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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Light at the End of the Tunnel

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Wright Photo I passed Boards!!! Now I know to most people this means nothing but to a freshman at the Coast Guard Academy, it marks one of the most important feats of your first year here. Boards is an indoctrination test, we are handed a 50-page packet and told to study. When it comes time to actually take the test it is administered by a senior as an oral exam and you are asked to answer 10 questions pulled from anywhere in the packet. The information consists of Coast Guard ranks, rates, history, nautical flags, damage control, Coast Guard heroes, cutter and aircrafts and a million other things. In order to pass you must answer eight of the ten questions correctly. So what’s the big deal? When everyone in the class passes then we get to act like normal people finally! No more silly freshman traditions. We get Facebook back, no more bracing up, and we actually get to talk to our friends while transiting the halls of the barracks. For the freshman here at the Academy several hours goes into studying for this test and though a few of us have passed, our mission is to now help our shipmates pass as well.

 

With Boards over with for me my next big milestone is spring break! Just about a week away and I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by. It will be nice to go home to see my family in Texas and get away from this less than perfect New London weather. It’s crazy to think that I reported into the Academy eight months ago. I can’t begin to explain how much I have changed over this time and how much I have learned about myself. The best part about it all is that I still have so much more to learn. So I guess I’m on to my next challenge, even though I have just crossed one big hurdle, I have a feeling that this place might just have another one to throw at me.

 



More about Jessica.

 

Out of the Darkness and Springing into the Light

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Rossi Photo Well, the good news is that the dark ages are over, which is generally from the time we get back from winter leave until the beginning of March when there is more darkness than light. Moving past the dark ages, the biggest and probably the most important night during the year is Billet Night. At this special occasion, the first class cadets get to find out their assignment for the next two years. I would not know the feeling and excitement this brings because I am only a third class, but talking to those who have graduated, they said Billet Night was the biggest joy they had at the Academy. It makes sense though, because all that time and effort put in over the past four years was all working to put in for your dream billet. Although I am not a first class, I am still excited for them because 2013 is the class who trained my class. A lot of them have made positive impacts on me and guided me through fourth class year, which I found to be quite the challenge.

 

The day after Billet Night is the last day of class before spring break. The time off is a great opportunity to relax and just be work free for a week before hitting the second half of the semester hard, working toward the summer training period. I speak as if this will happen instantly and believe it or not time moves fast here. The challenges of preparing the fourth class for boards still lies ahead, but in order to do that we must all keep trucking forward with a positive mental attitude.

 



More about Michael.

 

Summing Up Fourth Class Year

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Hello. It’s Lucy. I just got back from Grease, the musical! Tonight was opening night and the play went so well. It was really funny and I had no idea how many talented singers went to the Academy! The musical was a nice way to end the week. I will be honest and say that in the past two weeks, everything has been piling on top of itself; between tests, and trainings, and BOARDS, I have been quite busy. I took my first Board on Thursday. Sadly, I failed with a six out of ten, and to pass you need an eight. I wasn’t too upset about it though because I have two more attempts before spring break. Boards are a big deal for fourth class cadets because they are in a way the climax of being a fourth class. You learn what it means to be in the military all year long, starting in Swab Summer when you learn how to dress and march, and finishing the year with damage control and cadet van trainings, as we get ready to go into the fleet for the first time as cadets (aside from the one week on Eagle during Swab Summer). Taking boards is a way to sum up everything we did all year, as well as make sure that we know everything (or most) of what we will need to know about the Coast Guard for when we are out at a station or afloat this summer. Also, when we pass boards individually, we get privileges like listening to music out loud, or being able to write on the white boards outside of our rooms. If we all pass as a class though, WE GET FULL CARRY ON. And other awesome things like rec gear (a polo and khakis) that we can wear instead of wearing a full uniform out on liberty. I really hope that I pass before spring break!!!

 

I finished my indoor track season this month, and I have a few weeks to go until the offshore sailing season starts. It is nice to have a bit of a break from the sports, although I really look forward to getting back on the water especially when it finally gets warmer around here. It has been pretty cold in the recent months and although the snow day we had was a lot of fun, I think I am ready to be warm again. Time has been flying and I honestly don’t think that the notorious “Dark Ages” have been too dreary, just busy and snowy.

 

In the past month and a half, we had 101st night, which is when a fourth class and a second class switch places after a week of morale and playing pranks on each other (my second class switched all of my furniture so that I couldn’t get to the contents of my drawers or desk), and I have gone on an Officers’ Christian Fellowship retreat. It is crazy to think that in two months, it will be the end of the school year! Wish me luck on boards :)

 



More about Lucy.

 

Time

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Keeley Photo Clearly I have not written in a while. It is not that I am lazy, although I may procrastinate a little. I kept meaning to write an entry but found myself without enough time. That is a key thing you learn to do when you come here: managing your time. However, this does not simply mean make sure you do your homework before going to hang out with friends. This means being able to pick and choose what is most important and to let other things go. For example, I set aside a small homework assignment to study for a large exam last night. Luckily, that homework assignment was never collected. My point is that, in order to excel at a busy place like this, you need to get your priorities straight. It becomes necessary to accept the fact that you have to give up a real social life in order to accomplish all that is expected of you.

 

However, I do not want anyone to think that coming to the Academy is undoable. It is very manageable even during the dark ages (the period between winter and spring break). What needs to be remembered is the reason you decided to come here. Every cadet has earned their position to be here and should never feel sorry for him or herself when their load gets big and times get tough. We are being trained to deal with stressful situations in an environment where you can make mistakes. However, the mistakes you make should never be repeated if possible.

 

I came here not knowing why other than the great opportunity, job security, and financial stability. However, I am beginning to enjoy this crazy process for what it’s worth. This semester, I am taking two history courses whereas last semester, I was not enrolled in any. I am learning more about the history and relevance of the Coast Guard than I have ever known before. Today, our class took a walk around the Academy and discussed the importance of the artifacts and buildings on campus. If others before me, some my age, can sacrifice their lives for the greater good, then I can survive a heavy workload and a little loss of sleep.

 

As a fourth class, we are almost done with our first tedious year here and are about to take the Boards exam. For those who don’t know, Boards is an oral test of ten questions pertaining to a fifty page packet of information on the Coast Guard such as history, rates, ranks, etc. Once the entire class passes this exam, we all will be granted privileges beyond our wildest dreams including another more comfortable uniform known as rec gear, the freedom to play music out loud in our rooms, the freedom to look at our food and the freedom to walk on the sides of the hallways among others. The first examinations will be held tonight which means that tomorrow there will be a percentage of fourth class who will already be done with this stressful exam and acting as DJs for their respective hallways. I am taking mine later this week and striving not to fail.

 

I promise to write more regularly than I have been and am happy to answer any questions. I will write again soon.

 

V/r,
4/c Keeley

 



More about Melissa.

 

A Florida Boy’s First Winter

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Belanger Photo Growing up in northern Florida did not prepare me at all for what I am currently experiencing here in the North. Before I came here a low of 60 degrees would cause me to wear a winter jacket with jeans and the heat turned up all the way in my car. Well in early November, I discovered a new definition of cold. The first morning I woke up and looked at the thermometer on my desk and saw that outside the temperature was 30 degrees, my heart sunk. Formation was held indoors for a change and I felt like that day would be no different than any other day. However, on the way to my first class I immediately knew I was out of my element. Because we have to follow the Plan of the Day, I was not ready for the short walks to class. I was freezing. Those that I made fun of during the summer for complaining about 85 degree weather with a little humidity got to get their laughs in.

 

Two weekends ago, the northern United States was hit with the first blizzard of the winter. Well let’s just say that I did not know what was happening at all. I got into my first snowball fight and lost. Got tackled in the snow, a lot, and discovered what black ice is. On the way to an exam last week walking down the famous library hill, in terms of those around me, I ate it. I slipped on to my back and slid about 10 feet down the hill. Let’s just say that it was not graceful at all. This past weekend was Presidents’ Day weekend which meant there was no school on Monday! So I tried to go skiing. I think I rolled down the mountain more than I was actually on my feet. All bumps and bruises aside, I cannot wait to go again! This next time I am going to try snowboarding though!

 

Got a question? Email me at Nathan.D.Belanger@uscga.edu!

 



More about Nathan.

 

Two Weeks Until Spring Break

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo Another month has quickly passed, and we are only two weeks away from spring break! This past month was very busy with diving and school, but I got through it. We had tons of exams and quizzes the past couple of weeks, but you study one at a time and it ends up being okay. This past weekend the corps was granted a long for President’s day and we were allowed to leave on Friday after school and didn’t have to be back until Monday evening. I had NEWMACS, which is the swimming and diving championship at MIT in Boston. The team left on Thursday afternoon and we didn’t get back until Sunday night late. The competition went really well and the team did great. There were a lot of school records set and NCAA cuts made. They were very long days spent at the pool, but all of the work we have put in this season showed. We have a great group on the team and I had so much fun cheering for everyone. I was able to see "Safe Haven" this weekend with my diving coach and teammates. We all read the book over training trip and decided that we would go see it when it came out in theaters. It was such a good movie, but different from the book.

 

With spring break only two weeks away, the morale in the corps is high and everyone is excited to have a break. A lot of people are going out of the country with others from school, but I am going home for the week. It will be nice to see my friends and hang out at the beach and on the boat.

 

The 4/c are starting to take their boards this week and my 4/c has his this evening. He studied so hard and put in so much effort that I know he will be able to successfully pass the test. It is a very nerve wracking experience and it gets scary when you are in a room being asked any question out of a study packet of 48 pages, but with hard work, the questions will seem easy.

 

Keep working hard and having fun! As always, send any questions my way Sara.E.Cantrell@uscga.edu.

 



More about Sara.

 

Fun in the Snow

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo Here at the Academy, there are two things that can instantly boost corps-wide morale: late racks and snow days. Last Friday, with winter storm Nemo approaching the Northeast, the base was forced to shut down so that nonessential personnel wouldn’t be trapped on base when the snow began in the afternoon.

 

Last week was pretty tough on the majority of cadets, so when we found out at breakfast on Friday that all classes were cancelled, it was a welcome surprise. Conditions were projected to be pretty bad, so all cadets were kept on base Friday for safety. As a result, the corps spent the rest of the day studying, sleeping, working out, or fooling around. At night, cadets went out to enjoy the snow. There were snow ball fights, forts, and snow men all over. My roommate, who is from Rwanda, had never seen so much snow in his life! He was not the only one getting his first chance to play in the snow, though. There are many cadets from warm states in the south, so this was the first real snow storm for some of them. In the end, we had an awesome night.

 

Unfortunately, on Saturday we had to stay inside for most of the day because conditions were too dangerous outside for cadets to be roaming around. In the meantime, we entertained ourselves. Eventually, we were finally allowed out of the barracks again, but no one was allowed off base. However, that didn’t stop more snowball fights, body sledding, and fun in the snow. On Sunday, we were finally granted permission to leave base on libo, so that was a nice end to an awesome weekend.

 

Overall, it was a great long weekend. Personally, I was able to have fun and still get my work done. After the tough week last week and an equally daunting week this week, it was nice to get Friday off and enjoy the long weekend with all my classmates.

 



More about Hunter.

 

February Fun

(Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Corcoran Photo Well, if we thought we weren’t going to get a lot of snow this year, we were definitely wrong. Winter storm Nemo definitely made its mark on the Academy this past weekend. Friday classes were cancelled, which excited the Corps of Cadets. What we thought would be an extended weekend ended up meaning no Friday night or Saturday liberty for anyone because of the severe weather conditions. However, we definitely made the most out of the weather. We all had a great time enjoying the winter wonderland, whether it was making snow angels, sledding down the library hill or even throwing snow balls at fellow comrades, fun was had among all. As a matter of fact, Sunday as I was standing my duty in the Cadet Watch Office, I observed either NOAA or Officer Candidates also playing in the snow.

 

I believe this weekend will be much more fun though as we have a long weekend as President’s day allowing us to leave after our last military obligation on Friday and return on Monday because of the holiday. I never have enjoyed federal holidays as much as I do at the Coast Guard Academy because we are awarded a long weekend for each of them. This long weekend is definitely well deserved, though, considering last week I had 2 quizzes and 1 exam and this week, I have 3 exams.

 

Everything is going by so quickly at school already. Next Tuesday the 19th, we are already starting to take our 4/c Boards, which is an oral exam of Coast Guard indoctrination that when all of our classmates pass, we will be granted carry-on in Chase Hall and will not have to square around like little robots anymore. Needless to say, I will be spending the majority of this weekend studying for Boards because I am eager to be a real person inside of Chase Hall again.

 



More about Samantha.

 

Shield Swap

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo In the back half of the Running Light, the Academy’s indoctrination book, there is a Cadet Dictionary. While Swab Summer explains the majority of these terms, such as “slack ally” and “late rack”, the “Dark Ages” have to be experienced rather then read. The dictionary defines the period of time from the start of second semester to the end of February as the Dark Ages for the corps, where morale is low, the days are short, and the weather is unreasonably cold. There are remedies for this condition however; participating in sports, attending comedy nights, and the ominous 101st night are favorites currently for the class of 2016.

 

It is tradition at the Academy that during the winter darkness second class cadets remind the fourth class of their mission and help them to regain focus in their military studies. The fourth class is encouraged to spirit mission, or prank, their second class role models. In the ten days leading up to 101st night I sewed my second class’ shirts and socks together, put sticky notes labeling every item out in his room, and decorated with streamers and flags. On the 101st night before graduation, the class of 2014, the current second class, reverted back to cadre as revenge and ran fourth class through a Swab Summer routine for three hours. As a Bravo fourth class, I began with my classmates in Bravo Company and all of our second class, but after a short 15 minutes we ran up three floors to Echo Company. We continued to rotate through all of the companies learning different spewage and participating in various calisthenics and rifle movements. While the experience was helpful in respect to learn a mass amount of information, it was also physically challenging and mentally difficult to find myself a swab again instead of a fourth class.

 



More about Sarah.

 

The Semester's End

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Merritt Photo I guess we could only escape the onset of winter for so long! :( For Thanksgiving I went to visit my Godmom who lives in the heart of Harlem. I absolutely adore New York, and that area is no exception. The people are so vibrant and it’s extremely rich in culture. I mean, what more can you ask for in a mega-city?

 

So before Thanksgiving I ventured to Times Square to do some typical sightseeing. It really is a dream. There were so many bright lights, people and taxis. I wasn’t even close to being disappointed; thank goodness. Then I woke up the day after Thanksgiving to the sounds of the city, went to Katz’s Delicatessen, a place I had put on my bucket list thanks to Food Network’s Man vs. Food and roamed around the Rockefeller Center. With my satisfied taste buds and restored sense of self, I road the train back to Academy. Which I almost forgot to mention was only my second train ride ever…the first being my train ride to New York, so you can only imagine how excited I was.

 

Then a few weeks later, we had the Winter Formal. Formals are such a good time to see everyone with their plus ones out dancing and having just a genuinely good time. I know I did some serious dancing with a couple of classmates, particularly swing. Swing dancing, I learned, has to be one of my favorite styles of dancing hands down simply because it’s so fun. There’s so much energy, spinning and flipping involved that there’s no way to not have fun. No wonder I enjoy International Ballroom Dance Club so much. Did I mention you get a good workout, too? Honestly, what’s not to love?

 

Finally, the highlight of the whole month of December was going on LEAVE! After about 10 hours of travel, I was met by both of my sisters, an aunt and my niece and nephew at the airport. It’s honestly shocking how a few months will cause such changes in people, especially kids. For example, the last time I saw my niece she was cautiously waddling around with the use of her legs that she finally figured out how to work. At the airport she was just a puffball of running energy. Really though, she just would not stop going! And my younger sister, who I could once fling over my back like a sack of flour, was at my shoulders almost looking me dead in the eye! Not cool man, not cool.

 

Winter Leave...there’s really nothing like it. Especially this year. We got like a whole month off. I have amazing friends back home who I love like family and was so lucky to spend so much time with this year thanks to our extended leave. Though our time together is always relatively short, we’re the type of people that pick up where we left off the moment we’re reunited and I love that. I can honestly say that I’m truly blessed with great life friends. And don’t get me started on my family. My father is someone I just cannot live without. He’s both a parent and a best friend, a mentor and supporter, and a true comic. Let me tell you, that man is hilarious even when I’m the butt of his witty little jokes. Still, we’re basically like peas and carrots, but better. My siblings, niece and nephew are cute too of course. All in all, I have a pretty sweet family if I do say so with my biased self. (Love you guys!) Ah December, what a lovely month…except for finals—those could just go away.

 

Signing off,
Jalle

 



More about Jalle.

 

Staying Warm

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo January may have been a bit nippy, but it was a great month! After returning to the Academy from winter leave, I felt (and still feel) re-energized—things were really heating up as the new semester started. I’m excited for the semester ahead, and I’m ready to face the challenges and opportunities over the next few months as we (the 3/c cadets) move toward our cadre summer! So, what were the things that got my flame burning brightly? Let me tell you—because I haven’t done a month in review type of blog for quite some time now!

 

New Roommate (Among Other Things)
It was great coming back after a long leave period. I was excited to see everyone, to hear about their exciting breaks; I was looking forward to another semester of new class and new subjects; I felt recharged and ready to tackle the tasks I’d be doing for Officers’ Christian Fellowship and the Sustainability Club. And of course, there is the new ROOMMATE (along with a new room). James is an awesome roommate. Already after a little less than a month of rooming together, we’ve gotten a great groove down. I look forward to getting to know him more over the next few, exciting months. We both have some pretty cool things coming up, so our room is going to be a place of excitement, that’s for sure!

 

OCF Leaders’ Retreat
After the first week back from break (called MAP week, mid-year administrative week), I went over to the home of Hank and Betsy, the field staff for Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF). They hosted the OCF leadership team—I am one of the communications leaders—for a retreat to recharge and refocus for the next semester. The weekend was fantastic! I spent a lot of time in prayer and in fellowship with the other leaders. The cadets on the leadership team are some of the closest friends I have, so it was fantastic to spend two days with them (and not have to worry about any homework either!). We even had a chance to go ice skating! I could definitely feel the Lord’s presence with us that weekend!

 

MLK Weekend
This was the weekend of doing as much as possible! Haha. So Friday night I attended Friday Night Fellowship (OCF event) as I do every Friday. Nothing outrageously out of the ordinary…

Then Saturday! I made a trip to Boston! First I met up with Gretchen A., who graduated from my high school the year after I did. She goes to BU. I went to a capture the flag event with one of the Christian groups with which she is involved at BU. It was super fun! (What an understatement! Haha!) Each team had approximately twenty small flags; we played in a small area on the Esplanade along the Charles River. It was basically an open “field” (arena?) with a few trees. It was muddy, though, from the melting ice. That’s what made it so awesome. I got super dirty!

 

Staying Warm (Continued) PDF Icon  

 



More about Justin.

 

What a Busy Month

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo It hasn’t even been the first full week of February yet, and I’m already wishing February was over with! There are so many things to be done throughout this month, that when I look at my calendar all I see is writing – there is never a free moment! There are tests and quizzes scattered throughout the month, with plenty of homework and essays to fill any gaps between them. There are track meets, Glee Club events, community service events, and club meetings to be had with sleepless nights to top them all off. And the one week where there are no pressing academic tasks, we 4/c have Boards. What more could possibly happen this month? Needless to say, a much needed spring break is on its way. Not that I mean to sound like I’m complaining or anything; in general, I tend to like having a full plate of things to accomplish – BUT I do still enjoy some down time in between!

 

Amidst all these looming tests, homework, quizzes, and obligations I have, there is one that I am most excited about: Boards. If every 4/c passes Boards, the class of 2016 will get carry-on! Whoa, that’s crazy! Most classes don’t get the opportunity to earn carry-on this early. Getting to listen to music out loud, talk to my friends in the p-way, and not square is a huge thing to look forward to. After 100th day and getting the chance to be a 2/c for a day (well, 14 hours really…) I realized how fun this place can be when you’re NOT a 4/c. So, after having that little taste of freedom and privileges, I am very motivated to study. It made me wake up and realize that Boards are right around the corner, and not only do I have to do my part and study, but I have to help out my shipmates, too. Just because I might pass my first time (I really hope I do!!), the rest of 2016 does as well. This just emphasizes that you are a team here and have to look out for each other all the time.

 

That’s all I really have to say for now. Even though my month is crazy busy, don’t hesitate to email me if you guys have any questions or want advice about Academy stuff. To all the 2017 applicants/appointees – good luck, 2016 (and especially 2015) are anxiously waiting for y’all to get here!

 



More about Allie.

 

Beautiful October

(Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Merritt Photo What a beautiful and eventful month October was. We weathered Hurricane Sandy, had Halloween, Genesis Council went to Six Flags for Fright Fest and Parent’s Weekend showed a massive flood of excited families making their way through a weekend with their cadets. The highlight had to be my grandmother coming up to finally meet my beautiful “adoptive” family after the football game. Seriously, there’s nothing better than seeing both groups of people that I love finally getting to catch up over dinner.

 

About a week after that, Genesis Council took a trip up to Six Flags New England in Massachusetts. The best part, besides the rides and the haunted woods was watching their costume-clad employees chase people around—myself included (too many times to count actually). I mean when I say those employees were chasing people, I mean they were not playing around! They were dead sprinting after people with chainsaws and stuff. Haha! So as a little heads up, wear some good running shoes if you ever decide to go to a Fright Fest event. Better yet, shoes without laces because you can not afford to stop to ties those shoes!

 

Speaking of being in character, I volunteered in the Haunted Clinic held for cadets and the New London community held here at the Academy. Fully clad in my ghostly face paint and scrubs, I joined the rest of the cadets, clinic and other staff to put on a showcase of zombie apocalypse, contorted bodies and strange creatures. After I had a good laugh at that, I ventured down to Leamy where a continuous movie night was being held after the trick-or-treating earlier that evening. Needless to say the screams continued while we watched Nightmare on Elm Street and The Devil Inside. All in all, it was a great conclusion to the month.

 

Signing off,
Jalle

 



More about Jalle.

 

The Dark Ages: Cold, Yes. Dark, No!

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Krakower Photo As I sit at my desk and think about only the last two weeks, it’s safe to say a lot has gone down. The last time I wrote, I was in Georgia for the weekend. Well, the weekend after that, I went with eight other cadets to the icy land of Montreal to participate in a Model United Nations Conference at McGill University. I had done Model UN in high school, but had yet to at CGA, and this was my first conference. It was truly an excellent four days in moose country, as my committee battled its way through saving the Republic of the Congo from the Belgian troops providing the necessary humanitarian aid, while recreating a government that would solidify the newly independent nation. Long story short, the social events were great, my committee was fantastic, and I met many new people from all over the country! It was really an excellent experience.

 

This was actually the first weekend since I’ve been back this second semester that I actually stayed in New London. It’s great to travel a lot, but sometimes you just have to stay in! I caught up on homework, slept, and played some lacrosse, which, by the way, is now in full swing! We’re preseason ranked Number 13 and eyeing the National Tournament in Greenville, South Carolina this year. It’s going to be quite the run. We look very solid with our returning players as well as our freshman class.

 

We also put in for our cadre assignments, and I got my first pick, Waterfront! Essentially, I’ll be Chase Hall cadre at night, but during the day I’ll be down on Jacob’s Rock teaching the swabs (yes, 2017, that’s you!) how to sail the FJs and 420s. I’m very excited, as this summer is going to be an amazing learning experience for all of 2015 and me.

 

So as you can plainly see, the Dark Ages truly haven’t been too bad. Classes are going well, and this is what I have going on. If any 2017 kids have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at Samuel.Krakower@uscga.edu, as I’m not a cadre just yet! We want you guys to be as prepared as possible! Now to start that Comparative Politics paper…

 



More about Samuel.

 

Dark Ages

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Miller Photo I’m starting to see why January and February are called the “Dark Ages” around here. Not because it’s cold, or snowy, but because of the people who leave after winter semester. At least, that’s why this semester has been kind of depressing to me. It’s tough seeing people getting kicked out for grades, because those people had put in so much effort to be here and make it through the summer. There were also some people who left because they decided that they did not want to be here anymore. While it’s sad to see those people go to, at least they’ve realized that being at the Academy is not for them.

 

On a happier note, congratulations to everyone who was accepted in early action! Look forward to coming here—it’s hard work, but if you do it right, you can enjoy yourself.

 

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

 



More about Caroline.

 

101st Night and 100th Day

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo It’s an exciting time for the 4/c cadets here in Chase Hall. We have a lot going on for the next few weeks. First of all, on February 3rd we participated in 101st night. Which, by definition means “a chance for the 4/c to earn carry-on on 100th day.” It was a rough night, but I won’t say anymore on that. However, once we were finished, all the 4/c and 2/c from my company (Alfa), marched back to Chase Hall, singing marching cadences, just like we did all those months ago during Swab Summer. It was nice to reminisce back to Swab Summer and how far the Class of 2016 has come since R-Day. We have gone through all of Swab Summer together as well as our first semester. We have a long road ahead of us, but I’m proud to be a member of the Class of 2016.

 

Anyway, once we successfully completed 101st night, we switched roles with the 2/c cadets the next morning. On 100th day, we talked in the hallways, did not brace up, did not take the trash out, we played music aloud and the best did not have to square corners or our meals! It was an awesome day. Our second class woke us up by yelling and screaming in the hallways at 0550, telling us that there was 30 minutes to go until formation – and to think I was actually looking forward to actually sleeping in for a few extra minutes. Once I was finally up and wasn’t too frightened to open my door, I saw that there was about 50 cups of water outside my door that I would have to jump over. Luckily I made it! 100th day was a great experience for us, we got to learn more about what the life of a 2/c is like. It was a lot of fun to have carry-on for the day, but on Wednesday we must all begin to brace up, memorize our indoc and square our corners. The next big hurdle will be Boards, which, due to 101st night, I realized I need to do a lot more studying for!

 



More about Kayla.

 

One More Long Semester

(Academics, Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Gurtler Photo Readers: I know that I have not been very up-to-date on my postings recently but I am going to do my best to make up for it this semester! Considering I had 21 credits last semester, was in season for basketball for the majority of it, and had numerous singing engagements along the East Coast, it really is a wonder I had an opportunity to breathe!

 

Nonetheless, after a much-deserved break, I flew in from Wisconsin on the 28th for basketball practice, moved into my new room today with a new roommate, and picked up my hefty stack of textbooks in preparation for a new semester. My course load appears to be just as jam-packed as the last, which is a little unsettling but I am confident I’ll make it through just fine.

 

Today there was a 3/c wide training on what we have to look forward to this semester in regard to preparing us for 2/c summer. I am very excited to begin learning the various leadership skills that all cadre need to have in order to be effective role models and teachers for the incoming swabs. Also, I am anxious to coordinate my schedule with the other opportunities that 2/c summer brings for cadets. For instance, we all are given the privilege to sail along New England on the new Leadership 44 vessels, honing our sailing skills and making stops along the way at the various ports such as Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. There are other opportunities that we will have to experience such as spending a week at an air station and working a week with boarding officers, learning about maritime safety on vessels.

 

All of the options are very new and very exciting! I just have to keep reminding myself that I have to stay focused for one more long semester!

 



More about Victoria.

 

Pressure Rising

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo If you could stop a fourth class in the passageway and ask them how much pressure they are feeling right now, the answer would be the same across the board, “a lot,” to be blunt.

 

At the moment, there is a tremendous amount of pressure on the fourth class to perform. In addition to our day to day class workload, military obligations, and athletic obligations, we are studying for Boards. For those who are not familiar with Boards, it is an indoctrination test that all fourth class have to pass before third class year. The test is coming up on February 23, and we have a lot of information to memorize in preparation.

 

Boards covers a wide variety of Coast Guard knowledge, from Academy and Coast Guard history, to nautical flags and terminology, cutters and aircraft, and much, much more. We are expected to memorize every last detail in a 50+ page packet! In the end, it all comes down to ten questions, some with multiple parts. We must get eight correct to pass. Like I said, we are studying hard, and we even have weekly quizzes on particular sections of the material to make sure we’re studying.

 

Despite the pressure, we remain motivated to succeed, because the sooner we all pass Boards, the sooner we will receive privileges! It is a huge morale booster to know that in a month to a month and a half, we won’t have to be constantly braced up because once we all pass Boards, carry on will be granted! I’m excited. I’m not just excited to be done with Boards, though. I’m excited for the end of the school year, and the summer in the fleet to follow!

 

If you have any questions, or want to know more about Boards and the demands of fourth class year, please feel free to email me! Hunter.D.Stowes@uscga.edu 

 



More about Hunter.

 

The Start of a New Semester

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Kloo Photo I am writing this from a train on the way to New York City for a weekend of liberty after the start to the semester. As always, you hate to leave your friends and family, and return to CGA but each semester offers new opportunities.

 

With a new semester comes new classes, which allow you to get further into your major and really focus on the topics you really enjoy. There is still a mixture of core and major-specific classes. Physics II and Probability and Statistics are both core classes, but those classes integrate nicely with many of the concepts in Physical and Analytical Chemistry.

 

Second semester of third class year is exciting. The big thing on everyone’s mind is which cadre section they will be a part of. The cadre are the ones who train the incoming Class of 2017, and each of the different sections: Swab Summer, waterfront, AIM, CGAS, or Eagle, and each group is responsible for a different component of training. In addition to cadre we have rules of the road training, pistol qualification, aviation training, and coastal sail training program, each of which offers a different component of development for us.

 

Crew is in full swing as always, and we are training hard for the Crash-B’s up in Boston. It has been a long winter on the erg and with weights but we are all looking forward to our spring break trip to Florida, where we can get out on the water and put down a ton of meters.

 



More about Alex.

 

Cadre Assignment Season

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo So, what’s new in the wonderful world of CGA since I last wrote? (This would of course assume that I remember the last time I wrote…which I don’t remember. So…) The biggest thing these past two weeks has been cadre assignments for Swab Summer 2013. To all of you who are getting appointments to the Class of 2017 right now, please rest assured that the Great Class of 2015 is getting ready for you all to join the corps. Swab Summer will be a blast! (For us maybe…)

 

Anyway, our e-resumes (the request sheet for assignments) were due last week, and cadre selections have been going on throughout this week. Most of my classmates want to be Chase Hall cadre, either for the swabs, the AIMsters, or the CGAS cadet candidates. However, I want to be an Eagle cadre. I think that the idea of getting underway time, away from Chase Hall, where I can show the swabs exactly what “a liking for the sea and its lore” means, is pretty awesome. However, this is not a general consensus: some of my classmates will have to be "voluntold" to be Eagle cadre. Anyway, I can’t give away too many of the surprises about Swab Summer…you’ve got to experience it for yourself! If you have any questions, please never hesitate to email me at Peter.M.Driscoll@uscga.edu. I promise I won’t bite until R-Day. Haha, just kidding!!! (Maybe?)

 

The weeks are flying by until Swab Summer arrives. I hope that everyone who has accepted an appointment, or is eagerly awaiting one in the mail, is as excited for the adventure of a lifetime as my classmates and I are!

 



More about Peter.

 

New Semester, New Year!

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cardoza Photo Even though the corps had the longest winter break that we will ever have in our four years here, it felt like it was way too short! When we came back, it felt like we had never left at all! Although, changing rooms, changing roommates, getting new classes, and attending a lot of trainings and lectures helped us all ease back into the daily whirlwind that is the Academy. My classes this semester are enjoyable for the most part! Being able to be in my major-specific classes such as Marine Geochemistry and Physical Oceanography really help to give me a sense of what my classes will be like for the rest of my time here. They also help me to appreciate being an MES major while my engineering friends are doing subjects that I can’t even imagine taking.

 

Even though rugby is over and we didn’t make it to Nationals like the men’s team did, water polo just started up and I am super excited to finally get back in the water! This will be my 6th year playing, and each year I get even more excited to begin a new season. Our team looks really strong this year with about two to three strings of starters that have played the game before. There are also a number of new girls that have come out to play, so being able to see a team develop from vets and newbies is an enjoyment to watch and even more fun to be a part of!

 

Presidents' Day Weekend and Spring Break are the next two events that the corps is looking forward to. It is going to be nice to be able to go back home to sunny San Diego for a week before I have to come back to single digit weather! I am really excited to get through the first part of the second semester and to keep on chugging through until we hit the summer!

 



More about Samantha.

 

A Fresh Start

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Bilodeau Photo Returning to the Academy was finally a better experience than usual. I was able to choose my roommate this semester, which is one of my best friends here at the Academy. A goal I have for this semester is to strengthen my abs. So, we have been working out together almost nightly in order to be prepared for our cadre summer. Another one of my more random goals this semester is to drink more tea, so we set up a tea station on our bookshelf.

 

The classes I am taking this semester include: Discrete Mathematics, Linear Optimization, Ships, Racquetball/Golf, Intelligence and National Security Policy, Navigation Lab, and Physics II. I am really fond of my math classes and the Intelligence class, but I do not care for Physics II, which is going to be my hardest class this semester.

 

I got a season’s pass to Okemo for the winter so I would be able to ski. I have been able to ski Okemo three times so far, and once at a little mountain in Connecticut called Mohawk Mountain. When I was home on leave, I skied three days at Sunday River. Skiing on the weekends is refreshing and really makes me happy. It is a healthy way to have fun and leave the Academy for the entire day. It makes me feel accomplished instead of sleeping my whole day away on Sunday. I am definitely going to ski more this year in order to keep my batteries charged.

 



More about Christina.

 

Back in the Swing of Things

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Gurtler Photo This year I stand a little taller as I get back into the swing of things here at the USCGA. I think every third class has a sense of accomplishment coming back after a summer away from the Academy, working out in the fleet. I learned a great deal about the U.S. Coast Guard over my twelve weeks on USCGC Eagle and Small Boat Station Oak Island, and now I’m ready to hit the books for another demanding, but rewarding semester.

 

My schedule is difficult, especially for a Government major. I am studying everything from Calculus to Physics to American Government to Ships and Maritime Systems. Sprinkle a little Nautical Science and Morals and Ethics in there, and you got a loaded semester!

 

In addition, my teammates and I are busy pre-season conditioning for this upcoming women’s basketball season. I am so excited to begin practices in mid-October. We are looking at what seems to be a successful season with a lot of new talent on the roster!

 

With all the excitement happening this past week, I am really pleased to get my first blog out for the semester. This weekend plays host the Homecoming football game. Next weekend my parents are flying in from Wisconsin for Parents’ Day Weekend, and the week after that Glee Club performing at the Coast Guard Foundation Dinner in NYC, where I am honored to have a solo. Whew! I always forget just how busy us cadets are until I write it all down!

 



More about Victoria.

 

Recapping Leave

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Bilodeau Photo I have not written a blog in a while so I will reflect on November and December. Both of these months were filled with a lot of time for leave. I left the Academy to go on Recruiting Leave in my hometown of Scarborough. I visited my old high school as well as a neighboring private high school. It feels like just yesterday that I was applying to the Coast Guard Academy, but there I was, recruiting students to join me at the Academy. I spent a quiet Thanksgiving with my parents and my boyfriend then headed back to the Academy for a week and a half of school before finals, which went generally well. After finals, three other 3/c and myself went to Miami to embark on a cruise for week. After the cruise, I went to Naples to visit my family and then finally made it to Maine.

 

Leave was relaxing and long. For the first time I was not nervous about coming back to the Academy. I wanted to return to see my friends and start new classes.

 



More about Christina.

 

Skipping the Fall, Living the Winter, Planning the Summer

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Capuzzi Photo It’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to write, so please forgive for that. But I have plenty of excuses why I haven’t.

 

At the beginning of the year, I was elected Treasurer for the Class of 2014. Now, every Wednesday I sit down with four of my classmates and our class advisor and we discuss ways to have fun as a class. In September, we held a cookout down by the waterfront and hung out. We also put on a class-wide Halloween party at Stonington Lodge, complete with scary movies and a costume contest.

 

Our biggest project this year is Ring Dance. Ring Dance occurs at the end of second class year and is one of the most memorable events for cadets. At Ring Dance, we are presented with our class rings; the symbol of our time at the Coast Guard Academy. With our class crest on one side and the Coast Guard Academy crest on the other, the men and women of the Class of 2014 will be forever linked to this hallowed institution. While we’re getting ready for Ring Dance, we’re also in the early planning stages for Castle Dance, our pre-graduation formal in Newport, Rhode Island.

 

My season with the Offshore Sailing team came to an abrupt end a month early due to a concussion I sustained during practice. A concussion can really ruin a semester. When you can’t think straight and your head always hurts, there is no way you can take tests or quizzes. I fell behind in school and worked hard to catch up. Fortunately, my efforts paid off and my grades did not slip.

 

Skipping the Fall, Living the Winter, Planning the Summer (Continued) PDF Icon 

 



More about Nick.

 

Collegiate Presidential Inaugural Conference

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Anderson Photo Roughly two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be permitted to attend the Collegiate Presidential Inaugural Conference in Washington D.C. This was essentially a summit of college-level students who had excelled in some facet of academics and received a nomination to attend. From there, they were successfully selected and accepted the invitation to the conference.

 

From what I saw, there were almost a thousand people there. Their majors spanned from Art to Restaurant Management, from Engineering to Medical and from Political Science to Biology. The students themselves hailed from well over forty countries, and were all brimming with excitement at the opportunity to experience and take part in a major part of American history.

 

Of the people I met and interacted with, I was the only military academy student, so people were naturally curious. I spent a lot of time in the networking sessions explaining what I will do after I graduate, and even what I am doing now—until I graduate. And then there were the questions, and boy did I answer a multitude of them. The questions ranged from “What is the Coast Guard Academy?” to “Where does the Coast Guard operate?” and “What made you interested in being in the military?”

 

I was able to listen to Mary Matalin, James Carville, Jeb Bush, Reverend Jesse Jackson and Professor Jonathan Turley speak. I even got to ask a question to Jonathan Turley relating to the thesis that I wrote last year for Constitutional Law. Regardless of a person’s political orientation, I know I speak for everyone present when I say that the speakers’ messages could be identified with by anyone. I think I also speak for everyone there when I say that the speakers did an outstanding job identifying with their audience and keeping everyone in tune and interested in what they had to say. A great example of this was found when Reverend Jackson had everyone stand up and yell “I. I Am. I Am Somebody.” He then continued on with the repeating after him chant that made the points that it was my generation’s job to end the hate; to bridge the gaps between many of the cultures and countries who feel that they have been outcast, alienated or otherwise. And though I didn’t agree with everything he said (gun bans…) I still think he made many great points. Part of the problems our world faces stem from the alienation and ostracizing of cultures different than our own. The fact of the matter is that international relations will be the key to solving the problems faced by our nations and generations as we mature.

Collegiate Presidential Inaugural Conference (Continued) PDF Icon  

 



More about Meredith.

 

One Day at a Time

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo Another week of second semester is complete. Since I’ve gotten back from winter leave, it has been pretty hectic. This semester requires a lot of work. With all of my schoolwork and diving I am still managing to get out of the Academy and have fun with my friends. Time management is the key to success. Last weekend was Martin Luther King weekend and the Corps of Cadets was granted a long, which is a short break from Friday until the next Monday. I had a diving meet on Saturday so I wasn’t able to leave until Saturday night, but a group of my friends and I went to Cape Cod. We did a lot up on the Cape and made some great memories. My favorite part of the weekend was doing a polar plunge with four of my friends. The water was freezing, but the experience and sunset made it worth it. Coming back after a fun long weekend is always hard, but the week didn’t go by too slowly and the weekend was here again.

 

This past weekend I had a diving meet at Clark University and the team won! We all swam and dove really well and I’m so proud of the team. I went skiing with three of my friends on Sunday. There is a mountain a couple hours away from the Academy that has free lift tickets for military so we went there and skied the whole day. I’m ready for another long week of academics, but I’m also already looking forward to next weekend. Taking school one day at a time is key to a successful semester.

 



More about Sara.