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cadet blogs

Balancing Life

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo It’s that time of year again, the leaves are changing and the air is getting chilly. These past few weeks have been crazy. I cannot believe that I am already halfway through my first semester. I have been so busy with sailing and academics and the military stuff that time has almost literally flown by.


Sailing has been great! I’ve gone to a regatta every weekend, so I’ve traveled from St Mary’s College of Maryland to Dartmouth! I’ve had so much fun with the team and I’ve learned a lot too. We are doing well, at the moment the women’s team is in 15th in the nation. We have a lot of fun planned, like dressing up at practice and carving pumpkins! We are also working hard since we have our qualifiers soon.


Academically, the Academy has been fairly easy for me. However, I am always busy doing homework and studying. I get a lot of help from my classmates and my teachers; everyone is really willing to help here. I can’t believe that I’m halfway through the semester. I am already counting down the days to go until Thanksgiving. And only a week after that I have Christmas leave! It will be nice to have a break; it will be my first real break since June!


Here in Chase Hall, everything is going well. All of us 4/c’s are doing our fourth class stuff. We are squaring our corners and meals, and yelling indoc at clocks, and making sure our uniforms look good. We are kept busy doing little annoying tasks, like cleaning the bathroom and taking out the trash. It isn’t hard; it just takes up our time. I just like to think about the fact that in another year, I will have so much more time since I won’t be doing these things. Also one of the perks of having to know my meals is that I can decide what I’m going to eat every day!


Needless to say, my life here at the Academy is going really well. School, sailing and military things are keeping me busy. The key is to just keep your morale up. I don’t let many things upset me because I remember where I am and how lucky I am to be here.


More about Kayla.


Officers’ Christian Fellowship and Crew

(Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Carani Photo I can’t believe how fast the first half of the semester has come and gone. I got to fly home to Illinois for Labor Day weekend and my parents came out to the Academy for Parents’ Weekend, so it’s been a good few weeks! Labor Day was nice to go home, relax, watch my brother in high school play soccer, and hang out with my girlfriend. And Parents’ Weekend was a lot of fun as my parents got to come to Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF) with me, got to see me race at the Head of the Housatonic, and I got a couple of days to hang out with them! We went to the PEZ factory in Orange, Connecticut…I didn’t even know the PEZ factory existed, but it was a lot of fun!


The weeks here fly by because you’re so busy with military trainings, classes, sports practice, and homework, but sometimes the weekends are just as busy. So far we’ve had three official races for crew and one unofficial (The Head of the Thames, my favorite because it is so local), and these races really take up a large amount of time on the weekends, but they are also the most fun parts of the week. There are two things I always look forward to with the weekend, Friday Night Fellowship with OCF, and crew regattas or just hanging out with the crew team. Even if we don’t have a race on any given weekend, we always make sure to do something as a team. Whether that means going to the beach, going out to eat, or having one of the famous crew “bro-bq’s,” there’s always something going on that I know will be a great, fun time. The best part is, whether I’ve had a good day, bad day, or bad week, and no matter what I have going on in Chase Hall, OCF is always a place where I can relax and spend time worshipping God and studying the Bible, and crew practice is always a place where I can be a normal person, and just hang out and work hard with a bunch of really good friends.


Although each year may get harder and harder as you gain more responsibility and more work, life also gets better and better as you grow closer to the friends that you make here. I don’t know what I would do without all of the great friendships that I have, especially the crew team. Even though I have awesome encouraging parents back home in Illinois, and an amazing supportive girlfriend out in Minnesota, I still need support here at the Academy, and for me that support comes from the crew team, and OCF. I’m so blessed to have all of these amazing things in my life! September was a good month, and October is shaping up to be just as great! I can’t wait for Thanksgiving!


More about Luke.


The ‘Rents Are Here

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Rossi Photo A time-honored tradition, known as Parents’ Weekend, is probably one of the best weekends here at the Academy for many reasons. The first and most obvious is because a majority of cadets get to see their families and spend time with them. Another is because of the life and enjoyment the parents bring to the Academy. It is very refreshing to interact, meet, and see the parents exploring our campus. Lastly, the best part of Parents’ Weekend is our parents get a little taste of what we go through on a day-to-day basis. After the weekend they’ll have more appreciation for what we do and will understand why we can sometimes get upset or stressed out. This is a great thing for them to experience because the next time they get a call and their cadet is having a bad day, they can give better advice and be more understanding of the circumstances. I personally find this very important because although we all like to think that we are grown up and mature adults, we still need that person to vent to. And who better to vent to than your family because they will always be there for you.


More about Michael.


In Full Swing

(Athletics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Wright PhotoThings this month have definitely been very hectic. The first weekend in September was Labor Day so my parents came and I got to spend some time with them. From the moment they left until now I have been counting down the day until I get to see them again. This upcoming weekend is Parents’ Weekend and I can’t wait to show my sister and my parents a little bit of what my life here at the Academy is like. In between the 32 days of waiting a lot has gone on here at the Academy. School has been pretty difficult and at times I feel like I am completely overwhelmed with the number of things I have going on, but the one thing I have learned is that there are an abundance of people willing to help you succeed.


With the school year getting in full swing, this month our rowing season started. To my surprise rowing is a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. I wasn’t really a fan of the sport until we had our first race last weekend. It was awesome, although we were the only college novice boat in the race we did amazing. We enjoyed telling people that we got first place. This upcoming weekend, and only our second race, we will be competing in the world’s largest one-day regatta. I’m kind of nervous but really excited to show my parents what rowing is all about and have another successful race with my teammates.


More about Jessica.


A Running Start

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Wright PhotoSo, the contrast from Swab Summer (our indoctrination summer) to now was pretty interesting. The summer flew by, the days were long but the weeks were short, that seems to be the way things go here at the Academy. I learned more than I ever thought was possible to learn in seven weeks and made some great friends. Right at the conclusion of Swab Summer we had one administrative week where we got everything we would need for the academic year and tired our best to learn how things work when the entire core came back. It was an odd adjustment, going from being told where to be every second of the day for seven weeks to operating on your own; we kind of forgot how to function independently.


Now that the school year has started, things are a lot different around the campus. It has shifted from military mode to academic mode with school work being everyone’s main priority. Being a 4/c (freshman) some of the menial tasks we are given get frustrating but I can’t help thinking that this only lasts a year and all I have to do it get through it. Despite that stuff, the Academy is a great place to be. I’m glad that this is where I ended up and look forward to the new challenge that every day brings.


More about Jessica.



(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
White PhotoWow, it’s been a busy week.


On top of writing my first few posts for the cadet blog, I had four tests this week. Luckily, I found the time to study for them and did alright on all of them. That’s one of the cool things about this place, it teaches you time management skills pretty well, whether you want to learn the lesson or not.


Well, now that this week is over, I can start thinking about the next week. This month is the Windjammer’s trip to the “Big E,” New England’s fair. We will be representing the Academy by playing pieces of our show and leading the parade. Of course, we’ll have some down time afterwards to enjoy the event because all work and no play makes me tired. I went to this event last year and had a blast. Everyone there was very appreciative of our country’s servicemen and women and made sure we were all having a good time. It was a good motivator and reminder to keep reaching to become an officer. I can’t wait to go again.


Next week isn’t looking too bad. I have a few more tests again, but none are going to be that daunting. I know when I have time to study, what needs to be done and, of course, my shipmates to help me out if I need it.


I’ll talk to you all again next month. Go Bears!


More about James.


Managing My Time

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2016) Permanent link
 Trefonides PhotoThe friends I’ve made here at the Academy during my first month are great. Playing soccer and being a part of the team – great. The pizza and chocolate milk – great. My instructors, aside from only a couple – great. But my first month in general – just alright.


Adjusting to school work has been tough for me. Academics in high school were never really a big issue, but here, and I’m sure any college as well, coursework is a lot more rigorous. Finding enough time to do homework has been a struggle, and unfortunately I usually end up having to do homework and study during the time when I wish I could be sleeping. I am getting pretty good grades, but I have to work on finding a way to manage my time so that I can get good grades and enough sleep, too.


Still, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Cadets here are working toward receiving a reputable Bachelors of Science degree and a commission as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. I’m always busy, but this is my job and I am getting paid to be here, so I can’t complain. The way I like to think of it is that at some point I had to get my act together and start working toward something, so why not now. I figured joining the military is a pretty good way to make that happen and get right into a career, and the Coast Guard is an awesome service.


To any prospective cadets reading, I invite you to email me at The cadet blogs had a sufficient impact on me when I was applying, so feel free to shoot me an email and I will promptly answer any questions you may have.


More about Nick.


Women’s Rugby

(Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
 Sutschek PhotoThe 2012 rugby season kicked off this weekend when we played Hartford University. We won the game 41-5; a great start to the season! Rugby, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the sport, is similar to football except that you can only pass the ball backwards. Another key difference is that rugby players don’t typically wear a lot of padding, which is one of the many reasons it is superior to football. Thus, I forgot how sore I was going to be on Sunday. Nevertheless, rugby is an exciting sport that I encourage everyone to try.


Though we have gotten our first game out of the way, our season will continue through most of October and possibly into November. This means that by the time I get back from practice, shower, and eat dinner, it may be as late as 7:30 (or 1930 for those so inclined). My class schedule also requires me to use my time wisely. I only have one period off throughout the day.


In high school, I procrastinated on just about everything. But no matter how late I would put things off, I usually did pretty well and I still got to bed at a decent hour. The same can’t be said about the Academy. If I procrastinate on homework, studying, etc., the work quickly piles up and becomes unmanageable. Oftentimes, my physical state after rugby practice leaves me disinclined to do any of my schoolwork. But my academic struggles last year made me realize that I can’t afford to procrastinate like I have in the past. My sleep and my academic record are much too valuable.


No matter how hard you try to fight it, you will have to become proficient at managing your time if you come here.


More about Kyle.


Settling Back In

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Simon PhotoIt’s hard to believe that September is nearly over, and I’ve been back at the Academy for more than a month. Settling back into the routine of academics, athletics, and all of my military obligations was rough after coming back from summer leave, but I’m finally back in the swing of things.


We had our first crew regatta last weekend. It was at Mystic Seaport (not very far from the USCGA), and the boat that I was the coxswain for came in first place in the Women’s Open Four category. It was great to bond with my teammates and cheer everyone on. I’m looking forward to our next regatta in Hartford at the end of the month. I’m hoping that the CGA crew will have great success there!


I also did color guard at our second regimental review a few weeks ago. It was incredibly nerve-wracking and fun.


Being a third class is significantly better than being a fourth class. It’s great being able to have a conversation with my friends in the passageways and look at my food during meals. I also really enjoy being a role model for my fourth class, and making sure that he is prepared and all of his questions are answered. I’m in Foxtrot Company, and I love it! All of the members of Trot have been so friendly and welcoming, and I’m proud to be a member of the Foxtrot family. Parents’ Weekend is in two weeks, and I can’t wait to see my family.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me at Go Bears!


More about Lili.


Wait! I Am a 3c?!

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Rossi PhotoThus another academic year begins. Coming back to the Academy as a 3rd class is much easier than it was a 4th class. No more squaring, orderlies, or sounding off clocks, which gives individuals more time to accomplish their schoolwork. However, sometimes complacency can creep in and reflect in a cadet’s GPA. A major goal of mine this semester is to not allow that happen to me. To prevent this, I have been keeping a list of all the tasks I need to be completed along with the dates they are due. This helps me plan ahead and also prioritize.


The biggest responsibility I have inherited as a 3rd class is looking out and being a role model for the 4th class. Each 3rd class has their own individual 4th class, but we as whole need to set a good example and lead every 4th class down the road to success. I was very fortunate to have great 3rd class last year and wish to do the same for my 4th class this upcoming year. After all, someday in the fleet we, everyone at the Academy right now, will be at the same rank during some point and it is wise to have a positive relationship with everyone, including those who may currently be below you.


More about Michael.


Welcome to the Corps!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
 Roesch PhotoWell, Swab Summer 2012 is finally over and the class of 2016 is officially part of the USCGA Corps! As crazy as it sounds, Swab Summer flew by! The summer was a pretty awesome experience. I learned so much about myself, teamwork, and leadership. Not to mention Eagle was an interesting experience, to say the least. Oh yeah, it was tough and tiring, but I’m so glad to have all of those memories and experiences behind me. How many people my age can say they did what I did over their summer break?


Now the school year is here and the atmosphere has done a complete shift. Now, academics are the most important thing, so studying, studying, and more studying is just about all I do! Just kidding – the Academy is so much more than just studying. Yes, grades are of utmost importance, but there are so many opportunities here to get out and have some fun. Even as a 4/c I have had some pretty fun times amidst all the homework. Getting involved in clubs and sports is a must here – it’s a good break from all the work. I recently started swimming and having Glee Club practices. Already I am going on a trip with the Glee Club to sing for a 9/11 Memorial. I am excited for all the upcoming events this semester and will keep you all updated. As always, email me if you have any questions or just want to know about the Academy or 4/c life: 


Semper Paratus and Go Bears!


More about Allie.

Typical Sunday Night

(Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Miller PhotoIt’s currently 2011, or 8:11 p.m., on a Sunday night, and I’m spending it the way I spend most Sunday nights—doing homework. I always tell myself to actually do homework in advance, but on most Friday nights there’s an activity and on Saturday I always end up going out with friends.


Even though this is a military academy, we all try to have as much fun as possible. Last night some of my friends and I ended up seeing The Possession, which was decently good. Going out is nice; it kind of reminds me that there’s actual life outside of the Academy.


But even at the Academy we manage to have fun—I spent part of Friday night hanging out in a friend’s room. We spent most of the time laughing, and even though I knew friends in other colleges were probably out doing some slightly more interesting activities, it was a good time.


The same thing happened over Swab Summer, too—when we were given “personal development time” we’d all head into a room and just try and joke around and make the most of things. Just laughing and finding humor in stuff makes every situation better.


More about Caroline.


Sweet September

(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Merritt PhotoGreetings Bloggers!


Sweet September. What a great month! Apple picking is at its prime, next month our parents head up for Parents’ Weekend and Halloween is right around the corner. Plus, I can finally start using my new glade freshener spray appropriately scented “Maple Pumpkin” all in the spirit of fall. ^.^


Well, academics hit the ground running…which isn’t very surprising. As of right now, my favorite courses are Morals, Ethics and Political Philosophy and Principles of American Government. I’ll admit there is a bit of bias—after all I am a Government major. There’s more to it than that I swear. For example, in “Morals” recently, we’ve been discussing Socrates (via Plato’s writings about him). Discussions have made my mind churn more about what I truly believe, and how morality plays into my life and will affect my future both in the Coast Guard and civilian lives. With this, closely behind in my “most liked” courses are Nautical Science II and Ships. Those courses definitely stray from my major, but like Morals, they are helping me develop into a future officer in the service, which really can’t be beat.


School activity wise, Genesis Council has perked up and we’ve already had one excusal, 4/c Meet and Greet and our Six Flags trip is coming up (so excited!!). Also, this past weekend, I was fortunate enough (thanks to a swift special request) to go the Millennium Campus Conference hosted on Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. There, ideas for how to combat hunger, homelessness, gender equality and other various human/earth related issues were discussed in panels, by speakers and together with peers. The highlight (for me at least) was that the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Leymah Gbowee came all the way form Liberia to speak to us. Like most people, I knew of the significance of the Nobel Peace Prize, and that the people who earn it most definitely deserve it, but as she stood and spoke at the podium, I was honestly in awe of the efforts and achievements she, as another average human being, was able to accomplish through sheer will power and desire for change. Talk about a role model! (Look her up! It’s definitely worth your time…just saying).


One last thing that I’d also like to note was the pride that I felt simply waking up here at USCGA on September 11th. Thinking about where I was when I was younger, with my father still being enlisted then, I couldn’t help but feel a sense pride in my service and my choice to join it as well as pride for the service of the various departments that went to the relief during and after the tragedy. Truly, I am even more proud to be an American since that day, and feel like my decision to pursue this not so easy path all because I love this country is worth it.


With that, hope you all are enjoying the month as much as I am!


Until next blog,
3/c Jalle R. Merritt


More about Jalle.


I Have High Hopes!

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Lash PhotoAlliteration aside, this year has started off really well. From my schedule, to cross country, to being with friends, I am loving it. My schedule is beyond perfect, I don’t know how it is possible, but I have every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon off! When I use the time wisely, it really takes off the workload for the evenings post cross country practice.


I really like all of my classes this year as well. I am taking Ships and Maritime Systems, Probability and Statistics, Physics I, Principles of American Government, Morals and Ethics, and…here comes the toughest one…Golf! Without all of the stress of being a 4/c (freshman) this year seems a lot easier and more enjoyable.


The best part of every day is cross country practice and the only thing better than practices are the races! This week, we had a race at UMass Dartmouth, and it was the most fun I’ve had so far this year! The course was really flat, so everyone on the team was shattering their personal records! Watching teammates cross the finish line knowing that they had beaten their best times was awesome. Personally, I ran 2 minutes and 5 seconds faster than I have ever run a course. I was amazed with my time and everyone else’s. My dad had the chance to see the race too; so having him cheer me on was really motivating. Sitting here typing about it, I’m still smiling about how swell the race was.


This leads back to the title of this entry! I’m so psyched about the rest of this season. Knowing that I can beat a personal records like that has me hungry for next week’s race. It is going to be a great season and a great year!


More about Jon.


#4cProblems Ma’am

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich PhotoI was never a fan of Twitter before coming to the Academy; however, once the school year began, I was quickly converted. That’s not to say I actually use Twitter, (considering it is against the 4/c rules) but I do use the idea of narrating my day to make light of the situation sometimes.


Starting the school year has been rocky for me, trying to balance military commitments with academics, and especially learning the required 4/c indoc material. In order to memorize three meals in advance, the days to go until graduation, the upcoming sports games, and the movies playing in theaters, I’ve tried a number of methods – writing the information dozens of times, putting the words to the tune of a song with my roommates, or trying to race my classmates to see who can say it faster. But sometimes even the most valiant efforts aren’t enough and looking up at the clock ten minutes to go until afternoon formation, I draw a complete blank. The idea behind 4/c announcing times at clocks before formations is not only to practice their memorization for the fleet, but to make sure all of the upper class are on time for obligations; and so having nothing to say when others count on you is not a good feeling. Usually two or three seconds after I realize I have nothing to say, I resort to listening to my class mates up and down the hallways, sometimes even from across the quad. And this always works out fine, until an upper class, particularly one with great importance to the corps, walks by. Now keep in mind that my clock is just a few doors down from my company commander, executive officer, and the entire cadet regimental staff – and there is no scarcity in the number of passing command.


I started my clock before lunch the other day with a confident attitude; I had studied hard and my uniform looked good and from what I could see, there was hardly anyone in the halls. Now ten minutes to go, I recited the time, the uniform of the day, the location of the formation – and before I could continue, the summer chief of staff stuck her head into the hallway. I immediately froze up, only attracting more attention and drawing other upper class to join her in staring across the hall at me. I continued to mutter something about breakfast, lunch, and almost made it to dinner, before she asked me if I was nervous. At this point I turned away from the clock to respond, “yes, ma’am”. She laughed, and described my anxiety as a “#4/cProblem”. While she hadn’t spared me from doing the clock, she did help me to laugh at myself and remember that from the outside, some Academy training and most of freshmen year are absolutely Twitter worthy. From that point on, clocks have become easier and when I freeze up, I find something to laugh about, think of what I might post next year when I am allowed to use Twitter, and just keep going.


More about Sarah.


Coast Guard Crew

(Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Kloo PhotoOne of my favorite parts of Academy life is rowing for the CGA crew team. I didn’t have a chance to play sports in high school, and when I applied here I was looking for something to fill that gap. I had heard a lot about rowing from people at home, and I decided it was something worth trying. I had no rowing experience whatsoever, which was fine because all but one of the freshmen had never rowed either. With help from the exceptional coaching staff, I was out on the water in just two weeks. Fast forward a year later and here I am still rowing. I can’t picture myself doing anything else. It is a both a mental and physical challenge that nothing else compares to. You push your mind against your pain tolerance and your body to its physical limit. To make it more challenging, all that needs to be done at the exact same time as seven other guys for about six and a half minutes. The teamwork required by eight people to move a 60-foot boat is unmatched, even one person with a small error can cause the entire boat to become unstable, and the whole boat suffers.


Because teamwork is such a critical part of rowing, you build close bonds with everyone on the team. For example, each Friday night after practice, we stay around afterward, barbeque, and just hang out. Rowing provides an escape from the stresses of life at the CGA, and something that I could not do without.


More about Alex.


First Impressions

(Academics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Hirst PhotoBefore coming here, I knew the academics would be difficult. While I accepted this fact, a small part of me believed it would be just like high school. Well, I guessed wrong. Unlike a typical college, the professors here assign homework and grade it for correctness. If you can imagine, this adds a significant amount of time to homework as the answers ought to be correct. On top of that added difficulty, I usually have at least three subjects of work every night. It’s a lot of homework—something I didn’t really expect. Every week I have the great intentions of getting ahead, but when the weekend rolls around, the last thing I want to do is homework.


I say all this not to complain, but to inform you of my first impressions after just experiencing high school. The teachers here are extremely helpful and are more approachable than those in my high school. While the academics are difficult, they are worth it. No matter how hard things may be, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Just think about the opportunities here…how could you pass them up?


Semper paratus,
4/C Townshend Hirst


More about Townshend.


A Little Hectic

(Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Hazen PhotoFirst month of school down and it’s good to be back. Things have been a little hectic, with the workload and the transition to new regulations, but my shipmates are always there to make things better.


The last few weekends I have been away with the triathlon club, racing in various places. The tri team won the Commander and Chief Division at Nation’s Tri in Washington, D.C. The race venue was incredible. We biked into Maryland and ran right through the National Mall. This last weekend (15/16 Sep 2012) there were two tris. Half of our team competed in a small locate race in Cedar Lake, Connecticut and the other half went out to camp in Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts. Both races went extremely well. We are now focusing on our big race – the Mighty Man – in Long Island, New York.


I am getting excited about the fall season as the weather starts cooling down. The month of October isn’t only Halloween, but also Parent’s Weekend! I can’t wait to see my parents and show them all the progress I’ve made just this semester. I’m really looking forward to the nice fall weather and football games!


More about Mary.


Life Since Joining The Academy

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis PhotoIt’s crazy to think that only a few months ago I had just graduated high school and was preparing for the day that would change my life forever, R-Day. I was anxiously anticipating that day and once it finally came, it was the most nerve racking day of my life. Then came the seven weeks of Swab Summer, which are a complete blur to me now. All the days seemed to blend together, we were always moving – from reveille in the morning to taps at night. Swab Summer was a mental game. You just have to keep a positive attitude, even when it’s really tough, in order to succeed. Don’t dwell on the negative things that occur, but learn from them. I just kept thinking about why I wanted to come here and I thought about it every day. Swab Summer is meant to be challenging, but not impossible.


At the end of Swab Summer, I went aboard Eagle. It was easily one of the best experiences I have ever had. One night I had the 2000 to 2400 watch, I was the lookout on the bow. We were the only people for miles, all I could see was the stars and the rigging. The stars were the brightest I have ever seen them. Another day I had the 0400 to 0800 watch to check on the rigging. That morning I got to see a beautiful sunrise. There was a light fog and not a puff of breeze anywhere. The ocean was like glass – I had never seen it that flat in my life. On the last day, at sunset, I climbed all the way to the royals (the very top of the mast), even though I am really scared of heights. It was the absolute most memorable thing I have ever done. I am so glad that I accepted my appointment to the Academy so that I could do such amazing things. Attending the Academy is easily the best decision I have ever made.


More about Kayla.


Boxing the Coach

(Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Effendi Photo “Push me or I’m gonna push you,” says Tom, the boxing coach. This was my first day at boxing practice and first time boxing. We were learning stances and boy did I not know what I was doing. I had been a football player and everything I had learned, to be squared up so you can drive off both legs, was a hundred percent wrong. I needed to be small and contained, balanced.


I pushed him that day, to my relief. I learned a lot on my first day of boxing. I learned how to get into the proper stance, and how to throw a punch, but most importantly, I learned to not be bashful, especially around Tom.


Tom is not a guy that beats around the bush. He comes up to you and tells you what you have wrong, not in a mean way but in the way that you know you better get it right. For me, that was not the case. I just could not get my stance right and Tom came up to me and put my hand on his chest.


Tom tells me to push him. Dumbfounded I press, unsure of what I was doing, and had no sort of movement out of Tom. He then tells me that if I didn’t push him then he was going to push me. Tom is not a small guy and I did not want to get knocked down by him, on the first day of boxing, not even in the ring.


More about Ardy.


Study, Study, Study!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Corcoran PhotoThe academic year is finally upon us all. Within the past two weeks, I have had three exams and two papers due. Cross country practices and meets plus my military obligations have made my time very limited; however, I’m starting to get more of a routine down. The Coast Guard Academy definitely is a huge difference from my little high school in Slatington (the middle of nowhere), Pennsylvania, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Speaking of which, over Labor Day Weekend, I spent my three nights of liberty away from the Academy at my house. It felt weird seeing everything for the first time since late June, but for the most part everything remained the same. It was then that I realized I’m glad I chose the Academy. I now recognize that I am a part of something way bigger than myself, even bigger than Slatington – the United States Coast Guard.


This evening we have our Regimental Review. Although our “gorilla suits” cause us to sweat like madmen, I am proud to wear those uniforms and honor those who have fought for our country. All of the fourth class had to get their pictures taken in those suits this week. While it might not be the most attractive uniform in the world, I really feel like I am a part of the Coast Guard when I wear it. Plus, I think no matter how dorky I may look in this uniform, my mom will still hang the picture over the fireplace at home.


More about Samantha.


One Year Can Make All the Difference

(Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Carani Photo Coming back from summer leave, I was nervous that all of the old feelings of homesickness and longing would come rushing back over me as I stepped back onto Academy grounds. However, as I began to walk through Chase Hall without having to brace up, a smile came upon my face as I recollected all of the memories of 4/c year, and all of the challenges that I had managed to make it through. I wasn’t smiling because these challenges were fun, but because they were over! Knowing that the hardest year was done and that I was that much closer to graduating was a comforting and amazing feeling! And although Chase Hall will never be “home” for me, at the very least it becomes easier coming back to the Academy after the first year. As you become more involved in sports, activities, clubs, and academics, you create broader and deeper friendships, friendships that can and will get you through the tough times you face at the Academy.


For me, the two biggest things that get me through the Academy are the rowing team and Officers’ Christian Fellowship. Rowing itself is a sport completely different than any other. It is not a game, but rather a fierce activity that requires intense mental and physical exertion. Due to the uniqueness of the sport, those that row create a special bond with each other, a certain level of respect that cannot be replaced by any other friendship. It is that relationship with everyone on the team that makes me feel like I belong here at the Academy. The practices, regattas, barbecues, cookouts, and competitions I attend with the crew team are some of the best memories I have at the Academy, and are memories that I will treasure for my entire lifetime.


Just as fun, meaningful, and rewarding is the time I spend at Officers’ Christian Fellowship on Friday nights. Nothing kicks off the weekend better than an evening of fellowship with fellow cadets as we worship God together as fellow believers in Christ. My faith is the most important aspect of my life, and having this opportunity each week to develop and grow in my faith is essential to my life. And it doesn’t end on Friday nights. My friends from OCF and I continue to meet throughout the week to gather and spend time together discussing the Bible and praying for each other, and it is these wonderful times together that help me get through the tough weeks!


Thinking about and reflecting on the wonderful clubs and sports that I am blessed to be a part of, I find it is because of those sports and clubs that it is easier to come back to the Academy. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it can be stressful. Yes, it’s not easy. And yes, it is easier at hundreds of other colleges. But there are ways to get involved and be connected during your time here, and it is in those places that you will feel like you belong. After spending a year here, and finding my niche at the Academy, and developing great friendships, I can truthfully say that this place is a little easier to come back to. It’s amazing, but I suppose it’s true, that one year truly can make all the difference.


More about Luke.


Busy, Busy, Busy Fourth Class

(Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Belanger Photo Man! Time has just absolutely flown during this first month of school. With one paper done, three exams completed, and four exams fast approaching it seems that I never have time to do anything on my own. If my time management skills were not perfected at prep school I have no idea where I would be at. Even though the load of academics is huge here at the Academy I still have time to have a blast with my fellow shipmates. During the Labor Day weekend I took some time with my fellow Catholics to go to Ender’s Island for a super RELAXING weekend! Then we had our fun Spirit Week before the rival football game versus the Merchant Marine Academy that Saturday. It was a great weekend talking (and having some friendly banter) with our fellow sea service academy.


Over the weekend of September 23rd three of my fellow shipmates and I were able to race in a 40 mile relay in West Hartford to support the community’s public education system. I have never been a runner myself but those 10 miles and placing 10th out of 30 teams motivated me to actually join the running club! I hopefully have three more 5K’s that I plan on running in before Thanksgiving leave! The Academy constantly gives me more and more opportunities that a normal university would not! I cannot wait to find out what other events I can be a part the rest of this year!


If you have any questions please do not hesitate! 


More about Nathan.