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cadet blogs

Varsity Freshmen

(Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo It is a requirement at the Academy that cadets participate in athletics; whether the activity is a varsity NCAA program or an intramural group is up to the individual. For me it was a clear choice to row – I have been rowing in the area since I was ten and recently have become more competitive as an individual in a single (sculling alone) and as a team member (sweep rowing typically with three or seven other rowers). Through high school I updated head coach, Jen Meuse, with my erg scores and race performances, and this made for an easy transition to collegiate rowing.


Around the third week of Swab Summer “sports periods” started and swabs were able to meet with coaches and cadre of their sports interest for about 90 minutes. While at first it was very awkward to be in a relaxed environment with the chief of staff (a 1/c cadet), my division officer cadre, (a 2/c cadet), and other upper class, I soon felt at ease conversing about a sport I knew very well. The awkwardness continued to go away as the school year came along, and by our first race in September I felt comfortable enough to train alongside any of my team mates.


I will admit that the initial shock of racing varsity was overwhelming; my roommate, Caroline, was just learning to row and practiced with the rest of my friends who were on the novice team. Usually the varsity girls would finish earlier and I would take my time changing and make the effort to walk back up to Chase Hall with my novice classmates. I tried to share any knowledge from experience I had and made a conscious effort to be humble about my abilities, knowing that within months my peers could match my skill level. I was worried at first that racing in a double, a two person shell, with my partner, 1/c Tahnee Zaccano, in September would distance me from my classmates, but instead the girls were enthusiastic and very supportive. My classmates’ support helped me to train hard and not to worry about losing their friendships.


I treated my varsity teammates the same as my novice peers, sharing tools for rigging and quick fixes for technique problems. Even as the season went on, it was still an odd feeling to teach someone older than myself, and particularly strange when my teammate was in my chain of command. It was a great experience however to have a professional relationship with my 3/c, who sat directly behind me and was directly responsible for me, my Swab Summer 2/c, sitting 2 seats behind, and the Swab Summer chief of staff, sitting in bow. All of these ladies were in Bravo Company with me, and rowing in the “Bravo Bow” with them was an honor and a made for a fantastic first season.


Our shortfall season closed in late October with a regatta in Boston known as the Head of the Charles. Teams from across the world came to compete in one of the most well-known races and in particular, collegiate teams raced only their fastest crews. Our competition was very aggressive and the field overall became faster, so we placed in the lower half of our field. Our boat was not discouraged by this performance however; we identified our weaknesses and made a plan to improve them for the spring season. As an individual I was also able to evaluate myself and my performance, and knowing that I had begun my collegiate rowing career as a varsity athlete helped me to see my potential and my value to the team.


More about Sarah.


Worth It In the End

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Subramanian Photo When does the holiday season actually start? A couple of friends from home told me it started way back at the beginning of November. While I loved having holiday spirit and it boosts my morale considerably, I am trying not to get distracted ahead of finals. For me, the holiday season begins on December 11, when I finish my last final in Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Design.


Thanksgiving leave was a much-needed getaway from the grind of the Coast Guard Academy. With six projects due in the upcoming weeks, as well as studying for finals, I used my Thanksgiving break to relax and mentally prepare. As an engineer, finals will be very difficult. It will no doubt be rewarding once I am done.


All the winter sports’ seasons have kicked off. I am very excited to go to the men’s basketball team home games and see all my classmates in all the sports perform and represent the Academy well. I have been sidelined in boxing due to a recent shoulder injury but I hope to be ready to go when next semester starts. I still continue to play b-side ice hockey on Friday mornings. It is very difficult to stay awake in classes, but I have continued to work hard in finishing my work sooner and getting to bed at a reasonable hour to be well refreshed to play hockey at 0400.


I plan on blogging over winter leave. Until then, I will be nose-deep in my notes and textbooks. As officers, alumni, instructors, and my parents always say: It will be worth it in the end.


More about Kevin.


Ready To Go Home

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Hirst Photo Today is my first day heading home in the past five months. I’m beyond excited. These past months have tested me but were definitely worth it. Last night I pulled out my R-Day backpack from storage to pack and go home, which brought back many memories. I distinctly remember packing it up and saying goodbye to my friends, heading into the unknown. Now, I have all my stuff packed and am so ready to go home. There’s a different excitement that comes after not seeing friends and family for so long. For all those applying, I also remember sending in my application around this time and the stress that came from it. You’re not alone! I was constantly nervous about the future and my chances. Relax, and enjoy your senior year! Happy Thanksgiving!


More about Townshend.


We Get To Be the Answer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link
Kane Photo Today I had the unique opportunity of marching with about eighty other cadets in the New York City Veteran’s Day parade. After the parade, while two other cadets and I were walking near Rockefeller Plaza, a local man stopped us and talked to us for a few minutes. He recognized our Coast Guard uniforms, and he thanked us for our service. He said that the Coast Guard was there for New York City on September 11, 2001, and that he will never forget how the Coast Guard helped to evacuate people from Manhattan after the planes hit the towers. He said that he feels safer knowing that the Coast Guard is guarding our waterways from other threats.


It was a huge and personal reminder that the work that Coast Guardsmen and women do MATTERS. I couldn’t be prouder to be wearing the same uniform as those who responded to the September 11th attacks, as well as countless other situations. I absolutely cannot wait to graduate in May and get out into the operational Coast Guard to be ready to join those men and women helping the people of the United States, especially during disasters like the September 11th attacks, or, more recently, Hurricane Sandy.


I’d also like to share with you one of my favorite quotes about the Coast Guard, which I think sums up the reason why a lot of people join:
“We do this job because every once in a while someone is out there without hope, desperately praying for their life, and we get to be the answer.” - ASM3 Vittone


More about Julie.