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cadet blogs

Taking Sikorsky's Helicopter Designs to the Assembly Line

(Academics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo While field trips in college are rare to come by, the few that happen grandly exceed expectations. My first academic field trip happened this month with the Engineering Department: although the trip was geared toward first class mechanical and electrical engineering cadets, a spot opened and I was able to join as a fourth class. The all day trip was to the Sikorsky site in Stratford, Connecticut, about an hour away from the Academy. Sikorsky, one of the primary helicopter manufacturer's for the U.S. military, is a company under the direction of United Technologies – a conglomerate that includes Pratt and Whitney, Otis, and many other industries.


As a large group we learned how to design a helicopter in less than an hour, how the industry works with the military and civilian agencies to develop real technologies, and how great the potential we have as upcoming engineers is for innovation. After a lunch break we were divided into smaller sections and toured the plant, seeing the assembly processes of thousands of pieces into BlackHawks, SeaHawks, JayHawks, and many other products. The assembly line was impressively clean and had many safety measures in place, such as the eye protection we were provided on the tour. Additionally, the current designs led to conversation about future technologies, such as the X2 development project, which will increase speed, maneuverability, and environmental conditions for use. The company mentioned the potentials the new technology has for the Coast Guard: consider a craft able to drop a rescue swimmer closer to the water's surface with less disturbance, more maneuverability, and almost half the travel time from emergency to medical care – our mission would be revolutionized.


Obviously the trip was very intellectually engaging, but more than that, it reminded me why I chose an engineering major. Many cadets complain about their chosen major and the engineering majors are constantly epitomized by a lack of sleep and an overload of work. Even as a freshmen the dividing line between the engineers and the "other majors" is drawn and whenever there is complaint that work is too hard, others will joke that life for engineers will only become harder. True, the course load is going to become progressively more intensive, but the end goal is worth the labor.


If you have any questions about engineering at the Academy or cadet life at all, please feel free to contact me as always,


More about Sarah.


The Ides of March

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Krakower Photo Just another day at the CGA. Well, I would say that, had we not all just come back from spring break. The Coast Guard Idlers and Fairwinds traveled down to Florida for our weeklong break. We performed in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Pompano Beach, Key Biscayne, Naples, Sarasota, and at Disney World! The performances all went great, and the only con out of the whole trip was that I got really badly sunburned on Wednesday. I still haven’t gotten over it, and now it’s Monday of the next week! But aside from that, the trip was a blast, with beach trips to Chipotle runs and everything in between.


Lacrosse is going exceptionally well at the moment. We are ranked Number 8 in the nation, and are 3-0 heading into our conference play. We have a huge game against the University of Rhode Island on Wednesday that could really set us up for a bid at the national tournament. We’re all excited to get to that game to prove we deserve to go to Greenville in May! The team looks really fluid, and is doing the best in its history, which makes it really exciting to be a part of this team.


As for our summers, well, it’s tough to say what is going on. I got my cadre choice, Waterfront 1, so I’m pumped for that. However, due to the sequester with our great pals in D.C. a lot of our summer is looking like it might get cut, resulting in unpaid leave. While leave is great, at the expense of CATP and CSTP, two great 2/c summer programs, it appears to be much more of a downer than you’d imagine. We’re all hoping that these problems get fixed quickly down in Washington!


Well, that’s about it for now. With no more real breaks aside from Easter Weekend, the push is on to finish the semester! Any questions, as always, I’m right here. Hope you’re getting ready 2017!


More about Sam.


USMA Exchange Program

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Kloo Photo One of the highlights of many students’ college careers is the ability to study abroad for a semester. While that opportunity doesn’t exist in the traditional sense here at CGA, there is the Service Academy Exchange Program or SAEP. Each fall semester roughly ten cadets are allowed to go to one of the other military academies to experience life as a student there, take their classes and to learn about military sciences and leadership from their perspective. I have the opportunity to go to West Point next semester. Because West Point is so much larger, they offer many more classes than we do here, which allows me to take more unique or specialized major classes that we do not have the resources to offer here. In addition to that, I will get to experience the military training aspect of another service academy. The different leadership approach taught at West Point is something that I will hopefully be able to bring back to CGA and use as a cadet and as an officer.


Another aspect I am excited about is the fact that I will still be able to row. West Point has a crew team, and we competed against them in the Head of the Charles this year. There is a little tradition running as well, with someone from the CGA crew team being sent to USMA to row there, and I am glad to keep that tradition going for the 5th year in a row. With any luck, I should be able to transition to their crew team without missing a beat, and bring a new perspective back to CGA. I am looking forward to a change of scenery for next semester.


More about Alex.