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cadet blogs

The Academy Summer Experience

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Seaman Photo One of the main things that attracted me to the Academy was the summer experiences cadets have. Unlike most other colleges, the Coast Guard Academy allows cadets to work in the operational Coast Guard by sending them to cutters, small boat stations, and air stations depending on which class you are. For the first part of this summer, I worked at a small boat station in Fort Lauderdale for five weeks. This experience was extremely rewarding and it served as a great transition from 4/c to 3/c year. Station Fort Lauderdale opened my eyes to a part of the Coast Guard that I had not been exposed to yet. I learned about the station’s responsibilities and daily routines and was able to contribute by earning qualifications. Along with achieving a communications qualification and making ground in becoming a boat crew member, my classmates who were with me and I were exposed to even more experiences the Coast Guard has to offer. We shot pistol, learned defense tactics, and even got getting pepper sprayed out of the way. These involvements taught me a lot about ways I can improve because it is impossible to be perfect one hundred percent of the time. It also boosted my confidence by giving me valuable interactions with Coast Guard members.

 

Since the main goal of this summer is to learn the junior enlisted member’s role in the Coast Guard, I spent time getting to know the crew members and engaging in the work they do on a daily basis. I observed that their role in carrying out the mission is huge, thus teaching me to value and respect the hard work of everyone. This summer was informative and a blast. I am grateful for the experience I gained and the preparation it gave me in becoming a 3/c cadet.

 

More about Rachel.

 

New Semester, More Responsibility

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo Happy New Year, CGA blog readers! I hope you all had a great time celebrating the arrival of 2015, because I certainly did. I hope 2015 will be the best year yet. For me, it means in just a year and a few months, I will be graduating this fine institution. I am incredibly excited to get going this semester. Usually I am apprehensive coming back from leave or summer, but this semester I was excited to come back.

 

The week we come back from winter leave is called the Midyear Administrative Processing week (MAP week for short). We all get new roommates and move everything we own into new rooms. Usually, MAP week is pretty relaxed. We have all sorts of trainings to go to, but without the pressure of academics, MAP week is a breeze. For me, this MAP week has been very busy. In addition to all the trainings and the fitness test, I have a lot of extra responsibility this semester because I will be a guidon.

 

A guidon is the lead second class in each company. We are expected to be the standard for military excellence, and our primary responsibility is to train and supervise the fourth class for the whole semester. As a guidon, I have a lot of responsibility, but I also have a lot of flexibility to do what I want to train the fourth class in the most effective manner. I have wanted to be a guidon since I was a fourth class because I have always endeavored to better myself and to pursue leadership opportunities. As a leader, I take my responsibility very seriously, and I approach every opportunity to lead with an open mind to change. I take great care to ensure that I balance the demands I place on my subordinates. The mission, to effectively train the fourth class, must be balanced with taking care of them as people. Guidons can be known for making the fourth class’ lives much more difficult, but I strive to make their lives more enjoyable. I plan to motive them to do their jobs because they see the value in doing it for themselves. I will use every tool I have to motivate them, but I plan to use rewards and recognition of good performance as the primary tools to encourage them to be the best that they can be.

 

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible for me to tell you everything I have to as a guidon. However, if you are the parent of a fourth class, or if you know one, I can assure you that I will take good care of them. I have put in hours of work every night this week to organize and think up ideas to train these cadets. All of the guidons here care about the fourth class, and we are working hard to transform them into better cadets, people, and future officers.

 

If you want to know more about MAP week and the trainings, or about what I am asked to do as guidon, please feel free to email me anytime at Hunter.D.Stowes@uscga.edu. Happy New Year! Go 2015! I hope to hear from you soon.

 

More about Hunter.