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cadet blogs

The Fun Parts

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Martin Photo If you talk to most cadets, they will tell you how much homework they have to do, how little sleep they got last night, and whine about taking duty. Along with the drudgery, there are some sparks of fun here and there that give some light and some excitement to our dark days of February. There are many opportunities to get off base and into the world to see some cool things and meet some cool people that most people wouldn’t get to do. Over President’s Day, Officer’s Christian Fellowship had their Weekend Retreat up to Barre, Vermont where we got to frolic in the snow, stay at host family’s homes with real people, and got to have some down time and watch a game or two on TV. The main part of our time, though, was bible study with a retired Army General and his wife that were truly amazing people. He had started Delta Force, been chief of Army Corps of Engineers, they had ran over 20 marathons combined and were down to earth, honest people who took time out of their lives to come and share their experiences with us.


After that weekend, the Jewish Club took a trip to Annapolis, getting out of school on Friday and driving down. We stayed at the Naval Academy, which was very cool to see how amazing their campus was, but to also meet our Navy brothers and sisters (and to see how much better the Coast Guard was). We went into D.C. the next day and visited the Holocaust Museum for three hours and then got to hear from and meet a Holocaust survivor. Mr. Greenbaum had survived everything from living in a ghetto, a work camp, Auschwitz, to a 3 month long journey with nothing but a potato a day. He survived the Holocaust, but so did his faith, his hope, and his will. He is a true hero who spreads his message of hope and peace today. Next week, I get to see the Sikorsky plant and see their helicopters being made and fly in their simulators. We have so many things to do and so much to see, but the problem is finding time to do it all.


More about Matt.


Preparing for Cadre

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Capuzzi Photo Like most of my classmates, I still remember June 28, 2010 very well. Reporting-In Day for the Class of 2014, a day filled with both excitement and anxiety. I clearly recall waiting in line in Leamy Hall, joining my company for the ride up to Chase Hall, and, of course, getting off the bus.


Though it doesn’t feel like it, more than a year and a half has passed since Swab Summer commenced for the Class of 2014. Now we are preparing to be the cadre, the larger than life individuals who were responsible for forging military academy cadets out of regular high school students. And now, in just a few short months, we will be those individuals, tasked with providing a disciplined Class of 2016 to learn the ways of a Coast Guard Officer.


Preparation for this awesome task has already begun. During our Swab Summer, we kept a journal of sorts, called “Thoughts of the Day.” Now, we’re getting to look at them. While we didn’t care for this at the time, these notebooks now provide invaluable insight into our Swab Summer experiences. We can read about what made our good days good and our bad days bad.


That’s not all, though. During our professional development discussions with our company chiefs and company officers, we frequently discuss the upcoming summer. We talk about leadership styles, motivation techniques, and other relevant information. The company officers and chiefs are great sources of guidance for any Academy issue, not just Swab Summer. They are not afraid to share their wealth of knowledge and experience with cadets.


In addition, we are expanding our horizons by interacting with the Class of 2013. Because even class years are trained by even class years and odd class years are trained by odd class years, some strategies differ between even and odd years. By combining the best points of each, we can create the best possible training environment for the Class of 2016.


Congratulations to all of those appointed to the Coast Guard Academy Class of 2016. We’ll be ready for you.


Semper Paratus! 


More about Nick.


Enjoying the Little Things

(Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Hoburg PhotoAs the 2nd semester of 4/c year rolls on I have learned one very important thing: that it is essential to find the joy in the little things in life and not take yourself to seriously here. First off, I recently bought one of those tiny remote controlled helicopters and it was probably one of my best investments I’ve made since I’ve been here. It’s this little tiny helicopter that’s only about six inches long but there’s nothing I love more than taking a break from homework to fly it around my room and land it on my roommates head while he’s listening to music in his headphones focusing extremely hard on his homework. Or the other day it was Valentine’s Day and my roommate came across some fake snow stuff that started out as a powder and after you add water to it, feels like real snow. We took a whole can of that stuff and while one of our shipmates wasn’t in his room we covered his desk in it and drew little hearts out of red sprinkles. It didn’t cause any damage or anything but it made for a good laugh and it’s the little laughs like that that make the days pass much easier.


A few weeks ago I was in the ward room (dining room) about to sit down for lunch, and the cups they use are these nice glass cups that are always left upside down when they set the tables. That day somebody came to where I sit, took one of the glass cups and covered the top with clear saran wrap. He must have done this very carefully cause there was no way to tell it was there. As I sat down perfectly braced up like a good little 4/c I innocently picked up my glass as the pitcher of water came around. Upon my attempt to fill my glass with water, all of the water and ice bounced off the saran wrap and spilled all over my plate. Luckily missing my uniform for the most part. I, and the rest of the upper class at my table, couldn’t help but die laughing. It was so funny. Finding the humorous side of the little things in life can help you get through any stressful situation.


Don’t hesitate to email me with any questions you might have: Take it easy.


More about Adam.


New Opportunities

(Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Wu Photo I love how the Coast Guard Academy offers so many new opportunities here. Within the last month, I have been able to learn and experience so much. I got to go to New York City with APAC (Asian Pacific American Council) for the Lunar New Year’s parade. I got to learn a lot about the tradition behind the New Year and the trip also taught me a lot about leadership, communication, and organization involved in planning a trip. I was able to go again with APAC this past weekend on to ECAASU (East Coast Asian American Student Union) at Duke University with LCDR Hickey, and three other cadets. It was a really fun and educational trip and we, as cadets at the Coast Guard Academy, got to experience being a part of a bigger community with students from over 70 different schools. It was a great time to meet new people and also to run into old friends as well.


At the Academy, I have also been able to try a new sport. I just started up women’s lacrosse for the spring semester and I love it so far. It is a completely new experience for me since back home in New York City public high schools do not offer lacrosse so I only saw people from Long Island and upstate with lacrosse sticks. The first couple of weeks have been hard because I needed to learn the basics of throwing and catching, but the team is really friendly and helpful. It is strange to hear that a college allows people, like myself, to learn a sport from scratch.


I am looking forward to my upcoming summer as well and what I will get to learn during my third class summer experience whether being stationed or underway. I am grateful for all the new opportunities the academy has to offer.


More about Ellie.


My Second Semester

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Meyers Photo With almost half of the second semester of my first year here gone, it seems like time is flying, and I’ve heard it only goes by faster. On one hand, I don’t want that time to just pass by, but on the other hand, this is fourth class year, and I know that once I’m done with this, life will get a lot better. Already the general atmosphere is more relaxed than from first semester. It’s not that we don’t have the same amount of work or the same expectations; I think it’s just that we’ve gotten better at doing our jobs so it seems easier.


As an example, before morning and afternoon meal formation, the 4/c from each company are required to cover clocks in their respective wing areas. That entails knowing the next three meals, movies playing at the local movie theatre, Coast Guard sports, and days to go until big events and then yelling that indoc along with the time to go until formation. While first semester, this seemed like an awful task that was pretty difficult to do well, but this semester, I haven’t had a single problem.


It seems everything is going that way. We’re treated more like 3/c and less like swabs every day and it won’t be long before we actually get carry-on. We still have to do those 4/c duties, but they are really just part of a routine now.


As for school, after adjusting to the workload last semester, it’s evident what it takes to succeed here in terms of academics. I’m doing even better this semester managing time and work than last and I’m sure that only gets better as time goes by. Overall, this has been a pretty good semester and I’m looking forward to both 3/c year and the cruises I get to go on this summer.


More about James.


The Dark Ages...

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Ulbricht Photo Despite the gloomy weather that usually is part of the New London climate, the sense of what many cadets call the “Dark Ages” is still among us. Most weekends, all I want to do is sleep during the day, and maybe open a book to study. When all you do during the week is stay up late to get the homework done you put off during the weekend, the last thing anyone wants to do is schoolwork especially when there are better things to be doing.


Academics have a strong grip on a lot of us. My first round of tests did not turn out the way I wanted them to, even with a lot of effort being put into each subject. I got really discouraged, and for the first time since being here, I thought about quitting. I was upset that I put so much time and energy into everything, and what I was getting back was less than acceptable. It took a phone call home to brighten up my day, and a little motivation to do something about my grades. Yes, your parents are still always right. Of course I did not tell my parents that I wanted to quit, because that was just a small phase I went through, and I didn’t want them to worry. I have since gone to my teachers for tutoring in classes that I am struggling in, and even set up study groups with different shipmates. You will not survive this place without the help from others: your classmates, and upper class as well.


Spring Break cannot come soon enough. A group of us are going to Fort Lauderdale for the week of sunshine, swimming and great fun! After that, track meets begin, boards, class formal and hopefully music and Facebook privileges. (Hopefully we can all pass after the first try). Have a great rest of the year!


More about Cameo.