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2736

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Corbett Photo 2736: the number of hours that have passed this semester. A good friend of mine keeps track of every number imaginable. Number of meals, number of classes, etc. Well, here I sit, one semester into this crazy world that lurks in the gates of the Academy. One birthday older, 200 family members stronger, another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Christmas is right around the corner. As I sit here and think of where I have been, I reminisce through my memories to think of what to write. What glorious words of wisdom do I have to share after my first semester? Lucky for my followers I keep a journal labeled “Words of Wisdom.” It is a brown leather-bound journal with etchings on it. It was a gift for graduating high school along with a carved wooden pen from an aunt and uncle. As a graduating senior at the time this was not the ideal gift, however I have come to own its importance. I only write in the book with that special pen that joined it in the wrapping paper, and only special quotes or lines are allowed on its pages. When I am feeling down throughout school or life, I can look through the book and find a saying that has touched me before and read it again for some inspiration. So back to those 2736 hours.

 

Life is tough at the Academy. That is just the truth. I had the pleasure of being home for the holidays; I only live outside Philly. Being home I saw a lot of the other road, the road more travelled. I sat with my friends and contemplated on the paths that, just a year ago, were merely only street signs. I can say I am happy with my trail through the dark forest. You see out of those 2736 hours I may have slept 600 hours, or six hours, roughly, a night. I probably spent 1700 of those hours on school work, classes, or military obligations. You can see there is not a ton of that free time that is craved by our generation; time just kicking back with friends and relaxing. But that is ok! In my book is a conversation I had before Reporting -In day. A friend of mine asked me, how many hours did Bill Gates work to make his million? I had no clue so the friend said 68 hours a week. He then asked, now after he made his first million how many hours do you suppose he worked. I responded saying probably 20, who would want to keep working? My friend looks at me and says, “He worked 69 hours a week. “ My point is that all this time is so relative. I worked hard in high school, and now I am working harder here. You can enjoy your college days anywhere, its four years of, hopefully, a long life. After college, welcome to the real world. Here at the Academy you begin to think in terms of rewards, whether it is being granted permission to sleep in one day, or overnight weekends with a sports team. Eventually all these hours spent on school will add up. Eventually we will all meet our aspirations and be a commissioned officer. That is when the hours become worth it, when all of the hours add up to that final reward. That is when the true adventure begins.

 

I have come to realize that up until this point, I have given no way of communicating with me! If anyone ever has any questions about this place feel free to shoot me an email at Shane.P.Corbett@uscga.edu.

 

 


More about Shane.

 

Pride

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo I remember the first time I visited the Academy, I felt like an outsider wearing civilian clothes. I hoped to one day wear the uniform and looked forward to the pride I would feel the first time I put it on. We started wearing the full uniform sometime during Swab Summer, so honestly, I didn’t really feel much pride, but today, I feel it when I am out on the weekends and am thanked for my service or when I am home with my family.

 

Seeing my family, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles over Thanksgiving leave really reminded me to take pride in being at the Academy. Watching their expressions as I told stories about what my daily life is like made me feel invincible. It’s hard to be proud every day at the Academy because you feel like you’re always failing at something. You try your hardest, but it’s impossible to be perfect at everything. Taking time to relax and think though, it is incredible how much there is to take pride in. When I step back, I realize I am proud of myself, proud of my uniform, proud of my Class of 2017, proud of the Coast Guard Academy, proud of the United States Coast Guard, and proud of the United States. Realizing and remembering these prides is what makes the whole experience worth the small challenges we face every day.

 

 


More about Sarah.

 

Tis the Season

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Ulbricht Photo As the tinsel and ornaments are taken out of storage, and hung up to add some Christmas cheer to our rooms, it is difficult to not want to cuddle in my soft blankets with a mug of hot chocolate and wait out finals. Tis the season not only for gift giving and making cookies, but also the end to another chapter (or half a chapter at least). Looking back from the beginning of this year, a ton has happened, both good and bad, learning experiences and smiles. Unfortunately, some of my best friends no longer go here, but we had another great cross country season and my grades have improved drastically! There is a lot to be thankful for! Tis the season to stop and be grateful for what we do have, something I am horrible with. I get so caught up with academics, and extra activities, that I tend to look more on the bad, and not as much on the good. I asked a 4/c the other day how they thought their year was going, and I was surprised at their response! They said it was not bad at all, and that it’s really what you make of it!! Maybe some of my classmates’ motivational speeches this summer were absorbed!

 

I recently interviewed for a leadership position within the company for next semester and one of the questions I was asked about my personal values. One of the values I said was enthusiasm. I believe that if you do not have a slight smidgen of happiness in what you are doing, then why do it? I also mentioned that I try to find one good thing out of any bad situation, especially in a place like this where it is easy to think about the negativity so often when things are not going the way you want them to. Tis the season to think about the goodness in life, and cherish those little moments that made you smile. That alone, when applied daily, will make for a less stressful life, at least that is what I have learned from my experiences here.

 

It’s hard to believe that first semester of 2/c year is almost over. Just yesterday it seemed like our class was raising our right hands on that hot June afternoon. This time next year the end will be in sight!! I am excited to see where the rest of the year takes me, and how many more doors will open with opportunities and obstacles.

 

 


More about Cameo.

 

A Busy Thanksgiving Break

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Wu Photo Thanksgiving break was amazing this year. I was done with classes on Thursday and I attended the coldest football game I have ever been too. I never realized how I could still be cold after I had two layers of tights under my ODU pants, two UnderArmour shirts along with a long sleeve shirt, ODU shirt, ODU fleece, and parka. Luckily this was the last home game for the semester so we just bit through the cold. It was also easier to get through the game knowing that I did not have classes the next day and that my family was coming to Colorado Springs to see me.

 

Friday was about cleaning up the room and getting the room ready for the break. There was a specific check off list and guidelines that needed to be done before you can leave for Thanksgiving break. I was also trying to keep busy while anticipating the arrival of my sister. I was so excited to see her because I hadn’t seen her since July 1st, but what was even more exciting was seeing my mom! My mom had just gotten back from Taiwan a couple days before and the family planned it out so that she can adjust to the time change and then come fly out to Colorado to see me. I hadn’t seen my mom since sometime in June, so I was very thankful to be able to spend part of my break with both my mom and my sister. Once I gave my family a quick tour of the academy, we started making our way to Utah. Our plan was to get to Utah that night so we can spend the weekend hiking and seeing the Arches National Park along with Canyonlands National Park. The weather however was not in our favor. It was snowing and sleeting along our whole road trip. So it made our drive from the estimated six hours to 10+ hours. We encountered a few problems on the road trip with the weather conditions; my sister having stomach flu, and our rental car’s left taillight broken. It was definitely an experience since it was my longest drive ever, driving the whole distance from Colorado to Utah as well getting pulled over twice for our broken taillight. Luckily, we just got warnings from the cops and were able to switch rental cars the next day to a car with functioning lights as well as four-wheel drive to help venture through snow. We finally got to the hotel in Moab, Utah around 2 in the morning and it just felt like such a huge accomplishment to have driven that many hours, handling the weather conditions, and arriving safely. Sleep was glorious that night.

 

Saturday we tried to check out Canyonlands however the fogs hindered our view of the park so we decided to walk around the Arches National Park where nature’s structures were a lot more visible. We hiked to Delicate Arch which was beautiful with snow on it. We also were able to see the North and South Windows and Torrent Arch. Sunday we spent all day in Arches National Park where we had a fun and challenging hike across a rock fin to the Double O Arches. Then we visited the Petroglyphs in the park before leaving Utah for Vail, Colorado. The four hour drive was a lot easier compared to my 10+ hours on Friday so we arrived in Vail at a reasonable time and got to see the quaint lit up ski town.

 

A Busy Thanksgiving Break Continued PDF  

 

 


More about Ellie.

 

The First Time Home

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Sandri Photo For Thanksgiving Break, I went home for the first time since reporting in this July. I’m lucky in that my parents have driven up from Maryland to visit a few times, but it’s a totally different feeling to return home. Seeing my friends from high school and participating in the family’s home dynamic again was really awesome, familiar, and a well-needed break. I got to catch up and swap stories with friends in person instead of through letter writing and emails (although, trips to the mailroom are still exciting!), hang out with my siblings, cook, take the dog for long walks and unwind in general.

 

Several people warned us that returning to the Academy for the first time during 4/c year is especially difficult, but my experience wasn’t that tough. It sounds sappy, but we do have a “family” made of friends here, who make the long days and nights easier and often enjoyable. Coming from a non-military family, the hardest part about attending school here is definitely handling the disconnections between my home and military worlds; people from home aren’t aware of what life is like in a military environment. After realizing this, I made a goal to take time every day to communicate with my friends and family from home, which makes a huge difference.

 

Before we know it, it will be Winter Break, and I’m motivated to push through the rest of the first semester. Seven days to go; we can do it!

 

 


More about Eva.

 

Wrapping It All Up

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Krakower Photo Nothing quite describes the end of the year at the Academy. First of all, the cadets are a mix of absolutely excited to go on Winter Break, and at the same time annoyed at the fact that they are still here in New London. Thanksgiving Leave is a bit of a tease, so it puts a saltiness in the mouths of cadets as to how they feel.

 

For myself, I’m definitely more on the excited side. Rolling in with high grades into finals is a…we’ll say new experience for me. Going at finals will be different; rather than saving my grade, I just have to keep it up! I’m not too worried, and so that should end up giving me my highest GPA here to date. As for theater and music, we just finished our performance of Rumors, which went marvelously. On top of that, the Idlers finished our annual Christmas at the Griswold Inn performance which was also excellent! We have the Governor’s Mansion Performance as well as the Lights and Carols Service remaining, two big hits for the group. I also got cast (against my will) into the musical, Guys and Dolls, so that will be coming up in springtime as well!

 

My tenure as a Master-At-Arms is coming to an end, and I’ve really enjoyed the position. Having 11 4/c under my wing to work with and mentor has been nothing short of fun, interesting, and difficult. Changing them from swabs to 4/c was not necessarily an easy task, but it was a rewarding one. Most of them are fully developed into the corps, especially in Echo. Working alongside the Guidon and other 2 MAAs, I can say I’m really proud of the work we did.

 

Just a few more projects, quizzes, and tests away from being totally done with my fifth semester at CGA. It’s gone by way too fast. Soon enough, we’ll be putting in for our 1/c summer, and after that… well, who knows?

 

 


More about Sam.

 

The Coast Guard Family

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo The Coast Guard family is something I began to notice about a year ago. When I first became interested in the Coast Guard Academy, I saw how everyone worked together to not only complete Coast Guard missions, but also to support one another on a more personal level. It is obvious at the Coast Guard Academy that people care about one another much more than at any other college. Here everyone knows each other’s name, and the support network between professors, coaches, and mentors is unmatched. However, I don’t think I really understood the depth of the Coast Guard family until the weekend of Homecoming.

 

On Homecoming Weekend, members of class years in multiples of 5 returned to the Academy. There was a lunch with members of the class of 1963, it being their 50 year reunion. In an effort to find a table where I wouldn’t have to square my meal and could look at my food, I found myself sitting beside Captain Bates and his wife. He asked me about what I thought of the Academy so far and what had made me decide to come here. He told me stories of when he was here and that he had come to play football. Later in our conversation, he told me that he was the first commanding officer of the Coast Guard cutter Bear. It shocked me to realize that he cared to hear about my 4/c life so much even though he had so many better stories to tell.

 

Later on, at the Medallion Ceremony, Admiral Papp described Captain Bates as a close friend and gave him a hug. It really amazed me that the Commandant of the Coast Guard hugged a man that I had sat next to at lunch. It really proved to me what a family we have here in the Coast Guard.

 

 


More about Sarah.

 

Getting Involved to Stay Sane

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo I recently joined the joint USCGA/Conn College Concert band, and it’s really a lot of fun. It’s a mix of professional players and students from both schools. It allows me to be off base twice a week, which is something most underclassmen don’t get to do. I’ve actually found that getting involved in things is almost as important as academics, because it keeps me sane. This place will make you crazy if all you do is focus on academics. For example, I was stressed about my last Statics and Engineering Design test, and I was torn between going to band or staying in Chase and studying the night before. I decided to get off base and go to band and I ended up doing my best work on the last test! I’m living proof that you will lose your mind if all you do is school. They take well-rounded applicants, and they expect well-rounded cadets. I feel that getting involved is the key to success, and more importantly, mental success, at the Academy.

 

Otherwise, November finds me in the lull of the first semester. Midterms long gone, and the second round of tests complete, I am left with much time on my hands. Everyone is excited for Thanksgiving leave, and I sure know I am. It’s getting to the end of the semester, and Regimental Staff positions have just been announced—my firstie division head is the new Regimental Executive Officer! Loose ends are tying up as the first semester is beginning to come to a close, both militarily and academically.

 

I have not been home since June, and I believe going back will be very strange for me. It may sound tacky, but I feel like this place is more of my home than where I am actually from. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 


More about William.

 

Perspective

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Lukasik Photo “Jessica, you are an IRONMAN!” The announcer’s voice blared over the sounds of music, as people li¬ned the streets to cheer on the finishers of the 2013 Ironman Cozumel. “Si te puedes!” and “Felicidades!” they cried – but at the moment, my heart was sinking, and I felt that congratulations were not in order. The clock above the finish arch read 12 hours 13 minutes; not only had I missed a top finish in my age group by a long shot, but I’d also made no improvement on my time from Ironman Florida in November 2012. I was sulking as I dragged my worn body along the route to collect my finisher medal and race shirt, grab my gear and head out. Was all my training worthless? Was there any point in my continuing to participate in Ironman if I saw no improvement – if, in the end, I just wasn’t that good at it?

 

I hobbled over to the ferry pier to catch the last boat back to Cancun, where I had a flight early the next day. My family and my teammate, 3/c Sam Roets, were waiting there. It was all pats on the back and more congratulations, until I mentioned my disappointment. It wasn’t until reviewing the day, and the race, with Sam – for whom this was his first Ironman – that everything started to fall into a bit better perspective.

 

Sam had finished in 11 hours 33 minutes – for him, a somewhat disappointing race as well. Getting landed with flat tires three separate times on the bike course held him back for over an hour; at the pace he was riding, without the delay he should have finished in 10 hours 15 minutes. However, as he described it, his disappointment was short lived, and as we talked over the course, it helped me realize the extent of my self-criticism was not only unnecessary, it was detrimental. There are some things you can’t justify getting “bummed out” about; it takes up too much energy, and it spoils the gift. Spending your Thanksgiving in Cozumel and successfully racing in an Ironman are such things, no matter how you judge you final performance. In the end, regardless of finish time, we had one heck of a day: we woke up at 0430; we got in the water at 0700; we swam 2.4 miles; we biked 112 miles in the blazing sun, against a headwind, with the occasional rainstorm; we ran 26.2 miles battling heat sickness, exhaustion, and yet another downpour; and when the sun had gone down and the city lights had come on, we crossed the finish line and earned the title “Ironman.” It’s not something to dismiss lightly.

 

Ironman in itself is a test of physical endurance, of mental strength, of focus and of will, and of competitive spirit. Ironman Cozumel 2013, for me, was all of those things exaggerated to the max. I knew going into it that I was undertrained, an inevitable result of the Academy schedule. Whereas an Ironman athlete is supposed to peak at about 28 hours of training per week, with a Senior Thesis, busy division, three clubs to manage, and some semblance of a social life, I was lucky to get in 14. I didn’t want to admit it, but going into it, I was scared. Unlike Ironman Florida, Cozumel was said to be a particularly difficult race. It ended up being peculiar torrent of emotions, pain, and power that’s almost inexplicable.

 

Perspective (Continued) PDF 

 

 


More about Jessie.

 

Yet Here We Are

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Daniels Photo Well here we are again! Hello to all reading this!

 

Having just returned from Thanksgiving leave, I find myself both rested and exhausted at the same time, which confounds my logic. However, there are only two and a half weeks left in the first semester of my fourth class year. Only a year ago this seemed almost unthinkable to have gotten this far; yet here we are, with classes wrapping up and preparing for the first round of final exams. I think that as we get closer, it will probably become harder to get motivated about the grind.

 

Since the last time I wrote, it seems like so much more has happened. The Windjammers represented the Coast Guard Academy in the New York City Veteran’s Day parade and played at the Giants-Raiders game the day before. These experiences were truly unique and I have had some of the best times of my life while off on these excursions.

 

Thanksgiving leave was a little strange for me, since I live in Connecticut. I have been able to go home on many occasions, but I have not been able to drive or wear civilian clothes yet. Being able to see my friends and visit my old high school was great, as was getting to be a little bit more like a “normal” person.

 

I’m getting excited for the winter formal coming up. The formal is an event that involves a large portion of the cadet corps eating a very fancy dinner followed by a night of dancing. I enjoy events like this, so I am anticipating a great experience as I get to hang out with my classmates outside of the military atmosphere of the Academy.

 

Until next time!

 

 


More about Drew.

 

Thankful for Little Shipmates

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo Last night my roommate began packing her suitcase, cleaning our room, and feverishly talking to friends at home about plans over Thanksgiving break. For her, this five day break will be the first time home in 100 days and one of the few times a year she’ll be with her parents. Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated breaks at the Academy because cadets go home to their families – for me, it is a brief trip to remember the family I came from and appreciate my Coast Guard family here.

 

To drive home from the Academy I have to take a left out of the main gate, a left at the stoplight, follow the Boston Post Road, and take four more turns through my neighborhood. The entire trip takes about seven minutes, making me the closest 3/c cadet to our school. At first I liked this, the informality of going home, seeing my cousins around town when on liberty. But this year with the independence of being a third class, I have realized that close proximity makes it more difficult to transition into my new family. I have been very fortunate to make many friends at the Academy and am thankful that I am well liked, despite my compulsive organization and outbursts when my favorite teams have a bad game. Somehow, through all of the demands and obstacles, I have managed to have a close group of friends. These “shipmates” as the Commandant, Admiral Papp, would call them, are the only reason cadets graduate: shipmates are always my inspiration and motivation. Before leaving for break myself I created a list of the five gifts I am most thankful for. Of course “little shipmates”, my Coast Guard family, is at the top. I am thankful for 1) shipmates, 2) freedom, 3) laughter, 4) two successful shoulder surgeries, and 5) chocolate.

 

 


More about Sarah.

 

A Lot to be Thankful For

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Frost Photo It sure is crazy to think that there is only one and a half weeks of classes left. This semester has flown by. It has been absolutely wonderful to be home for a bit of a break. I am very thankful for the opportunity to take recruiting leave and leave the Academy on Friday, instead of Tuesday. Recruiting leave was offered this semester for cadets on the Superintendent’s List. This opportunity allowed me to talk to high school students from my area about the Academy. All throughout high school I wanted to be one of the college students that came home and talked about their university. This year I was able to take advantage of this and talk to students at three high schools. It was my first time back to my high school and its was both exciting and kind of weird to see how some things have changed over the past year and a half. I think the funniest part of the whole experience was a group of third graders at my school (grades 2-12) that were completely baffled by who this lady (me) in uniform was. Being at the Academy and in the New London area where everyone knows cadets, I never realized the impact of wearing a uniform on the general public. The third graders weren’t scared of me, but they definitely viewed me with more respect than if I was in civilian attire. It was really cool. As a member of the Coast Guard I wear my uniform with pride, and I look forward to being an officer and making an impact in the community. The uniform represents being a part of something bigger than oneself, and the community recognizes that even if they don’t fully understand what the uniform represents.

 

Beyond that, it has been great to be home. I am thankful for every bit of time I spend with my family and for all the wonderful food! The time at home is flying by though, and when I get back to school it is crunch time. In the last few weeks of the semester there is a lot to look forward to though as well, like the winter formal and the sailing team holiday party. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! As always, feel free to ask me any questions at Christina.M.Frost@uscga.edu.

 

 


More about Christi.

 

Learning Leadership (Revisited): Meeting Mentors

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo I wrote in September about the Academy’s mission to develop cadets into leaders of character. I am going to revisit that topic of learning leadership. Approximately once a month, all cadets attend an evening leadership panel. The past two panels consisted of Academy graduates, and—WOW!—were these panels exciting! We’ve had panels similar to this in years past, but they didn’t seem as interesting or engaging. I speculate the reason for this is because now I am looking forward to entering the fleet in a little over a year and half. As these graduates were speaking I realized that while they may be talking about their pasts, they also had the answers to the questions I have about my future. Not knowing yet what I want my career to be in the Coast Guard, I can look to these graduates—both present and retired officers—who can give us advice and guidance about career paths. They have the experience and the understanding of how careers in the Coast Guard work that can be very useful to us.

 

These leadership panels are somewhat a combination of the first, second, and fourth (L, E, and D, respectively) “steps.” We are learning from others’ practices in a mentoring-like atmosphere. The real mentoring can come after the panel discussion. Following the discussions, cadets may speak with the panelists in person. I’ve taken advantage of this opportunity to network with these individuals so that I can continue to learn from them even after they leave.

 

The Academy has a leadership model called LEAD. This stands for:

  • Learn through theory
  • Experience though practice
  • Analyze through reflection
  • Deepen through mentoring

 

For me, the fourth “step” is the most important. I believe that we as cadets should take full advantage of the opportunity we have to find mentors at the Academy. In addition to the panelists—“distant” mentors—we are encouraged to find a mentor (or several mentors) who is more local. Again, it took me awhile until I really began considering what career path I wanted and until I entered a leadership role within the Corps of Cadets that I realized that I access to individuals—officers and civilian—who had many more years of experience. This wisdom passed to me would enhance my development into a leader (referring to both one in the Coast Guard and outside of the organization); how much more would the Academy be able to offer! With these mentors, I receive one-on-one attention; we can focus on the individual aspects of my leadership that need strengthened or reshaped, instead of my receiving a more general leadership lesson geared toward all cadets.

 

Interestingly, the role of a 2/c cadet in the corps is to be a mentor. As one of my first “mentoring” lessons as guidon, I encouraged the fourth class in my company to find personal mentors. Hopefully they will start looking now, instead of waiting until they are second-class cadets (like I waited), so that they will get (practically) four years of this personal attention instead of just two. Now, I don’t just take, take, take. I’m a cadet mentor myself, as in, I’m part of a specific mentoring program for a fourth class cadet. I’m also looking forward to next semester when I will be part of a division in Foxtrot company (as company guidon, I’m not in a division) which means that there will be one or two fourth class for whom I am directly in their chain of command. I anticipate this will provide me another way to be a personal mentor.

 

This post has gotten longer than I expected (but doesn’t that always happen with me?), so I’ll leave the details of what it’s like to be a mentor for another blog post.

 

Happy Holidays to everyone! Consider making your new year’s resolution to find and to be a mentor—now that’s one you can easily keep! Cheers!

 

 


More about Justin.

 

Dia de Accion de Gracias

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Tress Salvatori Photo Hola, ¿qué tal? Espero que se encuentren de maravilla. Yo me encuentro muy contenta, especialmente después de haber pasado el Día de Acción de Gracias rodeada de mucha gente buena. Me lo pase increíblemente bien. Tuve la oportunidad de ir a Newport a pasar estos días con el Capitán de Navío Francisco Figuereo de la Armada de México y su familia que están viviendo ahí. El Capitán se encuentra estudiando un curso en el Naval War College ubicado en esta misma ciudad. Ellos también recibieron a mi otra compañera de México, Nínive Pineda Carranza. Les agradezco mucho porque nos la pasamos de maravilla. Comimos mucha comida mexicana, disfrutamos de una rica cena de día de acción de gracias en el restaurante de la marina de los EUA., fuimos al famoso viernes negro a comprar muchas cosas, jugamos boliche, dimos un recorrido por todo Newport y vimos muchas películas en la comodidad de su casa. Finalmente visitamos el Naval War College. Además también se encontraban ahí los padres del Capitán. El señor padre del Capitán es un almirante jubilado de la Armada de México. Tuve la oportunidad de platicar con él sobre el importante cambio que está sucediendo hoy en día en la Armada de México: el de incorporar al personal femenino en las carreras de mando; apenas este año se graduaron las primeras mujeres que van a formar parte de la línea de mando. También platicamos sobre cuán importante va a ser el que nosotras egresemos de esta noble institución y de cómo impulsará y llevará a un buen plano la presencia de la mujer en la armada de México.

 

 


More about Ruth.

 

Thanksgiving

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Tress Salvatori Photo Hello! How are you? I hope you are doing great. I am very happy because I just had a wonderful time celebrating Thanksgiving surrounded by a lot of good people. It was an unbelievable experience. I was given the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving in Newport with a captain from the Mexican navy and his family. Captain Francisco Figuereo is studying at the Naval War College that is located in Newport. My shipmate from Mexico, Ninive Pineda Carranza, also stayed with us. I thanked them a lot because I had an amazing time with them. We ate a lot of Mexican food and a delicious traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Officers’ Club on the Navy base and then we went shopping on the famous Black Friday to buy a lot of things. On Saturday we went bowling and enjoyed a pepperoni pizza. Later that day we drove around Newport and then watched a lot of movies. We also visited the Naval War College. The Captain’s parents accompanied us during the whole trip. The Captain’s father is an admiral retiree from the Mexican navy. I had the opportunity to discuss with him the important change that is happening in the Mexican navy: including women at the Mexican Naval Academy and in the chain of command. We also talked about how important it is going to be for us to graduate from this Academy because we are going to be able to improve the environment for future women in the Mexican navy.

 

 


More about Ruth.

 

Loving Life Right Now

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Zwenger Photo I sit here on a Saturday afternoon after I’ve been sitting in my room pretty much all day trying to catch up on the rest I missed last week and get ahead for school work because next week is going to be a rough one. Anyway, as I sit here and reflect (as most introverts do a lot) I realize how fortunate I am to have the life that I created for myself. However, I did not do this alone. My parents were a huge part of my life, right from the beginning, obviously. They always supported me in anything I wanted to do and gave me advice along the way of what they thought would be the best choice, but in the end it was ultimately my choice and even if I didn’t do what they thought was best they were always there. It’s kind of funny because I can remember they were always there to catch me if I fell, but one day I told them just to let me fall flat on my face every once and a while, let me make the wrong decision and see what the consequences were. So just as they always had, they supported me in this. After making some decision, which I assume they knew were not the greatest, I fell, and I fell hard. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m extremely grateful to have the parents I have because they respect my wishes no matter what they are. If I have kids, and I can be half of what my parents were to me then I’d say I would be successful. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for them supporting me even when they knew it was the “wrong” decision but they did it and I am grateful because I don’t think I would have turned out as the person I am today without them.

 

I would assume my sister will one day, if she doesn’t already, say the same thing about our parents. Just like most siblings we fought about stupid things a lot when we were younger. We still argue about silly things, but at the end of the day I love her and I wouldn’t ask for any other sister because she’s the best one in the world. It scares me whenever I come home because she is growing up super fast. I only get to come home about three times a year and she matures more and more every time. She recently had aspirations of attending the Air Force Academy, which is a surprise but I’m proud of her for shooting high on a college just as I did. As her brother, and I like to think best friend, I am super proud of her, so I can only imagine how my parents must feel.

 

I can’t imagine having a better family then the one I was so fortunate to be born into.

 

Onto Academy things.

 

This semester has been one of the most successful, fun, and fulfilling for me. Midterm was just this past week and my midterm GPA is a 3.65, which is a huge jump from the usual 3.0. I think it was mostly because I am taking all technical classes that relate to civil engineering. One would think that it would be harder; quite frankly, I am pretty bad at humanities so to take classes that all have math in them is a relief. Not to mention I have the best teachers I have ever had. Usually I could complain about one teacher but that is not the case this semester. Needless to say I love all my classes and all my teachers.

 

I guess this blog comes down to the fact that I love life right now, my family, my friends (here and back home), my school, and countless other things that I can’t think of right now. If you have any questions about being here, just need talk to someone, or want to talk about music (I’ve recently come upon some good stuff) shoot me an email at Spencer.M.Zwenger@uscga.edu.

 

Seriously email me.

 

 


More about Spencer.

 

The Diary of a Restricted Kid

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo I am restricted this week. Having been a model cadet with zero negative marks for the past two years, I’ve struggled a bit with the idea of getting in trouble. However, in the grand scheme of things, mistakes happen and people get punished. What is more important is that you recover and move on…

 

So I have a week of restriction. It started last Tuesday and goes until the morning of the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. (Which is nice, because that way I can still get out of here on time for Thanksgiving leave.) I had a minor fender-bender in a fifteen-passenger government vehicle; as the driver, I am held responsible. I received a one-week restriction, two work hours, and one marching tour.

 

Each day, I have to attend a special formation at 1930 and 2200 called Restricted Cadet Formation (RCF). Here, the RCDO (the 1/c cadet responsible for the corps that day) and the company OODs (the eight 1/c cadets responsible for each company, under the supervision of the RCDO) inspect the uniforms of the restricted cadets. For the most part, RCF is an inconvenience. On the weekends, it occurs four times a day. In addition to having to attend RCF, I must wear the uniform of the day from reveille until 2200. Again, an inconvenience. The weirdest part of being restricted, for me, was my marching tour.

 

Marching tours are marched in the Old Quad, in your black drill uniform. You march back and forth with a rifle for fifty minutes. It got boring very quickly, because I couldn’t wear a watch and I couldn’t hear the bells of the chapel. I hated it after the first five minutes…but the end came by surprise, which was nice.

 

No matter what happens between now and Tuesday morning, I will be delighted to get off restriction, and be able to go on liberty again. Until then, I am open to readers’ questions: email me at Peter.M.Driscoll@uscga.edu. Have a good night all!

 

 


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1st Semester Finish Line

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Mills Photo There is only one day until Thanksgiving leave! I am so grateful that I have made it this far. A few landmarks made the month of November especially notable. I had the privilege of marching in the Veterans Day parade in New York with Windjammers. It was so wonderful to see the community getting together to celebrate the men and women who serve our country and I am very proud to be able to join them. When you are at the Academy, it is sometimes hard to see what your commitment means to the rest of the world. By going to the Veterans Day parade, I was able to see how supportive and appreciative everyone was that I took an oath on R-Day to protect and serve the people and the Constitution. There were also hundreds of other people from other branches of the military at the parade and I had the pleasure of talking to them. In particular, an Army sergeant with eight deployments and twenty four years of service stopped to talk with me and my fellow cadets about what it is like in the operational military and he also gave us invaluable advice from his experiences. As if the weekend could not get any better, we also performed the Windjammers show at the Giants stadium! Eli Manning ran right past me during warm up and I thought of how awesome it was that I was on the same field. It was also great performing in that huge arena with the seats full of onlookers.

 

Another notable moment of November was a Calculus test I took two weeks ago. I did poorly on the test and it just really served as a reminder to me as to where I am and how only hard work is going to get me through here. I share this because I think it is important for future cadets to know that academics are important here and sometimes you are going to have to sacrifice time you would rather spend doing something else just sitting at your desk and studying. This may seem obvious but it is easy to be sidetracked and this test showed me that I was being sidetracked. Thankfully, I have the support of my fellow shipmates who are excellent at Calculus and the special tutoring sessions called CAAP that the Academy offers on select nights. The Academy offers so much support because they want you to succeed and excel here. Therefore, though I am pumped for break, I have been studying hard for my math test tomorrow, and I know that with all the hard work I have put in to studying I am set up for success. Once I take the test, I can be confident I did well and enjoy my Thanksgiving break with the people I love.

 



More about Sydney.

 

Not Just a Fancy Slogan

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo Have you ever seen an Academy promotional poster that says, "What others read in text books, you'll experience in real life!"? Well, it's not just a fancy slogan for advertising; it's true! Watch this video to see how I have those real life experiences during my T-Boats ship-handling lab. Directing the movement of ships is important for Coast Guard officers, so this class is where we learn to develop those skills.

 

Justin's video blog YouTube Icon 

 


 


More about Justin.

 

My Sights Are Set

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ledzian Photo It seems like only yesterday that I arrived here on R-Day and yet I have almost finished my first semester at the Academy! Thanksgiving is the holiday that everyone has been looking forward to, and for me it will be my first time going home since 1 July. Needless to say I am very excited, but as Thanksgiving nears the amount of work I have increases. I have still managed to escape the Academy a few weekends. I went by train to Providence over Veteran’s Day weekend with some friends. I also took a long weekend at my sponsor family’s house to de-stress. One of the nice aspects of the Academy and New England in general is the ability to take a train to major cities like Boston, New York, and Providence at an affordable price. Back at the Academy indoor track will start up soon, but for now my sights are set on Thanksgiving leave and some good food!

 

 


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Another Semester Nearly Done

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Subramanian Photo I know I still have over 14 months left at the Coast Guard Academy, but I am continued to be amazed on what my classmates and I have accomplished. Over the summer, my classmates helped train and prepare the Class of 2017 to be in the military and be successful cadets at the Academy. Over the summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to sail on USCG Barque Eagle for the third time in my career, this time as cadre. As a 2/c cadet, I was selected to be the Foremast Captain, an equivalent position as a Department Head on a normal Coast Guard cutter. This position gave me the opportunity to lead my fellow classmates, who in turn led the Swabs. Luckily, my classmates were honorable, trustworthy, and possessed a great work ethic to make my position much easier.

 

The school year has given me a large load academically and militarily. The Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering major now has less than 25 cadets enrolled. I am lucky to be one of the few. We all share multiple classes, and all of us endure Fluids, Electrical Circuits and Machines, and Thermodynamics together. My favorite class this semester is Principles of Naval Architecture (PNA), which covers the broad subject of ship design and the factors that must be considered during the design process. During PNA labs, we learn to use design programs, as well as simulators and databases in ship creation. As seniors next year, we will be using what we learn when designing a vessel as our capstone project.

 

As a second class cadet, I have been placed in the Regimental Inter-Company Sports Division. Similar to intramural sports at civilian colleges, inter-company sports allow different companies to compete in sports like flag football, dodge ball, and volleyball. I have many tasks in the division, including creating the schedule, taking results, organizing the playoffs, and keeping proper attendance. The first class cadet in the division is very “hands-off” and trusts me with many responsibilities.

 

I am excited for Thanksgiving leave in order to recover from the heavy workload. Finals are less than two weeks after Thanksgiving, and I must be prepared for what is to come. More updates coming soon!

 

 


More about Kevin.

 

CGA Athletics

(Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo As the fall semester of sports comes to a close, the winter sports season has officially begun for many of the sports teams and clubs around the Academy. However, men’s rugby has one more weekend left. This weekend, we will be traveling to Maryland to compete in the Division II men’s rugby national tournament. This is our second season in a row qualifying for nationals, and we hope to win this weekend. As I mentally prepare for this weekend’s matches, I have thought about how lucky we are as a club to be able to compete. Here at the Academy, club sports and varsity sports are not equal. There are many differences, and that is the message of this blog.

 

Let me begin by saying that there is a club or a sport here for everyone. If you aren’t interested in any of the established clubs or sports, you can try to start your own, and the Academy will help you with this. A list of our sports teams and club sports can be found on the website.

 

As I have said, sports teams and club sports are very different here at the Academy. To begin, varsity sports are funded by the CGA appropriated budget, which means that they have a set amount of money that they can use each year. During the government shutdown, these funds were frozen, and our varsity sports almost did not get to play.

 

Varsity sports teams are NCAA Division III teams. They have athletic trainers, high-end training equipment, a paid coaching staff, and many more benefits. Additionally, varsity sports are subject to all different types of NCAA regulations, which protect athletes. These sports are highly competitive even with our strict weight and fitness standards, which puts us at a disadvantage in some situations. However, varsity sports are great programs. The cadets and coaches are dedicated to success, but at the same time, they understand the demands of academics and military obligations.

 

Club sports are very different from varsity sports; in fact, they are almost opposite. Club sports are funded by cadet activities funds and alumni donations. During the shutdown, clubs sports were not affected, because their funds are not part of the CGA budget. Club sports are also different from varsity sports in other ways. Clubs do not have full time athletic trainers. Often times, coaches are volunteers, or part-time employees. Furthermore, clubs do not fall under any NCAA regulations, which means the Academy or the coaches are responsible for player safety. However, club sports are still amazing programs and are as successful as varsity sports, and the coach-player bonds are equally as strong as varsity sports. One key distinction between club and varsity sport is that clubs can compete at higher levels than varsity sports. Even though the Academy is a Division III school, clubs may compete at the Division II level if they are good enough. They may compete in any division, which helps the club find an appropriate level of competition.

 

I hope this information is useful to prospective cadets looking to get involved in sports here at the Academy. I think the athletic programs here at the Academy are outstanding, and I highly recommend trying a sport here.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at Hunter.D.Stowes@uscga.edu.

 

I am happy to answer any of your questions, and good luck for those of you still submitting applications!

 

 


More about Hunter.

 

November Know-How

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Chavarria-Aguilar Photo Since I certainly do not have the time to write a solid story, I am resorting to a simple list of random facts. Below you will find a mildly entertaining, useful collection of things about the Academy that you may not know about.

 

1. At the beginning of every semester, cadets move rooms and switch roommates within their respective companies. This is done to increase camaraderie and also offers cadets a glimpse of what fleet-life is like; when we graduate we will be constantly moving locations from tour to tour, meeting new people, adjusting to new climates, etc.

 

2. Chase Hall contains not only our barracks, but also: a bookstore, the mailroom, a barbershop, the wardroom, two ranges (in the basement), various offices, a gym, three laundry rooms, the tailor shop, a dry-cleaning service, and a uniform shop. I am probably forgetting something, but these are the essentials.

 

3. We are now allowed to purchase our books for each semester by any means necessary with cash from our own pockets. In the past, we had to order through the bookstore, which cost cadets a lot more than if we were to purchase them online. Since then, I have saved hundreds of dollars.

 

4. Speaking of money, your paycheck is split into two payments that occur twice a month, on the first and the fifteenth. Navy Federal Credit Union is our bank and cadets usually use USAA for property insurance. Also, you can still have other, previously owned bank accounts.

 

5. The older you get, the more privileges you earn. I know this is a given, but I like reminding people that the juice is totally worth the squeeze. Because of this, it doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. For instance, I have an entire drawer filled with civilian clothes that I relish with the same passion and possessiveness of a dog and its bone.

 

6. Civil Engineers get free hard hats and the best faculty any major could offer.

 

7. You can’t wear your backpack on your back when in certain uniforms. You learn all about it during Swab Summer, but the frustration of this limitation never diminishes.

 

8. The wardroom serves quality food and there is always fruit available if you’re hungry for an afternoon snack. Some people may disagree, but I suffered through a year of prep-school food and hardly have a reason to complain. Plus, the wardroom ladies are always helpful and are the epitome of hard work.

 

9. As an addition to #2 above, Chase Hall also has a bike room. I bought a road bike early this semester and absolutely love it. If you have a bike, all you have to do is sign out and you can take it for a ride anywhere at any time (unless you’re restricted).

 

10. Your attitude is a major influence on how life at the Academy will go. That said, positive pessimism goes a long way.

 

 


More about Alexis.