I haven’t blogged in quite a while, so I’ll just go over some of the programs from this past summer, a summer that I consider to be one of the best in my life. As you can see this is a huge turn around from a year and a half ago where I almost left; just thought I should mention that.
Range Week: This was a pretty decent week. The only goal was to the qualified in pistol and earn another ribbon, which I can say that I did. However the downside was that many people got to shoot more than once while the people who did well the first time only got to shoot one time. It would have been nice to try and get expert, but there’s nothing I can really do about it.
Marine Safety Training Program: So this week we stayed a week at Sector New York and accompanied some officers, warrant officers, and enlisted members during inspections. It was really interesting because it’s a side of the Coast Guard that not many people know very much about. I came out deciding I wanted to go to a sector and go down that career path but now I may be thinking otherwise. We did inspections on barges where we went down in the tanks and looked for cracks or other imperfections; smaller personal sailing boats that held around 50 people; and bulk carriers. This was definitely one of the highlights of my summer.
Rules of the Road: This is basically school in the middle of the summer to learn about the rules whenever you’re out on a boat. Not much I can say, school in the summer is not fun. I passed and that’s all that matters.
T-Boats: Not one of my favorite weeks. We learned ship handling on the big black boats sitting in the Academy’s backyard. The program was a bit slow, although I did learn some new things, which I guess this is what this is all about.
Coastal Sail!!!!: Hands down, up to this point, this was the best two weeks of my Academy career. I learned more about leadership and followership, had more fun, and went to more new places than I had the previous two years. Basically coastal sail is a program where you leave the Academy on a sailboat with 4 to 6 classmates and a safety officer and sail to different parts of New England. We made stops in Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Hyannis, Newport, and a couple of other different places. Anyway, we left for two weeks and only used the motor a handful of times so it was pretty cool to be able to get from place to place only using the wind. If you make it to this point, this is something to really get excited about.
Prep Week: We cleaned rooms in preparation for the AIMsters… that’s it.
Cadre: So I know I said that coastal sail was the best two weeks of my Academy career. This was true up until the point that I became AIM cadre. I thought sailing was fun but it was a lot of fun being cadre. I honestly can’t think of the words to describe the experience. I had some really good friends that I worked alongside, including a classmate that was in the same AIM company as me. The best way I could describe this would be to say that it is as fun as it looks, plus add some more and that’s what you have.
So, leave flew by as quickly as it always does, I spent time with family and friends and I’m looking forward to the next time I get to see everyone again. If you have any questions feel free to email me Spencer.M.Zwenger@uscga.edu.
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