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cadet blogs

Fast Times on Regimental Staff

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Engelhardt Photo Hello and greetings! I hope this blog finds you well as the summer months start dwindling to a close and preparations begin for autumn. As I write this, I am back at the Coast Guard Academy preparing for my last fall semester as a member of the Corps of Cadets. Since I drove back up to the Academy a little over a week-and-a-half ago, I have participated in a whirlwind of activity.

 

I was selected in the spring to be a member of the fall Regimental Staff, the group of cadets that lead the corps in military activities during a given academic semester. As required by my position, I reported back to the Academy early to begin preparations for my term as Regimental Communications Officer. I am chiefly responsible for conveying any information that needs to be passed on to the corps as an entire body in a professional and timely manner. Along with the other members of the Regimental Staff, I helped establish a list of goals that we hope to achieve during the semester, and laid down the framework of how we will achieve them. Additionally, we took part in DISC training to understand more about our own personality and that of other members of the Regimental Staff.

 

When the corps reported back, the real work began. Beside the normal duties of attending meetings and taking the physical fitness exam, I was also responsible for formatting a Regimental Communications Plan and tasked with approving the evening announcements that were sent out to the corps. Couple that with the hot weather and the lack of air-conditioning in Chase Hall, and it’s not hard to see how the last week felt never-ending.

 

Despite the extra work and leadership challenges my position on the Regimental Staff will give me, I look forward to being a member of this excellent team. I relish the chance to develop further as a leader in preparation of being a Coast Guard ensign, and cannot wait to see what my future holds, both at the CGA and in the fleet.

 

If you have any questions about the Coast Guard Academy, or my experiences, I invite you to email me at James.D.Engelhardt@uscga.edu. I plan on blogging again very soon! Until next time, Semper Paratus and Go Bears!

 

More about James.

 

Honing My Leadership Skills

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Sakowicz Photo As I return from leave and start CAP Week for my third time, I have been spending time reflecting and remembering my 2/c summer. My classmates and I did so many amazing and thrilling things that not only created lasting memories, but also helped me hone my leadership skills in preparation for this year.

 

I started off the summer with 100th Week when Cape May company commanders came and instructed us in the art of discipline and leadership. We learned a lot about mental stress and alternating styles of teaching to get our AIMsters or swabs to learn what we are trying to teach them. After that a group of us went to a week of Rules of the Road, or ROTR, and in that class we learned the rules of boat driving and how to react to dangerous situations. The test we took at the end of the week is not only a graduation requirement, but is the first step in learning how to drive cutters in the Coast Guard. Following ROTR a group of my classmates and I went onto the Academy’s T-boats to practice and learn basic ship handling skills. I was able to command the vessel and pull into and out of a dock, work through a man overboard drill and anchor in the Thames River. That week really helped me develop my command confidence that I would be using for the rest of the summer.

 

Range Week followed ROTR and I was able to get pistol qualified. It was really difficult to get used to the pistol, but once I did I really enjoyed the time we spent practicing and taking the test. Coastal Sail started the Monday after range, and it was definitely the best experience I’ve had in my time here at the Academy. My group was awesome and everyday was filled with hours of intense sailing. My group ended up using the least amount of engine hours because we were so determined to sail during every hour we could. I was able to explore awesome places like Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Newport, and Cuttyhunk. Every day someone else was in charge of commanding the yacht, and trying to command in 20-knot winds and 5-foot seas is an experience in and of itself.

 

I traveled to Sector New York in Staten Island for the marine safety training program (MSTP). Two of my classmates and I spent the week inspecting foreign cargo vessels, sailing shuttles, and the Staten Island ferry. We also explored NYC and Staten Island while learning about the sector side of the Coast Guard. We drove back to start the AIM preparatory week when the AIM cadre cleaned and prepared for the 2015 AIM year.

 

Being AIM cadre was the best decision I could have made. Introducing high school seniors to the Coast Guard Academy and displaying bits of swab summer and the school year gave me the opportunity to become a leader and develop myself. I had AIMsters coming up to me after graduation on Fridays thanking me for changing their lives and making them want to come the Academy even more. After those three amazing weeks, I felt responsible and well developed in leadership and extremely prepared to lead in the corps for the upcoming year.

 

More about Emily.