at the Academy. I made friends that will last a lifetime, and as a team we were recognized for being the most intrepid sailors on the trip. As fearless and daring sailors, we returned to the Academy with a new found confidence and trust in each other that I will never forget.

 

More about Keemiya.

 

Summer in Three Parts

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo Hi everyone.

I just wanted to give you all an update on what I did during my final summer here at the Academy. My summer was broken into three parts: first was Inter-Collegiate Sailing Nationals, second was my time on an 87’ cutter, and third was an internship at the District One office in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

Sailing: Once again, the dinghy team qualified for both Women’s and Coed Sailing Nationals. We competed against teams from all across the country, including Yale, Stanford, and College of Charleston. I stayed and competed for Women’s Nationals, which was held at the end of May in Newport, Rhode Island. It was extremely windy, and with our light team, we did not do as well as we had hoped, finishing 11th in the country. I left for my 87’ cutter, based out of the Naval Station in Newport, after this event. The Coed Nationals were held the week after I left. The coed team placed 2nd out of the entire country, a huge accomplishment not only for the team that was there, but also for those who were already at their summer assignments. We are super excited about this finish and hope to do just as well, if not better, at Nationals next year!

 

CGC Tiger Shark: After Women’s Nationals, I headed straight to my cutter, which wasn’t a far drive since the competition’s location was right next to my cutter. I spent two weeks aboard the CGC Tiger Shark in Newport, Rhode Island. While there, I got to see a few fisheries being boarded, as well as meet and spend time with the crew and learn about life aboard a Coast Guard cutter. I realized that I really like the small cutter atmosphere and I would love to go on a smaller cutter next year.

 

District One Internship: For the third part of my summer, I spent six weeks at an internship at the District One Office in Boston, Massachusetts. Here, I spent my time using the Geographic Information System (GIS), a spatial mapping program, to create oil response plans for the entire Hudson River. I spent half of my internship in Boston, while the other half was spent traveling down 100 miles of the Hudson River. While there, I presented my project to both the District One commander and the Atlantic Area commander, which was a really awesome experience. I learned a lot during my internship about oil spill response, the CG’s role in response and how the CG works with other agencies to achieve common goals.

 

Overall, I had a really productive summer. I learned a lot and got much accomplished. I’m so glad that the CG gave me some pretty awesome opportunities this summer.

 

More about Kayla.

 

Being Responsible for the Fourth Class

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Williamson Photo I have started my third class year and it feels great! After a long and productive summer of training, I feel more confident in my own abilities and also I know my classmates better. If there is any advice I can give someone, it would be stick out your fourth class year, because by your third class year you feel like you’re part of a huge family. I am already having a lot of fun and it is only the first week. It is strange to have a fourth class who I am responsible for, because just last year that was me and it’s amazing how far you can come in one year. Learning how to lead and communicate my ideas to the fourth class is the first step in my development as a leader. I am going to try to be very connected with my fourth class and see how that style works.

 

With convincing from my friend, I decided to try rugby this season. The team is made up of a bunch of great guys from every class. It has only been a few days and I already feel welcomed. It is going to be a great season and I am excited to learn a new sport.

 

I am continuing in corrosion research at the Academy, too. I have a pretty busy schedule this year but I will still find time to work on my projects. I am hoping to get some new fourth class to join me this year so, moving forward, we can have a solid research team. Also, I have started classes in my major, which means that school is going to be a lot more interesting. I have Physics, Marine Biology, and Meteorology all in a row and I am actually really excited for those classes.

 

Now, all that I need to do is get through this academic year!

 

More about Cody.

 

Returning to a New Role and Extracurricular Activities

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo So, I am finally back at school after a long, adventurous summer of sailing on Eagle and working at Station Ketchikan, Alaska. The school year is kicking off with Cadet Administrative Processing (CAP) week. I have gotten my schedule, which consists of a heavy load of science and math. I am super excited to begin my engineering classes, although slightly nervous. Coming back after fourth class year, I was not sure what to expect. Getting greeted for the first time by a fourth class stunned me. But I am excited to fulfill my place in the corps as a “role model” and I hope that I can be as good of a third class to my fourth class as mine were to me last year. I am also going to do my best to hold myself accountable and not fall into the “under the radar third class” slump.

 

Fall sports are starting up and I am participating in Triathlon Club for the first time. I am running my first triathlon this upcoming weekend! The team has been extremely welcoming. I have always loved long distance sports, so I am enjoying the sport thus far. The best thing about the Coast Guard Academy is having the opportunity to try new things, and I am attempting to take full advantage of as many of the options that are available while I am here. Glee Club is going to be very busy this year. I am in three singing groups: Glee Club, Fairwinds, and the Octet. Fairwinds is reworking their sound right now and we are attempting a new style of music. We have been singing the same songs for many years, so it is time to move on to some new pieces. Overall, this is going to be a very hectic year. There is a lot to learn before next summer when the Class of 2020 comes, and we will have to take on the mentor role of cadre. I am hoping to prepare myself as best as I can throughout the 2015–2016 school year.

 

More about Hannah.

 

July: The Eagle Experience

(Just for Fun, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Coburn Photo As I am writing this, I am one week into my summer leave and two weeks away from my 3/c year at the Academy. To say that the past 11 weeks out in the fleet were exciting would be an understatement. Leaving South Padre, I was excited to see my friends from school, but also sad to be leaving all the awesome people that I met while at my station. The Coast Guard is truly an amazing community and I learned that firsthand while in Texas. After a day of travelling to the Academy, a night of no sleep and then a bus ride leaving the Academy at 4 a.m., we arrived in Staten Island, New York. There we were able to catch glimpses of the other half of our class leaving as we shuffled onto Eagle in our trops with sea bags over our shoulders. We were given the lowdown and attended safety briefs before they granted us liberty, which meant we were allowed to go out and explore New York City. After leaving New York, we sailed for a little over a week down to Philadelphia for a tall ships festival. During that week, we encountered a storm that tore our main course sail. It was around 6 a.m. and the emergency sail stations alarm went off. This created a whole lot of chaos in a room of 15 sleeping girls. We all got dressed as fast as we could and reported up to our masts. It was pouring rain and thundering and lightning. Luckily, we were able to take down the sail and the situation didn’t end too badly. At the time it was not a very fun experience, but it gave us some good sea stories to tell while giving tours in port.

 

It was really cool coming into Philadelphia because we got to see the other tall ships and there were a lot of people watching us pull in. While on liberty we were able to tour our sister ship the Sagres and many others in the area. After Philly, we had four days underway before we reached Bermuda. On the 4th of July we arrived at the beautiful island of Bermuda. The water was a gorgeous clear blue and the weather was perfect. We had three days on the island and they were filled with (many) trips to the beach, shopping in the small towns, and tasting the different cuisines. I had one day of duty when I gave tours and it was really interesting because the question that I was asked a lot was what it was like to be a woman in the military. Many of the people that came on board were from different countries and the idea of women in the military was very unusual to them. After Bermuda, we sailed 11 days to Maine and finished up getting our qualifications as well as passing the Damage Control Test. We completed our journey in Boston and while I was going to miss seeing my friends every day, I was very excited to be heading home. Eagle was a lot of hard work and the sleeping situations weren’t ideal but it was a great bonding and learning experience for the Class of 2018.

 

More about Mimi.