Skip Navigation Links
FacebookFlickrTwitterYou Tube
<< March 2012 >>
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

cadet blogs

Is it Worth It?

(Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Hoburg PhotoSo it’s January, wow time is going by fast. I’m coming off an excellent winter break, it was so nice going home and seeing friends and getting to relax for a while. But now it’s back to the grind and time to get back into the routine of things. No more sleeping in until 1000 everyday.


Anyway, in addition to school I came back from break ready to continue my freshman swim season. It hasn’t been until recently that I have discovered what a valuable part of my time here at the Academy that sports have played. I am a water polo player and a swimmer. Here at the Academy, swim is an NCAA sport while water polo is just a club sport but I will honestly admit that water polo is where my passion lies. Water polo season takes place from the very first week of school in August to the end of October then swim immediately picks up after the season is over. I had a blast with water polo, we went to tournaments every other weekend and I had such a great time traveling with the team and competing in parts of the country that I had never visited. Then once swim season began I was a little nervous to commit to the sport. Swim is a big commitment, as is any of the NCAA sports, it requires a lot of time and it began right around the time when academics were really picking up and I was not sure I could balance it all. I toiled with the idea of not swimming this season and focusing on school. But now that the season is over I’m really glad that I decided to stick with it.


I have realized that making the effort to involve yourself with activities outside of school and military while at the Academy is invaluable. Participating in other activities gives you the opportunity to take your mind off the stresses you face here and channel your energy into doing something you love. Most importantly, when you play a sport, you’re part of team. A team that is dedicated to your success on and off the field, pardon the cliché. Your teammates want to see you succeed as an athlete and a student and they’re there to help you and support you just as you will be for them. It is especially valuable as a 4/c because it helps you develop relationships with upper class that you can go to for help. Learning how to balance sports with all of your other responsibilities just comes with being a cadet and it only gets easier as time goes on. But as long as you embrace the opportunity to develop relationships with your teammates and establish that support system, it should not take long to get used to. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself cause that’s the only way you’re going to improve.


As you embark on a new year I hope you are excited for the challenges and experiences that lie ahead, especially with making your college decision. If you have any questions feel free to email me anytime: Thanks.


More about Adam.


Second Semester and Time Off

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Bilodeau PhotoIt seems like second semester is definitely speeding by faster than first semester. Since my last blog there have been two long weekends, 101st night, 100th day, and good grades in between. So far this semester has been packed, which is probably the reason why it is going by so quickly. Uniform inspections, room inspections, and indoc tests have been consistent this semester, which keeps us 4/c on our toes.


I started studying more for indoctrination tests and got ready for 101st night. I will not say much about 101st night, but it was a chance for the 4/c to earn the privileged 100th day and wear white shields. This semester I have been getting decent test grades and I try to seek help earlier when I do not understand material.


As far as time off goes, I spent MLK weekend with my boyfriend in New York City and President’s Day Weekend in Maine. In New York we ate at great restaurants, went to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, and saw a comedy show at Dangerfield’s. This past long weekend was President’s Day Weekend. I went home to Maine to see my parents, sleep, and relax. I ate lobster, steak, and my mom made carrot cake.


I was finally excited to go back to the Academy after President’s Day Weekend because I wanted to be back with my friends and in the swing of things. Spring Break is right around the corner, which was another incentive to head back to Connecticut. I will be spending Spring Break with my grandparents in Naples.


More about Christina.


Standing a Taut Watch

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link
Nolan Photo I sometimes feel when I write these entries that I’m beating a dead horse. I write about topics that are so familiar to me that anything I write becomes mundane in my eyes. What I often fail to realize, as was pointed out to me today, is how strange and different the world I’m living in may appear to those who are outside the system. So I write today in the hopes that this topic, while mundane and repetitive to me, might prove to be more entertaining, and perhaps even enlightening, to you.


Duty is an important concept in the military, and while it definitely has some applicable parallels to the civilian world, it plays an even greater importance here. Although I could speak for ages about duty in the military, let’s narrow down the scope a bit to something a bit closer to home: Duty in the Coast Guard.


After graduation, watch standing will become a majority of your job. You’ll be standing watch on your cutter as it traverses the ocean, you’ll be standing watch at a sector, monitoring the airwaves and incoming and outgoing vessel traffic, or you’ll be standing watch at an air station ready to spring into action and be the first aircraft on scene to any incident that occurs in your AOR. Sounds exciting doesn’t it?


It’s usually not. It’s okay though, that’s a fact that you’ll have to learn to deal with. Odds are, that drug interdiction case isn’t going to happen your first time on the bridge, and even if it does, it won’t happen on your watch for quite a while. Those accidents and collisions that sector is waiting to respond to, they’re not an everyday occurrence, and thankfully our aircraft aren’t needed to aid in a Search and Rescue case during every watch standing period.


So why do we stand duty then? It comes from our motto “Semper Paratus;” always ready. We stand duty so that in those moments when a split second decision is needed, or when the five minute delay it takes to get someone to make the decision may mean the difference between life and death, that we’ll be prepared. We stand duty to protect those we serve, and also, to a bigger extent to protect ourselves. While you’re on the bridge of a ship making a decision, the entire crew sleeping below decks has placed their trust in you; that you’ll stand a taut watch, and protect them while they rest. They trust that you have their backs.


Why then do I find myself on a Saturday night of a long weekend sitting in the barracks standing duty? Surely there are no drug runners to bust in the middle of Chase Hall, nobody’s going to drown (except perhaps in a pile of homework) while I man my post, so why then do I stand this duty? The answer is really simple, it comes down to two things.


Semper Paratus means always ready. Ready to respond, ready to report and ready to take action. Standing duty here means that we’re ready to respond if something happens; granted our incidents may be smaller, more menial than those in the fleet but the idea is applicable universally.


The second reason is that the Academy’s purpose is to train us to be officers. We are literally the United States Coast Guard’s Ensign Factory (USCGEF for short) and we would be remiss if the Academy didn’t teach us the seriousness and necessity for watch standing.


So that is why you find me sitting here today writing this letter to you all, this is why you find me sitting at this desk in an empty company wing area. It may seem pointless to some, but when you understand the reasons behind it, it becomes plain to see that the most important thing a Coast Guardsman can do is, as ADM Papp says it, “Stand a taut watch”.


Please feel free to email me with any questions or concerns you may have. I can be reached via

Semper P.
2/c Stephen Nolan


More about Stephen.