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cadet blogs

Station Ponce De Leon Inlet Part 1

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Meyers PhotoWeek 1: The first week here has been great. It’s a nice change from Eagle in terms of the type of work we do and the setup for learning. Of course there’s still a long line of signoffs to get, just like there was on Eagle, but it seems the station is more concerned with giving us hands-on experience than signing our sheets. I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet all the regular crew members and I can honestly say that they all are great people and I would enjoy working with them in the future. By the time I leave, I want to be Comms qualified, get as much boat experience as possible, make a promotional video for the station, take (and hopefully pass) the ROTR test, get pepper sprayed, become Pistol and Rifle qualified, complete an online programming course as well as a system and signals course, and most importantly learn all I can about the enlisted members.


Week 2: This week I’ve gotten to explore the town a little bit and see the area of responsibility both on the boat and on liberty. It’s a very small town where basically everyone knows each other and has a lot of older people who are living here in retirement communities (Minorca being the biggest right next to the station). The community here is very centered on beach and water life, which is significant to us because it’s our responsibility to protect the people here. 3/c Zwenger and I went on liberty together and while we were out, we stopped at the local surf shop. He bought a shirt and ended up not liking it, so attempted to return it without a receipt. At first the store manager refused because it was normally against store policy, but when he realized we were the cadets who were in early that week, he changed his mind and gave 3/c Zwenger a refund no problem. It’s great to know that the Coast Guard is appreciated by the locals.


Week 3: At this point in the summer training, life has become very routine and we’ve all gotten into the flow of things. I regularly stand watch in the Comms office and go out on the boats as often as possible. This week I had the unique opportunity of going out on the 47’ to train in surf conditions. There had been a large storm that had recently passed through, leaving approximately 8’-10’ waves to practice in. The feeling of going out in the conditions we did made me realize that I can’t wait to get out in the fleet and experience them for myself. While I will never be a 47’ CO, I know I’ll have the opportunity to fight through challenging environments in order to accomplish a mission. This is something that makes me want to become an officer.


More about James.


Summer 2012: Leave, CATP, Range, ROTR, T-Boats, CSTP, Prep, Cadre

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Anderson Photo I started off my summer with three weeks of leave. At the end of the last semester, I was in immense need of some time to myself. I had a great visit with family and friends, and returned to the Academy reenergized and refreshed.


To start off my summer training experience, I went to CATP (Cadet Aviation Training Program) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. While I was there I learned a lot about the aviation side of the Coast Guard, and got to do some pretty cool stuff. This included flights on two different C-130s, getting pulled out of the water in a basket and up into a Jayhawk for a “duck hoist” experience, and even driving fire trucks around the runways. We also got to know our fellow classmates much better and got some down time to get to know the officers and pilots. It was an awesome experience, that honestly made me think twice about flight school, but as of now, I’m still not seeing it in my future plans. I’m not discounting it, but at the same time I’m also not counting on it.


Upon my return to the Academy, I had range week, in which second class cadets were required to qualify marksman on pistol. It took me a few days, but in the end I managed to qualify—therefore causing another ribbon to need to be rigged on uniforms. And ironically, even after the struggle range week was, I am now on the shooting teams at the Academy, through a series of completely unrelated events.


The week after that was the one week of summer where I was required to legitimately study and focus on one thing, for the entirety of the week. During the day we had classroom sessions, and at night we had homework and were required to study for the Rules of the Road (Deck Watch Officer) exam. Once the exam has been passed with a closed book, however, for the rest of a person’s career the exam can be taken open book. Therefore, I decided studying was going to be my first priority, which allowed me to pass on my first try. I feel terrible for my classmates who have been/are still struggling to pass it, especially being that there will be consequences for those who do not.


Summer 2012: Leave, CATP, Range, ROTR, T-Boats, CSTP, Prep, Cadre (Continued) PDF Icon 


More about Meredith.