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cadet blogs

Getting a Shout Out at the Inaugural Parade

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Murphy Photo Last weekend I marched in President Obama’s Inaugural Parade; it truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We drove down on busses on Saturday night to the Naval Academy and it was not a very comfortable night of sleep. At the Naval Academy the next morning, we practiced for the parade and had liberty for most of the day in Annapolis, which is a great city with plenty of things to see.

 

The following morning we were bused to Washington, D.C. We had a long day of security clearances, waiting at checkpoints, and dealing with the cold weather. It was an interesting process as we were herded from checkpoint to checkpoint in D.C. Finally after waiting all day, we made it to the National Mall, where, you guessed it, waited a little longer. When we finally started marching on the route to the President, it was starting to get dark.

 

As soon as we turned onto the main road, and the Coast Guard Academy was announced on the speakers in the city, all the waiting and inconveniences became worth it. I realized that I was helping represent the entire Coast Guard Academy and Coast Guard for the President of the United States. It was one of the proudest moments I have ever had. As we marched past the President, our Regimental Commander called “eyes left”, in which we all snapped our heads toward the President and received a salute from him. As we marched away, I heard a familiar voice scream, “Go Sean Murphy! Wooo! Go Eagles!” My two good friends from home, Marcus and Arianna, both came to the Inauguration and were able to spot me in the mass of cadets. It was really funny.

 

All in all, it was an awesome experience that I was able to share with my friends and will be able to share for the rest of my life.

 



More about Sean.

 

Back in the Groove

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Martin Photo In two years from this point, I will be a semester away from graduating! It’s pretty cool to see the excitement (and the senioritis) of the firsties as they anxiously await their departure from this beautiful place we call home. I keep thinking that will be me some day, and the sooner the better!

 

Getting back in the groove of things is always difficult after having an amazingly long leave at home. Yet also, we have the motivation from seeing how proud friends and family are of us, which is the fuel that keeps us going. I keep saying that whichever semester I am in is going to be the hardest; I need to get out of that habit since the next semester seems to discredit that statement every time.

 

Already this semester I have made up for my inability to travel last semester. The first weekend back from break, the corps was granted a long weekend so I headed to New Jersey to visit with some cousins and relax before the storm. Next was MLK weekend so I was able to do some traveling and get away that weekend, too. The next weekend, a first class and I went to NYC to represent the Coast Guard Academy’s Spectrum Council in the first ever All-Academy Spectrum Leadership Conference. It was a great weekend in the city with a lot of great work done to strengthen the bonds between our Academies and bring us together to tackle issues together. It is always fun to be in the city and to stay for free just makes it that much better! In two weeks I’ll be off to visit the Naval Academy and the Holocaust Museum so there’s been a good bit of traveling so far with plenty more planned!

 

We are already getting training on Cadre Summer to prep us for this great responsibility and this great challenge. Its right around the corner so get ready 2017, because we are!

 



More about Matt.

 

Service above Self

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo Yesterday I spent most of the day working at an indoor track meet at our school. Instead of heading out on the long weekend like many of my shipmates, I decided to stick around and fulfill my Institutional Service (IS) hours requirement. Every cadet is required to fulfill a minimum two IS hours and six community service (CS) hours. It sounds like a lot to ask when cadets are already working so hard to balance out school work, sports, other military requirements, and a social life as well; however, I think that interior service and community service can be fun and rewarding. It’s all about what you make it.

 

There are tons of opportunities to fill the CS and IS hours requirement, and a lot of them are fun. Also, they are a great opportunity to meet people. Last semester, I completed all of my community service on a one Saturday afternoon, kayaking up and down the Thames River picking up trash from the islands and beeches. The event was called “Adventure Clun River Cleanup.” It was really fun, and some of the people I met that day have become my best friends.

 

But that’s just one example of community service. Two other marquee community service events that the Coast Guard Academy are doing now are: ongoing Hurricane Sandy relief, and what we call, “Habitat for Humanity” construction. The Habitat for Humanity is an ongoing house build. That’s right. Cadets are out there every weekend working together to build a house. It’s a great project and tons of cadets have gotten involved so far. The Academy is heavily involved in the local New London area, and it’s great to see cadets taking an interest in the community.

 

If you want to find out more about what the Academy is doing for community service, or if you have any questions about the service requirements, please feel free to email me! Hunter.D.Stowes@uscga.edu.

 



More about Hunter.

 

Yay for Long Weekends!

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Frost Photo Hey everyone! So, here I am sitting in Leamy Ballroom, thanks to the lovely fire alarm going off back in Chase. It was back to the grind today after a great long weekend. The first week of class went by smoothly, and the four day week is already flying by. This past weekend I enjoyed visiting my friend’s house in New Jersey, which was full of excitement. I visited Philly for the first time, and of course had a real Philly Cheese Steak. I went to my second ever hockey game, which went into double overtime, and I rode on my first train in the states! Yes, the last one is exciting for me, haha!

 

I am already getting stoked for sailing season. Team workouts start tomorrow, and I hope the rest of the team is as excited as I am! Our first regatta is February 16, and I am dreaming of sunny Florida. Tonight it is supposed to get down to 9 degrees. That is REALLY cold for a Florida girl! Not going to lie, I’m pretty pumped for the forecasted blizzard this weekend.

 

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to email me at Christina.M.Frost@uscga.edu.

 



More about Christi.

 

Marching For the President

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Engelhardt Photo This past weekend I had the honor of marching in the Inaugural Parade for President Barack Obama at the 57th Presidential Inauguration. Marching past the reviewing stand and meeting eyes with the President was an honor and a privilege that made all the sacrifices of the weekend worth it.

 

I had volunteered to march in the Inauguration in mid-November and found out that I was selected upon returning from Thanksgiving break. Immediately I had to take a picture and answer several screening questions for the Secret Service background check. As the Inauguration drew closer, I learned more of the itinerary and looked forward to the event more and more.

 

My fellow cadets and I boarded the buses for the Inauguration on Saturday, two days before the actual event. We drove through the night arriving in Annapolis, site of the United States Naval Academy, early Sunday morning. We were assigned to rooms with host midshipmen, who took us to breakfast and showed us around the “yard.” At 1100 the 90 cadets who made the trip formed up for a quick practice drill, after which we were granted liberty. All in attendance were anxious for the next day.

 

Monday arrived early as we boarded buses bound for Alexandria, Virginia. We were going to join a convoy with other enlisted and reserve Coasties and travel to D.C. together. The sight of the black SUVs, sirens blazing, escorting us to D.C. made quite an impression. We all arrived at the Pentagon around noon and went through more screening, before reaching D.C. about 1530 in the afternoon.

 

We waited anxiously for our turn to march, as various marching details went ahead. Finally our turn came. Marching down the streets of D.C. with all eyes on us gave me a sense of pride and purpose that is hard to explain. And when we marched in front of the President all of the trials of the day seemed to be insignificant. It was a great honor to march before the President, in a parade that symbolizes all our country is known for – freedom, liberty, and equality. Had I not come to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, I doubt I’d ever get that experience.

 



More about James.

 

Attending the Inaugural Parade

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Going to the Inauguration was a truly unique experience. The entire weekend was really fun. We left Saturday night and stayed overnight at the Naval Academy. I was able to see my family too because I am from that area. We even got to watch the Ravens game!

 

On Monday, we started with a police escort to D.C. It was so cool! The day of the Inauguration involved a lot of waiting and security checks but it was all worth it. We marched after 5 o’clock and the route was about 1.6 miles long. To march down Pennsylvania Avenue and to be a part of history and welcome our President back for another four years was mind blowing. Passing in review, I was hit with an overwhelming pride for my service and to be an American. I will always remember the thrill I felt marching in an event holding such significance to the American people. I can see now that anywhere in the world, a change of power conducted peacefully and by the people is not to be taken for granted. I will remember that day for my entire life, and I know that last year, I would never have guessed that I would have marched for the President and the United States of America.

 



More about Lucy.

 

Fast Paced Week

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Hey it’s me, Lucy! Today is Friday and I had Chemistry after lunch but because Martin Luther King Day cut the week short, I had a really short class. This week has been really fast paced. I think that they all usually are but I am still getting back into the swing of things. Now, I am just doing some homework before I have track practice. I have a surprisingly busy evening planned. After practice, I am going to go to Bible study and then Friday Night Fellowship after that. Also, tonight, there is a comedy night at Leamy that a lot of people are going to. This weekend I want to get a lot of homework done and also relax a bit and SLEEP!!!! I am giving a tour tomorrow; maybe I will see you there :)

 



More about Lucy.

 

Where Fall Semester Left Off

(Academics, Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Subramanian Photo It feels as if the spring semester picked up right where the fall semester ended. Following a week for preparations and listening to many speeches, classes began. After the last semester, I have entered this semester focused and ready to go for another engineering-dominated year. As a mechanical engineer, I will be taking Dynamics, Engineering Materials Science, Differential Equations, and Ships and Maritime Studies. In the fall, I took three lab courses. Now, I only take one lab on Tuesdays, and classes from 8 to 4 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

 

I am also taking racquetball as a class. Every morning at 0800, I get to play racquetball for an hour. It is a great workout first thing and it wakes me up for the day. I get to play with some of my friends, many of whom are more athletic than me. They are helping me become a better racquetball player and overall athlete. With a 0800 PE class, I can now get a weightlifting session in before classes. This is another chance for me to get a workout, and it allows me to dedicate the afternoon to boxing.

 

In boxing, we are now preparing for the Regimental Open, which will be late February. There are many new boxers who have come out to participate. I will still be recovering from my shoulder injury, so I am helping to coach the new boxers, as well as rehabilitating. There is no doubt that this Academy tradition will be successful again.

 

The corps already had one long weekend this semester, celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day. During the long weekend earlier this month, I traveled to Boston. I visited my civilian friends at Northeastern University and Boston College. It was good to spend a weekend away from the grueling lifestyle of the Academy. I am already looking forward to President’s Day Weekend, where I hope to take some of my fellow cadets to New Jersey to visit my hometown. That weekend is not far away, so it is important that I stay motivated!

 



More about Kevin.

 

Eyes Left!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Carani Photo I spent much of last week sleeping on an uncomfortable bus, standing around and waiting, practicing marching, getting cleared by security, waiting for the Inauguration Parade to start, and a lot more waiting. It’s safe to say that the theme of my weekend was waiting. In fact, much of my weekend was boring and uninteresting. However, in the single moment of marching past President Barack Obama, when the Regimental Commander called, “Eyes left!” and we saluted the President and saw him salute back, all of my gripes, complaints, and frustrations seemed to vanish. That single moment during our long march in the parade made the entire weekend worthwhile.

 

I know I speak for all 89 of my shipmates that marched in the parade when I say that regardless of political beliefs, having the opportunity to march in the Inauguration Parade to show support for our new Commander-in-Chief was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Even though it was dark by the time we started the parade, and most of the crowd had retreated to find warmer quarters, none of that mattered. Marching in that historic parade, and being a part of that once in a lifetime experience is something that will live with me for the rest of my life, and is something that I am honored to have been a part of.

 



More about Luke.

 

More Than a Great Opportunity

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Ulbricht Photo There are not enough words to describe what an honor it was to march in the Inaugural Parade. Saying that it was a “great opportunity” will just not cut it in this case. I cannot simply tell you I marched in the Inaugural Parade. It was an honor representing the Academy, my family and community in such an event. I was one of 90 cadets who had the opportunity to pass about 50 feet in front of the President and our commandant, hopefully impressing them with our flawless formation. Hearing the random shouts from the crowd, “Thank you for your service” or “Yea!! Go Coast Guard Academy” just made me stand up taller. I was overjoyed to be marching for such a respected service. Hearing the announcer describe who we were brought a smile to my face, because I was SO PROUD! The long day of going from various security checkpoints and waiting for our turn to march was well worth it. I had the occasion to see things that my peers may never get the chance to see and be part of something that I will remember for the rest of my life. This weekend will be recorded as probably one of the best weekends at the Academy so far. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to take part in nationally recognized events such as this.

 



More about Cameo.

 

Springing Ahead

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
RossiPhoto Well, the winter break was great while it lasted. I got to spend some much wanted time off with my family and friends, also recharging my batteries for the spring semester. Although we come back to books and schoolwork, there are many events that all the cadets are anticipating. During our first week back, I was privileged enough to once again play hockey and even more exciting, our first game back was against our rival Kings Point. The game was well attended and a good welcoming back for the team. We did not get the result we wanted, but the 5 to 3 loss was a hard-fought battle, and a promise that is going to lead to an annual game.

 

For us third class cadets, this summer will be our cadre summer in which we get to train the incoming class of 2017, Coast Guard Scholars, or prospective cadets in the Academy Introduction Mission. All our requests have been submitted and sometime early next week we will be hearing what programs we have been selected for. Not only will we get interaction being cadre, we will also participate in many other programs that expose us to leadership. The one I am most looking forward to is the week of Coastal Sail, in which eight of my classmates, a safety officer, and me will get to sail on 44-foot sailboat around New England. All of this will be here before I know it, but until then I must keep my focus on academics.

 



More about Michael.

 

Way Down in Georgia!

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Krakower Photo Another Glee Club/Chorale trip in the books. They keep getting better and better for some reason, and perhaps that is why I am so fond of them. Last year around this time the group went down to Fort Worth. It was a marvelous time, so we expected the same of this trip to Atlanta and then Savannah, Georgia. We were ever so correct. We held three performances, two in the Atlanta area, and one in Savannah. All of them were good, but the one we did in Savannah was exceptional. It was in a very old church, and there were probably 200 people there listening to us. Overall, the trip was incredible, and one for the books.

 

Of course, while we weren’t performing, the group was out and about, enjoying the warm weather and the activities. We got there late on Thursday night, and woke up in Peach Tree City on Friday morning. We decided to go to the heart of Atlanta, and check out the Georgia Aquarium, which was fantastic. Lots and lots of aquatic life (who would’ve thought?) After that, we had our first performance at one of our 1/c’s old high school. It went very well, and we continued our last day in Atlanta by walking around and eating Chick-fil-A before our last concert. After many tastes, I can tell you that there IS a difference between Georgian Chick-fil-A and other Chick-fil-As. Georgia Chick-fil-A is better.

 

We got to Savannah the next day, and of course, we were put in a haunted inn. A woman committed suicide there and haunts Room 204. Which rooms were we in? 201-203. It was freaky, to say the least. Savannah turned out to be an excellent stop, with a lot to do. The riverfront, some historical sites, and the restaurants were just a few things we saw. The nightlife in Savannah was fantastic and we enjoyed it thoroughly. We ended up watching the Conference Championship games at one of the best burger places ever created. And while we did get a few chills, no dramatic ghosts appeared to us throughout our stay.

 

With that, we headed back, and here we are again in New London. I get to go to Montreal in a few days for Model U.N., so there will definitely be a blog for that! Until then, back to school at the fine institution known as CGA!

 



More about Sam.

 

It Only Gets Better

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo I’m lucky enough to live only 3.5 hours away in New Jersey. A train ride is so worth it when we get a long weekend and you need some down time at home. All of fall semester before going on a long, I would lose focus that last block of classes and think only of the short train ride away that separated me from a weekend at home. Seeing my family, sleeping in my own bed, and having home cooked meals was just enough to leave me doodling in calculus and writing packing lists in my head while bussing to class (I suggest neither of the two, FYI!). The train rides home seem to take forever, but I am always so happy to be on my way to Jersey. My parents would pick me up and I would be nothing but smiles. As Sunday morning came, which it always did too fast, it would be time to board the train and head back to New London. This was never an easy task – it was always filled with tears and long hugs, never wanting to say goodbye. “I don’t want to go back!” always seemed to be my famous last words. Boy, have I sure changed from last semester. Just this past weekend (MLK weekend) I spent the first long of the spring semester at home.

 

I had the same emotions on the train ride down – who isn’t excited to go home? But instead of being tearful and upset getting ready to go back, I only found myself excited to get back “home.” The Academy has become my new home. Whoa, did I just write those words – yeah, I guess I really did. Never would I have dreamed that I would claim Chase Hall to be my new home, but it grows on you (for some, sooner than others). Of course it’s nice to leave, but as of late I find myself being okay with staying here. As I become better at managing time and the hectic schedule 4/c have, my friends and I are able to laugh and have some good times. I also look forward to track practices and meets and being with my team. I even look forward to classes (what?!) because, as I learned over break, I enjoy having lots of things to do. Too much free time can be poisonous! I guess what I’m trying to say is this place grows on you. At first, it seems like you will be stuck in the cadet twilight zone forever, never to graduate and become an Ensign. But semesters pass by faster than you think and before you know it you’re sliding on a new pair of shoulder boards. So here’s a little piece of advice for all the future swabs/fourth class out there: give this place its fair shot. It may seem rough at first, but it is SO worth it in the long run. It only gets better!

 



More about Allie.

 

The Gifts We Don’t See

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Lukasik Photo Lately I’ve taken to the practice of conducting this blog in the same way I conduct myself in class (probably as much to our web information director’s dismay as to my instructors’). Generally speaking, I don’t speak much or often unless I have something that I feel is particularly important to say. Perhaps I’m too shy for my own good; perhaps if I were less hesitant, I would “stand out” more. But what I have found is that when I commit myself to holding my tongue (or in this case, my pen, or word-processor) under general circumstances, when I do speak out, people listen much better. I think they understand that if I’m permitting myself to speak out, it’s because I’ve put significant enough time and reflection into a thought that it’s one worthwhile to consider.

 

And so, for the first time in a few months, I have something to say: we are blessed beyond words.

 

The magnitude and extent of the opportunities and gifts bestowed upon us here at the Academy is easy to lose track of sometimes, especially in these long winter months of the “Dark Ages,” when we’ve just returned from leave and have to get back to the grind. I must admit, this term I was incredibly apprehensive coming back. With a Directed Study and a Fulbright application in my academic schedule; a number of still-healing stress injuries impeding my athletic performance, with Triathlon Collegiate Nationals fast approaching; new and daunting leadership challenges in several clubs and as a department Master at Arms; and the various other new challenges the new year brings, the semester looked to be a frightful thing. Recalling, both the incredible experiences and triumphs but also the monumental fatigue my classmates and I faced collectively and individually last semester, it’s no wonder that I initially approached this new year with a bit of uncertainty. Is it really worth all this work? I’ve sometimes wondered. When I sometimes lose grip on what “it” is that I’m striving for, I wonder even more…

 

But yes – in short – “it” is absolutely worth it.

 

It’s sad that sometimes we forget just how good we have it until we’re exposed to the hardships that we, personally, do not have to face; we forget how fortunate we are, until we see face to face the misfortunes we’re shielded from.

The Gifts We Don’t See (Continued) PDF Icon  

 



More about Jessie.

 

A Winter Wonderland

(Just for Fun, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Martin Photo December is the greatest month, yet it must be earned. December is so great because its Christmastime, we get to go home for leave, and it's the end of the semester! Yet in order to get to December, you have to make it through the fall semester and in order to get home for leave, you have to make it through finals (both of which aren’t easy). This past semester was hopefully my toughest semester here with all my 3/c classes along with an extra 18 hours of class a week for EMT certification. I had five finals and they were not a walk in the park. By the time the last one rolled around, my brain just turned off and said good luck! It was a tough semester all around, yet it flew by; I just hope the next semester goes just as fast!

 

We got a record amount of Christmas leave this year and I was not going to complain! Yet the cheapest way for me to get back to Arizona was to take a train to Boston after my last final, then spend the night in the airport for a 6 a.m. flight. It wasn’t the most comfortable night, but once I got onto the plane the next morning, there was certainly no problem falling asleep on that flight. I got to spend some time with family and friends and do some Christmas decorating for the first part of leave and then I drove with a friend to Salt Lake City to surprise my girlfriend. In order to get the most time in Salt Lake City, we left at midnight in the middle of a huge snow storm in Utah (not our brightest idea). Yet, after 8 hours of driving, we were making great time! I drove all night and as soon as we switched drivers, we found the ice. Within ten minutes of my friend driving, we were spinning in the middle of I-15. After four complete spins, we landed perfectly on the side of the road seconds before a semi flew by honking its horn. After seeing my life flash before my eyes, we made it to Salt Lake City for a great surprise and a great weekend. We went snowboarding up there as well and it was my first time. After tasting more snow than shredding and after being on my back end more than my feet, I think I’m going to try skiing next time…

 

As soon as we drove 12 hours back home to Arizona, my family and I took off to Los Angeles to spend Christmas with more family. It was also my parents’ anniversary the day after Christmas so my siblings and I threw them a big surprise party, which was a successful surprise and a lot of fun! Then we thought we couldn’t just have one party in California, so as soon as we got back to Arizona, we had another surprise party on New Year’s Eve.

 

I would like to say my leave was all fun and games, but I had to spoil the fun sometime. I had my wisdom teeth out three days before returning to the Academy which was so much fun… After telling people about my future appointment, I got to hear every horror story about getting wisdom teeth surgery so I was just thrilled and excited to let the fun begin. It turned out to be not too bad, only one dry socket and an infection. So needless to say, coming back to the Academy was worse than normal with a mouthful of gauze and a stomach full of meds.

 

It was a very relaxing (except for the spins on I-15) and fun (except for the wisdom teeth) leave that will keep me motivated throughout the next semester. Whenever cadets get to go home, it’s nice to see old friends, but it’s amazing what else you see. Nothing has changed! Most friends are doing the same things they were doing in high school and for the most part, cadets have grown and changed so much from what they were in high school that it is hard to relate. We get to see how well this place has prepared us for life compared to other options, and going home makes me realize how thankful I ought to be to get this opportunity and to get all that I can from it.

 

I think my leave was so good because I couldn’t find out my semester’s grades until I got back to the Academy! Yet, we have to return to reality some time. The tub of ice cream and chick flicks got me through seeing my grades with a little less emotional damage.

 



More about Matt.

 

New Year, New Opportunities

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Wu Photo January 2013 marks yet another new year and being back at the Academy is both overwhelming yet very exciting. We are nearly done with our first week of classes and hopefully getting back into the flow of the academic year, however upon return, I realized that the summer is not far and for the class of 2015 that means cadre summer is within months! It is so strange to think that just a year and a half ago, we were swabs going through the initiation process of the Academy and becoming 4/c amongst the corps of cadets and now as the spring semester begins so do all the applications for our summer assignments and other opportunities that open up during 2/c year. I am so excited to put in my requests and see what role I will be playing this upcoming summer. I am looking forward to welcoming the class of 2017 and to also go through this unique leadership experience. I hope this semester flies by like the fall semester since for the class of 2015, we are looking at being able to wear civilian clothes again, leading the class of 2017, and possibly going on exchange to different service academies for a semester. There is a lot to look forward to, but there is still a whole academic semester standing in the way. I hope I can get my preference for the summer and also be accepted to the exchange program, but as for right now all I can do is wait, study hard in my classes, and help the class of 2016 learn everything they need to know for their Boards Indoctrination.

 

Wish everyone the best of luck with another academic semester, and for prospective cadets waiting to hear back from the Academy, I hope I get to see your faces on July 1st!

 



More about Ellie.

 

Second Semester Already?

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Wright Photo I guess it has been a while since I have sat down to write a blog entry but hopefully this one will make up for my lack of writing recently. December was a hectic month for sure, well at least for the few weeks that I was at the Academy in December. Finals were a whirlwind; within one week they came and went and before I knew it I was on winter leave. Leave was pretty amazing; I had my best friends in from out of the country which was wonderful. I got to spend my Christmas break with my family and the closest friends I have; aside from all of my outstanding shipmates of course. I was also able to log several hours flying and complete my light sport pilots’ license, which was awesome but it defiantly kept me busy.

 

In the two weeks I have been back at the Academy it seems like things haven’t stopped for one minute. Our first week back was full of meetings, book issues, stressing about our physical fitness exam all week, and finally taking our physical fitness exam. We were fortunate enough to get a long weekend, which meant that we got to leave on Friday night and come back on Sunday, so some of my friends and I were lucky enough to spend time with my wonderful sponsor family. I also got to work on our Habitat for Humanity house on Sunday, which was a pretty awesome event, painting for six hours, who wouldn’t love that? It was really touching to hear about the family who was getting this house; it made the long hours of painting a little less painful. Finally classes have started and after only one day of class I can tell that this is going to be a challenging semester. The freshman have our big examination to earn our 3/c (sophomore) shoulder boards coming up in just a few weeks, and 101st night to look forward to which is basically just a flashback to the summer where we get yelled at and such for about 2 hours…can’t wait. On a brighter note we have MLK weekend this weekend and I’ll be going to Yale and New York with one of my shipmates so that is my motivation to get through the week.

 

Again if you have questions about anything just shoot me an email at Jessica.S.Wright1@uscga.edu.

 



More about Jessica.

 

Home Sweet Home

(Athletics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo Well, winter leave has finally come to an end and it is time yet again to start another semester here at the Academy. With the fall semester under my belt, I feel excited and ready to take on the spring. Over the break, I realized something very important: how much I really do love the Academy. Now let me define the term love a bit more: I don’t exactly enjoy waking up at 0550 and staying up late to do homework. Yes, I wish I was taking fewer classes and had more down time to goof off. And yes, I wish I had more liberty on weekends to go out and relax like most other college freshman. However, I would never want to be anywhere else. At the Academy we are getting a great education that is preparing us to be successful in whatever endeavor we take on after graduation. We cadets are afforded with numerous opportunities many other college kids could only dream of. The friends you make here are one of a kind. And most importantly, when we graduate, we become officers in the best service our nation offers, with the ability to change lives. The Coast Guard is a great service that I take so much pride in being part of, and the USCGA, while it comes with its many (many, many, many, many….ok, you get the picture) challenges, is a great place to live and learn at. Such was my great epiphany over leave. To all the 2017 applicants out there, if you got an appointment – congrats! Realize you have just been given the opportunity of a lifetime. For all of those who still don’t know or did not receive an appointment: never give up on your dreams! If the Academy is what you want, stop at nothing to get here. I promise it is worth every drop of sweat to work for.

 

In other less serious news, the indoor track team had their first meet the other day (12JAN) and both the men’s and women’s team won! I ran the anchor leg in both the 4x200m and 4x400m relay. Taking part in a collegiate level sports team takes a lot of dedication, but it is really great to watch the hard work pay off at meets!

 

As always, if you have any questions about the Academy or 4/c life, shoot me an email and I will answer back as soon as possible. Allyson.J.Roesch@uscga.edu :)

 



More about Allie.

 

The Price You'll Pay

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2013) Permanent link
Nolan Photo The Academy recently made the front page of Yahoo in the form of an article entitled “Five Colleges You Can Go to for Free.” I’m here to tell you that that is the biggest misnomer that the Academy will ever get. You pay to be at the Academy. You pay for it in over 7,000 hours of lost liberty time a year, you pay for it in inspections and in work, you pay for it in the time spent looking after your division, performing collateral duties, you pay for it in cleaning for formal room and wing and preparing for personnel inspections, you pay for it in drill and in practicing for it. You pay for the Academy in lost summers spent half a world away from home while your high school friends return to the nest and party. You pay for it in being told what to wear and when to wear it, and most importantly you pay for it with that proverbial blank check you write out to the People of the United States of America that, upon your graduation you are willing to pay any price, up to and including your life, for them. So yes, your bank account will not be any less full for your attending the Coast Guard Academy, you will not exchange money for your education and tutelage at this university, but remember that it is not free. You are paying a price, a rather large one at that, but that large price tag doesn’t mean that the Academy is not worth it. It’s quite the opposite in fact. Every pain and hardship, everything you give up, is worth it for the friends you make along the way, and for the honor of serving.

 



More about Stephen.

 

Getting Back in the Groove

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Min Photo Coming back to the cold is never an easy thing, but the light at the end of the tunnel grows ever clearer as I move into the second semester of my 3/c year. One of the many things we have to look forward to is our summer orientation. The cadre experience; where we are tasked with the role of leading. In 2010, I took the oath as I entered into the Coast Guard Scholars Program, which I feel developed and further instilled morals and values into me. When I first got accepted into the program I had never heard of it and was disappointed that I did not get an appointment straight into the Academy, but over the past two and a half years, I have realized how vital the program was to my success.

 

Now, that the time approaches for choosing our summer positions, I am requesting to be a member of the cadre assigned to train the scholars. The CGAS program helped me grow up more than I would have anywhere else and I am hopeful I will have the opportunity to fill the large shoes of my cadre this coming summer.

 



More about Alex.

 

Upon Return from an Awesome Break

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo The end of last semester came up so fast. It’s been a while since my last post, but finals and diving took priority. I had a great first semester of my third class year. Starting the second semester makes me realize how fast time is going by. The corps just got back and everyone’s morale is high. It’s great to hear about all of my friends’ winter leave experiences and what they did. I had an amazing time over leave and did not get bored one day.

 

My break started with a seven-hour road trip to visit one of my best friends from the Academy in Georgia. We went out on the boat, hung out in downtown Savannah, and made Christmas cookies. I am so glad I was able to visit and had an awesome time. We then drove together to Orlando, Florida to meet up with two of our other friends from the Academy to go to Busch Gardens in Tampa. When I got back home I had about a week to visit with my old high school friends and family. That week seemed to fly by, but I got to go to the beach and catch up with friends. I also had a wonderful Christmas with my family. It’s weird to think that these might be the last couple of Christmases when my family will all be together. The last week of my leave was spent with the swimming and diving team in Sarasota, Florida for a training trip. I had so much fun and I’m so glad I went. We worked out a lot and dove a lot, but we also got to soak up some sun on the beach, which was really relaxing.

 

Break came and went so fast, but I enjoyed every minute and I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. We all switch roommates and rooms every semester and I’m so excited for this semester. I’m rooming with one of my best friends and I know we are going to have a lot of fun living together. With schedules out and books issued it’s getting closer and closer to the first day of spring semester. As much as I am excited, I am very nervous for this upcoming semester. I finished last semester strong, but this semester will probably be my hardest semester at the Academy because I am taking mostly technical classes, which will be challenging but doable.

 

Diving is going great. I had back issues earlier this season, which took me out of competing for a couple of months. It was frustrating being able to participate in the sport I love, but my back is all healed and I’m back on the boards. We had two meets this week and both went relatively well. I am just so happy to be competing again with the team and being able to help earn points for the meet.

 

Hope everyone had a great winter break and is starting off strong in their second semester! For you seniors, have fun this semester and make amazing memories. Don’t get senioritis too badly!

 



More about Sara.

 

My LASIK Experience

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Keith Photo Ahoy Shipmates!

 

As many of you know from previous blogs, my dream is to become a Coast Guard Aviator. I want to go to Flight Training directly after graduating rather than reporting to a ship first for a couple years, which meant that I needed to get eye surgery since I wasn’t blessed with perfect vision. Below is a log of sorts that I’ve kept over the months of my journey with eye surgery. However, the first thing that I will tell all of you is this: Do NOT try to get eye surgery before applying to the Academy. Most of you (high school aged) are too young to get this type of surgery, and it will not go over well with medical when applying to the Academy.

 

June 2012: While home on summer leave I went and visited the IU School of Optometry to see if my eyes were able to be corrected by either LASIK or PRK. I was worried that I wouldn’t make the cut, but it turned out that my eyes were thick enough to have either surgery done, and that my prescription was correctable. Breathed a sigh of relief.

 

December 17: My second pre-op exam, this time with the people who would be performing the eye surgery (The Laser Center or TLC). I really lucked out because the IU School of Optometry has a special deal with TLC in that they will cut the cost of the surgery in half as long as I agree to have some post-op care done at IU so that their optometry students can learn about the process and gain experience. If this deal hadn’t existed (and if I wasn’t able to take out a small loan from Navy Federal), I wouldn’t have been able to afford the surgery. TLC wanted to see if my eyesight had stabilized and stayed the same from June. In order to get the procedure, you have to show that your eyes have leveled out and aren’t still changing. During this appointment it was also decided that LASIK would be the better surgery, which I was happy about because it has a faster recovery time than PRK, which is more painful during post-op recovery.

 

December 21st: The day that the Maya thought the world was going to end. While they were wrong in a post-apocolyptic sense, this was the end of a world for me; a world where I would have to wear glasses or contacts. I showed up at TLC around 1030 that day, and they checked my vision one more time before they gave me some Valium to relax me. I took off my eyeglasses for the last time and handed them to the nurse. She then put a bunch of numbing and antibacterial eye drops in my eyes while having me sit in an easy chair. I sat there for around 30 minutes to let the effects of the Valium settle in, and was radiating both nervousness and excitement. I was nervous because I was about to have my eyes cut open, but excited because this would be the end of glasses since kindergarten and the beginning to the road to getting into flight school. Eventually, I was asked to stand up and walk into the operating room. They laid me down on an operating chair, handed me a stuffed puppy, and told me to close one eye and open the other. The surgeon asked me my name and what surgery I was getting to confirm that I knew what was about to happen. He then proceeded to clamp my eyelids open and put the suction ring on my right eye, where my vision grayed out, which was the scariest part. It’s supposed to happen though. A few seconds later, the flap had been cut by a laser and another laser started to correct my vision. I could smell my eye burning, which was funny. Then the flap for the eye was sealed and the left eye was operated on. The procedure took less than 5 minutes. Afterwards, the doctors checked that both flaps had sealed correctly and told me to close my eyes on the car ride home and take a nap immediately upon returning home. I wore sunglasses the rest of the day because my eyes were super sensitive to light.

 

December 22: My first post-op appointment, this time still with TLC because the IU clinic wasn’t open for a weather reason. My eyes felt a lot better than the day before too. The doctors checked my vision, and I had 20/20 in my right eye! My left eye was 20/60, but I had been told before that it would take longer for my left eye to be fully corrected. I left feeling pretty ecstatic about these improvements.

 

December 26: Second post-op exam. I was told that my eyes were improving, and that I could stop taking some of the steroid eye drops that I had been given. Right eye was now seeing 20/15!!! Left eye had improved to 20/40 uncorrected, 20/20 corrected. Left the IU clinic feeling extremely happy.

 

Now I have my 30 day post-op appointment coming up soon, and I’m excited to see how much more my left has improved. I’ll go back to the IU clinic over my leave periods so that they can observe my eyes again as well. This surgery has easily been one of the best investments I’ve ever made, and I feel like finally have a shot at my dreams of flight.

 

Want to ask me more about eye surgery while one is a cadet, or flight school? Feel free to email at Samuel.J.Keith@uscga.edu.

 



More about Jordan.

 

A Coastie Abroad

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link
Nolan Photo Every once in a great while now I find myself writing a blog entry; it doesn’t happen as frequently as it once did, and perhaps this is for the best. The purpose of these blogs are supposed to be to inspire applicants to take a good hard look at the Academy itself and what they are signing up for. At this point in my cadet career, I am more than four years distant from where those applicants are. A lot has changed in four years, and while I try and keep a hand involved with Admissions especially via serviceacademyforums.com, I feel as though it is somehow right that I am letting the younger cadets write more, rather than inundating the site with my writings. I feel at this point in my cadet career, as I approach my last semester, that I may also have become a tad jaded and so it is only fitting that my blog this time concerns little to do with the Academy itself, but rather with the fun things that you have a chance to do while on leave.

 

This year, like last, I traveled over 28 hours home to visit my family stationed in Okinawa, Japan. The flight was long as usual but I was more than happy to get home, kick back, relax and enjoy some family time. I spent my first few days touring the island, making my family do all the touristy stuff that nobody does when they live there: we went scuba diving, visited the aquarium on the northern end of the Island, went beach combing, swimming and just hung out. This year was a mirror of last year, with one small exception: this year my family decided to take a vacation during my leave… to Australia. Six days into my time at home my family packed up four suitcases and headed down to the airport, boarded a plane with 13 other Americans going on the tour and flew to Sydney, Australia via Taipei, Taiwan. I spent five amazing days in Sydney, including Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I walked around the Opera House, toured the Rocks and Quay, hiked in the blue mountains and explored as many nooks and crannies of downtown Sydney that I could. During this time I even got a chance to pet a koala! It was an adventure and a half.

 

Following those days in Sydney, I had the opportunity to spend some time up north in Brisbane, Australia. I traveled to the Steve Irwin Australia Zoo and saw some of the Australian rain forest. It was a nice end to my time in the Southern Hemisphere and on the 30th of December, I flew back to Okinawa Japan to end my time at home and my leave.

 

The Academy is fine, but what really makes this four years great is the things you do on leave. With the little time you have away, it’s important to always remember to make that time special and memorable, and there’s no better way to do that than to explore the world with your family.

 



More about Stephen.

 

Back to My Roots

(Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Wu Photo We were so fortunate to have a longer winter leave this year. The extra days allowed me to go back to Taiwan with my mom and enjoy a week and a half there before spending some time at home and then eventually coming back to the Academy. I was so relieved to be done with finals and excited to see all my relatives since the last time I had an opportunity to visit them was back in 2005!

 

It took a 13-hour direct flight to get from New York to Taiwan and once we landed, my mom and I got our luggage and headed over to my aunt’s house to surprise her! Neither my mom’s side nor my dad’s side of the family knew that I was coming back this winter break. To them nothing seemed out of the ordinary since my parents travel back to Taiwan annually. It was so nice to see the smiles on my relatives’ faces and the shock that I put them in by not telling them my winter plans earlier. All of my aunts, uncles, my two grandmothers, and grandfather still look the same, however my cousins have grown so much since the last time I was in Taiwan. It was amazing to think back and remember the time my cousins and I would fight over who was taller. Now that two of my boy cousins have gone through their growth spurt, I am left tilting my head back in order to look at them while we caught up.

 

Aside from getting to see all my relatives again, I loved spending time with my mom. Being at the Academy and away from home really makes me miss my family and the trip to Taiwan gave me time to spend with my mom, walking down memory lane and listening to all her childhood stories. I got to learn so much more about her and really appreciate having parents like my mom and dad. This trip also showed me where my parents got some of their traits; it was so interesting to see my grandparents, aunts, and uncle act in similar manners as my parents!

 

I realized that being at the Academy can be a little rough at times and amongst the uniforms and military lifestyle, you can really start to lose yourself. Ever since I have been here, my Mandarin has gotten worse, which is natural since I do not get to be around my parents, and speak to them on a daily basis. The trip to Taiwan could not have come at a better time since I got to really learn more about not only my mom and my relatives but about myself. I became fluent in Mandarin again when I went back and I got to spend time with my family, learning from my elders about Taiwan and about being Taiwanese American.

 



More about Ellie.

 

Bittersweet

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Corcoran Photo Coming back to the Academy after winter leave gave me a very bittersweet feeling. While I wanted to come back to school to do something more productive with my time, leaving my friends and family was sad. We have been kept very occupied with all of our military obligations since our return, however, because of all of our hard work this week, the Corps of Cadets have been granted a long weekend. Unfortunately, I know people involved in winter sports will all be staying at the Academy due to all of the games and meets tomorrow. Personally, I have an indoor track and field meet at fifth deck Roland tomorrow. I am excited to start my college track career, however also very nervous due to an illness I am trying to overcome right now. Hopefully I do not come in last…

 

I had a wonderful time at home in Pennsylvania over leave. I received plenty of rest, saw old high school friends, and spent a lot of time with my family. I realized how quickly time flies by when my brother proposed to his girlfriend on Christmas Eve. It seems like just yesterday we were little kids fighting over who got to sit in the front seat on the way home. My brother also aided in the addition to the new member of the Corcoran family. No, it was not a person, it was a new kitten! Since our outdoor cat, Mr. Brown, ran away, my brother bought my mom a new kitten named Olive. Any time I laid down on the couch, she would cuddle herself up on my chest.

 

While this semester will definitely be a challenge, I am ready for the challenge this time. I know what to do and what to expect so I am hoping for success this semester.

 



More about Samantha.

 

Surprisingly Excited to Get Back to the Old Grind

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Carani Photo All things must come to an end, and winter leave is no exception. Although it is always hard to say goodbye to good friends, delicious food, and great family, as I look back on all that I did over my winter leave, I can return to the Academy with a smile on my face. I was blessed to be able to enjoy the longest winter break that the U.S. Coast Guard Academy has ever had, thanks to the way that the school year scheduling worked out, and because of the way that Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fell (so I’m sorry, but any prospective cadets reading this, don’t expect a 3 ½ week break…). Breaks at home always fly by, and when I return to the Academy, it always feels like I never left. However, reflecting upon everything that I did at home over the break, I can definitely say that I took advantage of my time away. I was able to do a lot of cooking, baking, working out, and I even went ice skating for the first time ever! I also attended several of my younger brother’s high school basketball games, which was definitely one of the highlights of being home. In addition to all of that, I was also able to spend some quality time with my other older brother, my parents, friends from high school, all of my cousins, aunts, and uncles (and there’s a lot of them!), and most importantly my girlfriend and her family! Living a mere hour away from Chicago, I went downtown on three separate occasions and enjoyed the beautiful lights and snow, and got some delicious food! Definitely another one of the highlights!

 

All in all, I am happy that I can reflect upon such an action-packed winter break, and come back recharged and ready for the next semester! I am so thankful for such a supportive family that helped to make my break so memorable and special!

 

And as I look to the next semester, I am surprisingly excited for all that it holds. I was fortunate enough to be selected to represent the Coast Guard Academy and attend the Presidential Inauguration over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, so I am very much looking forward to that! In addition, the spring rowing season is always a lot of fun, and we take a spring break training trip to Florida, which will be a blast! And even though I had to pay $1,542.91 for books, I am really looking forward to using them and getting started with all of my classes this upcoming week! It’s going to be a great semester!

 



More about Luke.

 

Coming Back After Break

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Hirst Photo While I couldn’t wait for Christmas leave, in the back of my mind I was dreading coming back. Christmas break was wonderful—it was more than three weeks of complete freedom. I was able to spend time with friends and not worry about anything. Many people told me I wouldn’t be able to relate to my friends back home but that was not true at all. Coming back, however, was very difficult. Stepping into Chase Hall was an extremely weird feeling. It was the first time squaring, greeting, and maintaining brace for almost a month. It’s tough being back, but I know the next few months of fourth class year will go by quickly just like the first semester. In the end, this place is definitely worth everything you have to put up with. While some days may not be the best, there is absolutely nowhere else I’d rather be.

 

Good luck to all those applying as you make the biggest decision yet! Feel free to email any questions!

 

Townshend.F.Hirst@uscga.edu 

 



More about Townshend.

 

So…Who’s Excited to be Back?!

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo ME!!! Kinda. Okay, not really, but you know what—in the Coast Guard, as in real life, you deal with it and move on. It’s tough love, but sometimes you need it. Anyway, the Academy is dishing out some tough love to make up for a nice long break away.

 

Christmas break was a great chance to slow down, read a few books, catch up with friends and family, and enjoy life. I really needed it too. Despite popular belief (aka mine), you cannot operate at 110% output for 100% of the time, and expect to have 100% operational ability. So I was rather stressed and burnt out by the end of last semester. But I used Christmas break to slow down—sleep a bit, finish some good books, and eat lots of Christmas cookies. I realize now that I need to temper my expectations; therefore I will try to be more relaxed this semester. Anyway, enough about New Year’s resolutions… I spent most of my time eating peppermint bark, talking to my sister and parents, and watching “Downton Abbey” in our cozy playroom. Then, right after Christmas, we went to Corpus Christi, Texas, to visit the USS Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium. Both were fun—I think that the dolphins at the aquarium trained the trainers, instead of the other way around. Then I went to Orlando for the FOCUS SEEK 2013 conference. There, I reignited my Catholic faith and found an intellectual basis for what I believe. I must say, it’s hard to believe around here sometimes. Anyway, lots of fun…

 

Now I’m back, for better or worse. And I’m missing the season premiere of “Downton Abbey!” NOOOOOO! I love that show—I highly recommend it. Anyway, tomorrow it will not be my birthday anymore, and we will be back in the swing of things here.

 

Email me at Peter.M.Driscoll@uscga.edu if you need someone to talk to about the Academy in the New Year!

 



More about Peter.

 

2012: A Year to Remember

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo WELCOME BACK! I just got back to the Academy today after a too-short winter break. The past three and a half weeks went by so quickly. Honestly, now that I’m back, it’s really hard to remember that I just spent three weeks at home. I had a lot of fun, I spent time with my family, made Christmas cookies, went to the All Academies Ball, and celebrated the end of an amazing 2012 and the start of 2013.

 

As I reflect back on 2012, I think about all the amazing things I’ve done. I was accepted to the Academy, I graduated high school, completed Swab Summer, climbed to the top of the mast on USCGC Eagle, and finished my first semester at USCGA. 2012 will be a year to remember for me. But now I’m looking forward to getting back to business in my second semester here at the Academy. I’m looking forward to starting school and beginning to earn back some privileges and finally get on our way to becoming 3rd class! But for that – the class of 2016 has a battle ahead of them.

 

We have to continue doing our 4/c things, doing well in school, and now, studying for boards. Boards are an indoctrination exam that all 4/c must take beginning in March. We must study about 40 pages of information, of which anything could be asked of us. Once we pass this, we are on our way to becoming 3/c!

 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with family and friends. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to email me at Kayla.M.Ellis@uscga.edu!

 



More about Kayla.

 

Making it Meaningful – A Reflection on First Semester

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo Even though I’m a little late in writing this I want to wish everyone happy and safe holiday season before I begin. So, Happy Holidays!!

 

Having completed the first semester of my third class year, I believe a reflection on the past three and a half months is in order. This past semester was difficult; I faced challenges that I hadn’t expected. I didn’t feel as comfortable as I did last year. Classes were difficult, and I had to work harder at them. I was in positions of leadership in extracurricular activities, and I expected results that I didn’t see materialize. During the semester, I labeled it as a frustrating one. Now that I’ve completed it—now that I’ve made it through the valley—I can still look back at the semester and feel proud for what I accomplished and what I did not.

 

I may have lost some of that shiny-eyed freshman wonder, but I am still happy where I am. As I returned home and went to holiday parties, everyone asked how I “liked the Academy.” I answered that, despite the difficult semester, I loved it. Most importantly, I would not want to be anywhere else. I would rather be “roughing it” at the Academy than sailing by, content and complacent at another school.

 

I have come to realize that importance in my professional and personal development of these not-so-easy times. First, they remind me that I’m still alive and feeling. It’s like they told us during Swab Summer: If you’re in pain then you know you’re still alive. Second, and more importantly, it doesn’t allow me to be complacent. My difficult situation (and I remind you that difficult is a relative term—difficult compared to last year) has inspired and encouraged me to strive for improvement; improvement in my personal life and at the Academy in general. I have a fire, a passion, to work harder to see change and to see improvement.

 

I’m excited to return this January as a leader in the Sustainability Club and to begin making a difference at the Academy. In Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF), we are preparing for another semester of growing in the faith, fellowshipping, and studying the Bible—in short, changing lives. This semester we, the third class cadets (class of 2015), shall be developing military in preparation to become cadre this coming summer.

 

This semester is going to be exciting. I know I shall face challenges and frustrations, but my outlook on such matters has changed. I am prepared to tackle them head-on and allow them to fuel me, so without further ado, let’s get started!

 

Have a great 2013!

 



More about Justin.

 

And a Happy New Year

(Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo Room restrictions at the Academy are strict, but that doesn't mean fun doesn't dabble into my triple. After the formal room and wing inspection December 1st, the corps was permitted to decorate inside dorm rooms. In my room we hung lights and wrapped our door in candy cane striped paper. My roommates Caroline and Allie helped to create holiday messages, a wish list, and a letter to Santa, which we taped to the door. Though final exams were tough, the holiday spirit in addition to 4th earned privilege of modified carry-on, made for an exceptionally strong finish of first semester.

 



More about Sarah.

 

Vegetarian Alert

(Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo The Academy, like any college, is a place to try new things: I would not recommend, however, becoming a vegetarian to be on your list. Particularly as a fourth class not looking at your food complicates meal choices, except when snacking in your room. Dietary restrictions are accommodated by the dining hall, or wardroom, but it is up to the cadet to vocalize their request. My boyfriend, a NROTC midshipman at civilian school, and I decided to compete against one another to see who could last as a vegetarian longer. As a self elected vegetarian, I chose to pick and choose at family style meals and head directly to the salad bar at buffet style dinners. It was not particularly difficult to adjust to the new diet, but ultimately peer pressure from my meat loving roommates and a Subway 6" meatball dropped off by my mom drove me back to a carnivorous lifestyle. My recommendation to any vegetarians from this experience is to stick with your beliefs from the beginning and make your requests known. To any aspiring dieters or lettuce munchers, the Academy is probably not the time to start.

 



More about Sarah.

 

A Breakfast in Uniform

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo As a local Connecticut cadet I have the opportunity to visit home often, at least two times a month. While it is a complication not to be able to drive or wear civilian clothing while less than 75 miles of the Academy, it is a treat to leave the campus and act more human. At home I enjoy blaring music, conversing freely with my friends, and especially looking at my food. Over a recent break my grandfather took me out to a townie breakfast spot for an enjoyable meal and the most surprising thing took place - someone anonymously paid for our meal. Looking at my meal was unexpected; having it paid for was mind boggling. My grandfather and I asked the waitress who we could thank, but unfortunately the couple had already left. As a young and very new member of the military it is an honor to see an example of such respect in my life and comforting to know that support comes in all kinds.

 



More about Sarah.

 

Hello 2013!

(Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Duplessis Photo Happy holidays and New Year to everyone! I am so happy to be home spending the break with my friends and family. It’s amazing to be relieved of the stress and work that comes with Academy life. I do not think I have woken up before 10:00 a.m. more than twice this winter leave, and it feels fantastic.

 

I haven’t done that much this break, but I was lucky enough to get invited to a holiday party for retired officers at the Coast Guard Station in Boston. I went with a family friend who is a retired Navy commander and captain. It was really fun and a great opportunity to hear the anecdotes of those who served before me. They all had hilarious stories as well as unbelievable ones that I learned from. I also got to go to the All Academy Holly Ball for all of the service academies, which was held in Boston. Needless to say, the CGA cadets ripped up the dance floor. It was so much fun, and I’ll definitely be going back next year!

 

I can’t believe it’s already 2013, and halfway through my 3/c (sophomore) year at the Academy. I had a pretty good first semester, and I’m looking forward to the next one. The 4/c in my company are truly impressive and optimistic, which really brings the entire company’s morale up, so I hope it stays that way again for this coming year!

 



More about Lindsay.

 

One More Down

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Townsend Photo Another semester has flown by at the Coast Guard Academy, which seems to be a common occurrence here. I feel like my last two years here have gone by so quickly, which is sort of a bittersweet feeling. In some ways it is good because we are all so much closer to becoming commissioned officers in the Coast Guard, but at the same time it is gloomy because it means some of the best times of are lives are going to become the past. That is why I plan on making the most of the next year and a half that I have at the Academy.

 

As for right now though I am at home on leave spending time with my family. The Coast Guard prides itself on how family-oriented they are and it truly shows when we are given almost four weeks to spend with our families and friends from home. I plan on relaxing for the majority of this break and catching up on some much needed sleep. I look forward to returning to the Academy for another semester but as for now I am going to enjoy my time at home relaxing with my family.

 



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Life of a Cadet Home for Break!

(Just for Fun) Permanent link
Belanger Photo So it the night before Christmas and all through my house, everyone is making noise even my dog with his toy mouse. It has been exactly 12 days since I have been home and I cannot believe how much I have not done yet! So far I was able to go and visit my old JROTC unit and try to inspire them to look into the academies. Then I got to catch up with my old paintball friends. Let me say that it seems like nothing has changed since I have left! I am actually almost surprised with everyone. The academy has given me so many opportunities to do so many different things! From the different races I have run in, the Tough Mudder, and the trip to New York for the Veterans Day Parade. I have done so much at the Academy, it is so amazing! The next week, I was able to go shooting with my old Sergeant from my ROTC unit, ice skating and just relaxing with my friends. It has been such a nice time relaxing for the holidays!

 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate! Nathan.D.Belanger@uscga.edu.

 



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All Service Academy Ball!

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Belanger Photo Well it has been two weeks since I have been home from the Academy for my first Christmas break and I can’t believe I am ready to go back to school. I love being home and seeing my friends and family but I am ready to get this next semester over and done with! Since I have been home I was invited to the All Service Academy Ball located at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine about 30 minutes from my house. It was definitely an awesome experience. Being able to meet cadets at the other service academies was amazing and kind of creepy hearing how similar yet so different everything is. After walking in, my family and I were swept away into the photo room to get our group photo taken then we were able to mingle with the other families there. It was nice running into the other CGA cadets. It made me feel like I was at home. (Yes, I say the Academy is home now; I have reached that stage.) The other 4/c had the same feeling being home that I did. We have drifted from a lot of our friends and we just want to get back to our life at the Academy!

 

Around 7:30 all of the cadets lined up to walk in where they announced our names and school while everyone just watched us. It was a different experience but I felt proud representing the Coast Guard Academy! We were then able to sit down and begin with our meal. I sat next to a freshman from West Point. It was nice being able to talk to him and explain what our school is like. It seems a lot of families do not understand what we do. They think we are our own little world. It is almost funny! After the keynote speaker dancing began until all hours of the night. It was a great experience and I cannot wait to do it again next year!

 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate! Nathan.D.Belanger@uscga.edu.

 



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My Current Priorities in Life

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Miller Photo One of the things I do when I have nothing else better to do is change the Jersey Shore reality show’s GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry) into something that kind of reflects my priorities in life.

 

For example, during Finals Week it was GSE—Gym, Study, Eat. The nice thing about finals at the Academy is that your only focus is finals, and during finals you have no military obligations and no sports practices. So a typical day would be me going to work out, possibly with a textbook to study from, then going back and eating, possibly with a textbook to study from, and then, when I felt motivated enough, studying. Since you have to focus on studying at some point, though, I spent a ton of time studying. But I was also able to hang out with friends, which was nice.

 

And now, during break, it’s GSE—Gym, Sleep, Eat.

 

We have about three and a half weeks of break this year, and it’s about half over now. It’s gone by slow, almost. It’s the first winter break in a while that I haven’t been working (you’re not allowed to work as a student of the Coast Guard Academy) and just because I’m so used to being busy, it’s hard to embrace the extra relaxation. I’ve been able to see a lot of friends from high school though, and I’m meeting up with a bunch of friends from the Academy for New Year’s Eve, which will be fun.

 

And since this my December blog post, I realized I should mention another big part of December—the Holiday Formal. Since a picture says a thousand words, I posted a picture showing a few of us in our outfits for it—they look wonderful, don’t they? (not).

 

As always, if you have any questions, feel free email me at Caroline.Miller1@uscga.edu!

 



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