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cadet blogs

Finishing the Trip

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2012) Permanent link
Lloyd Photo Time has been moving a mile a minute here at the Academy over the past few months. It is surreal to believe that I will be done with classes in just three weeks and graduating as in officer in the world’s best Coast Guard in a little over a month.

 

Just one month ago, I was living up one of the best weeks of my life in the British Virgin Islands on my last spring break of college with several of my classmates. We rented a 47’ sailing yacht to adventure through the islands of the Caribbean. Needless to say, we did some incredible sailing and made some unforgettable memories.

 

More importantly, I finally know where I will spend the next two years of my life – flight school in Pensacola, Florida! On a night in the first week of March, the Academy staff, my classmates, and I gathered together for our Billet Night, one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The Class of 2012 will be dispersing across the country from Alaska to Guam and Hawaii to New Hampshire!

 

I have kept busy nearly every weekend with other memorable events ranging from snowboarding to concerts to our class’s final formal, Castle Dance held in Newport, Rhode Island. Although loaded with school work and training as can be expected at a military academy, this year has been awesome. It is hard to believe my time here is nearly drawing to a close. As I reflect back on my total experience over the last four years, I can honestly say that have no regrets, regardless of the challenges I faced. I have made some lifelong memories and friends, and CANNOT wait to enter the fleet to serve in America’s Coast Guard as a future aviator.

 

To any graduating high school seniors out there and future members of the Class of 2016, I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. Semper Paratus.

 



More about Alex.

 

Rainbows and Unicorns

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Ulbricht Photo From the last time you heard from me we were waiting patiently for spring break to come. Well now that it has quickly come and gone, all we can do now is smile when we think of all the fun we had during that week. I went with a group of friends from the Academy (most of them preps from last year) down to Hollywood, Florida. We stayed at a place a minute’s walk from the beach! It was so great. I could wake up in the morning and go for a run, and not be afraid of getting cold because it was already 70 + degrees out. Coming back from spring break was tough. All we wanted was to stay in sunny Florida where all our worries of passing classes, getting through boards, and where we were being sent for our summer assignment was non-existent. This semester by far has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I had a rocky start to classes, which almost caused me to give up my passion of running and staying on the track team. I luckily was able to work out a plan with my coach so I could still participate in track and get the help I needed with my classes.

 

Many times throughout this semester, I have thought about leaving. Not because I don’t like it here but life would just be easier. I hate the long nights of staying up late studying for a test that I only end up failing anyway, or wanting to be home or anywhere but where you have people constantly telling you what to do and when to do it. Many people keep telling us emotionally distraught 4/c that the summer is right around the corner. More like over the cliff, and in between that is boards preparation, final exam studying and other random military obligations thrown in the mix. Welcome to the life of a military cadet!! By no means do I hate it here. The Academy gets the best of us that’s for sure, but I would not trade anything in the world for my spot here. You learn to work through the many challenges you face everyday in order to survive and make it to the next one. In the end you will be a better officer because you learned to work hard and not take anything for granted. By focusing on the little joys in life, the bigger ones just seem that much better.

 

Best of luck as you finish your senior year.

 



More about Cameo.

 

Privileges

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo Privileges. What a great word. After ten months of squaring meals, listening to music through headphones, and writing notecards almost every time we leave our room, the fourth class were granted wardroom carry on, music out loud, and whiteboards on Wednesday. Wardroom carry on means that the fourth class are allowed to talk while they eat their food, look around, and not have to square. Basically eat normally. It seems simple, but when you get that taken away for nearly ten months it is an amazing privilege to get back. With these privileges motivating each and every one of us to push through the last two and a half weeks of school there is still much to accomplish.

 

This Saturday marks the date of the fourth class Boards, which is a test set up by the upper-class in which they test the fourth class knowledge of general Coast Guard information. Each fourth class is asked the same set of ten question relating to Coast Guard history, nautical flags, ranks and rates, distress signals, and much more and are only allowed to get two out of the ten wrong to pass. It is very nerve wracking, but I feel that the upper-class have been preparing us for this test ever since we reported in this summer and we will all do fine.

 

As I said earlier, summer is just around the corner and the “light at the end of the tunnel” is in full view. The fourth class have not found out what their summer assignments are for third class summer, but hopefully we find out in the next couple of days. I am really excited and nervous to know where I will be stationed for six weeks. With the end of the year quickly approaching we still have a lot to complete and stay focused on so that we can show the corps we are ready to take on the role of third class.

 

For anyone with last minute questions on what to pack for Swab Summer or what to expect, feel free to email me Sara.E.Cantrell@uscga.edu. We will all be leaving at the beginning of May and it will be much harder to get a reply so I would recommend sending your questions sooner rather than later. Finish the end of the school year strong!

 



More about Sara.

 

Honduras 2012

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2012) Permanent link
Glock Photo I am currently on my sixth volunteer service trip to Honduras. My first visit was exactly two years ago. It is amazing how much the village of Villa Soleada has changed and developed. When I first started, Students Helping Honduras (SHH) had already complete all 44 houses, a full-size soccer field, and had begun construction of the education center. Now, two years and six trips later, SHH has finished the education center and built an additional two children's homes, three water towers, four schools in nearby villages (with the goal of 1000 schools by 2020), a large garden for self-sustainability and income, a volunteer house for volunteers to live in (as opposed to staying at a nearby hotel), and many more projects.

 

I love returning to Villa Soleada because I am part of a family here. The children and the parents always remember me by name and I can see the excitement in their smile when I walk off the bus to greet them. I have grown especially close to one of the kids, Jorge, who I have known since my first trip here. I have not been to Villa Soleada in an entire year; I saw Jorge on Sunday and he is almost as tall as me! It is amazing coming back and seeing how the village and its people are growing.

 

It has been the hottest spring I have experienced here – about 120 degrees! Luckily, yesterday and today it has been rainy and a lot cooler out. Even though it is wet, it definitely makes working outside in the sun better. We spent Sunday mixing cement with shovels (the most fun way to mix cement!). My body is still recovering from that hard day! Our current project is building a three-roomed biligual school that will be an addition to the education center, and also building a wall around the perimiter of Villa to provide additional security to the villaje, which is in a dangerous part of Honduras. This extra security is needed especially since the childrens’ home has taken in kids from ophanages; Honduras is plagued with issues surrounding the treatment and kidnapping of orphans.

 

The week ended on a very high note. As a diverse group of college students from around the country, we certainly bonded very closely. We all share a unique experience that the vast majority of Americans have not and will not experience. With our teamwork and help from the locals, the bilingual school is now almost ready to have the roof put on, and the village wall has expanded to protect even more of the village. I cannot wait to return in June to see the progress of these projects.

 



More about George.