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My Time on Eagle

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo After an awesome 1st phase of summer, I flew to Bermuda to get on the USCGC Eagle. I was super excited to get on Eagle and do some Coast Guard related work! The first day I got on board, I was put to work. I would act as a side boy, greeting important people that would be arriving on board for a reception. I soon doubted why I was so excited about going on Eagle. I had the next day off, and a few of my friends and I went to the beach. It was a great way to relax before heading out to sea for two weeks. Once underway, I had a lot of catching up to do since I arrived two weeks later than the rest of my classmates.

 

On Eagle, I earned three qualifications. One was Helm and Lookout: for this I had to learn how to steer the ship and stand as a lookout for the ship as well as all the different lights and day shapes for different ships, the 16 distress signals, and the commands for steering the ship. The next qualification I earned was Sounding and Security: for this I was able to check compartments in the ship for fire and flooding. For this I had to learn about what was in all of the spaces I would be checking, as well as other information about the ship’s engine. And the final qualification I earned was Damage Control, which taught me all about how to fight fires and flooding and how to fix other damage to the ship.

 

But it wasn’t all hard work on board Eagle. We had a lot of fun too! For Fourth of July, we got to have a swim call, where we jumped off the ship from a rope swing. We also had a barbeque while the Captain’s band played for us. And we went to some really cool places. After Bermuda, we sailed to St. Pierre, France. This is a small French island off the coast of Newfoundland. Here I did a lot of hiking and eating French pastries! We were also there for Bastille Day, France’s Independence Day. We marched in a parade and there was a huge festival going on. Unfortunately, I did not get to see the festival because I was on duty giving tours to visitors. Our next stop was Halifax, Nova Scotia. Here I walked around the city and visited the Public Gardens (which were beautiful). And finally we ended in Boston, where I got off and headed home. In all of these places I had a lot of fun and while underway, I learned a lot about what it would be like to live on a Coast Guard cutter. I have posted some pictures of my trip! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me at Kayla.M.Ellis@uscga.edu!

 



More about Kayla.

 

My 2/c Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Kearney Photo Hey Zack! What’d you do this summer?”

 

“Well, friend from back home, let me tell you. I learned how to shoot a pistol, passed a pretty tough boating school test, drove T-boats in large circles, was picked up out of the water by a Dolphin helo, yelled at 18-year-old kids to press the deck harder and oh yeah, sailed for two weeks on a million dollar sailboat to pretty gnarly New England towns that were filled with the summertime spirit and a whole lot of money.”

 

Wow, doesn’t that sound awesome? 2/c summer has been quite the experience and the best summer spent while at the Academy. From learning how to sail, to practicing my much-out-of-practice cooking skills, to visiting wonderful ports with a new set of friends, the Coastal Sail Training Program (CSTP) was probably the most fun I’ve had at the Academy. I could write pages upon pages on how magnificent the wealthy New England towns were, or how relaxing some of the sailing days were when the wind was just right and the sun shone the perfect amount. Some of the ports we visited during CSTP were Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island and Newport. Before this trip, I had no idea how to operate a sailboat but by the end, all of us were sailing with ease and confidence, tacking and jibing only when necessary and always seeking a way to make the boat fly faster. If only we could have just spent the entire summer sailing.

 

However, cadre summer has been a good, intense experience as well. For the last few weeks of the summer, I have been a Swab Summer cadre for Hotel Company. As cadre, I have been put in charge of a division and have had to move out of my own comfort zone. Instead of welcoming the swabs with hugs and open arms, all of us have to act the part of the stereotypical drill sergeant. But as a second phase cadre, I have been able to begin changing the focus of the summer from intense military indoctrination into a stern learning environment to prepare all of the swabs to become successful 4/c cadets. I have learned a lot about myself this summer and my own leadership style. Cadre summer is very tough and we get much less sleep than the swabs, but I think the rewards once the summer comes to a close will be far worth it. One more week until the fall semester!

 



More about Zachary.