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cadet blogs

Academy Life Goes By Quick

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Racz Photo With the end of spring break came the beginning of the final stretch toward the end of 4/c year. It is crazy to look back and see how far I have come. It seems like just yesterday that I was walking through the arches on Reporting-In Day back in July. Everyone tells you that the Academy life goes by quick, but I never really comprehended that until now. I’ve accomplished a lot this year and I can’t believe that I will be a third class in a matter of months.

 

Toward the end of the month, the Class of 2017 passed boards. The end of the indoctrination process is a key milestone in the life of a cadet and it has been a huge relief to know that it is all over. With the passing of boards comes privileges and, of course, full carry-on. The light at the end of the tunnel is within sight and now all we can do is wait. Obtaining the privilege of full carry-on will make Academy life that much better and enjoyable.

 

Crew has been going well. My spring break was devoted to a training trip down in Clemson, South Carolina. The entire week was a great experience and I definitely enjoyed becoming closer with my teammates. The typical day went something like this: wake up for a morning row, go to lunch in the Clemson University dining hall, relax or nap for a few hours, go out for an afternoon row, eat dinner at the dining hall, go back to the hotel to relax, and then repeat. It was a grueling week, but fun and beneficial nonetheless. I felt that I definitely improved my rowing skill on that trip. I look forward to using what I learned during the week, and apply it to my rowing back at the Academy. As a freshman, I am fortunate enough to have made the varsity boat. It is rare for a freshman to make varsity, but I will do my best to embrace the opportunity. We start races soon, so I look forward to that.

 

If you have any questions about crew, 4/c year, or the Coast Guard Academy in general, always feel free to contact me. Thanks for reading!

 

More about Benjamin.

 

Sailing in 30 Degree Weather

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Kuntz Photo For the first time in my life, I didn’t make the twenty-two hour road trip from home to our house in Florida for Spring Break, instead spent it up north in Maryland with the sailing team for spring training. I was kind of bummed not to be going somewhere warm or with my friends who went to places like Cancun or Puerto Rico, but all in all it was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

 

Back home, I only sailed from late May until around September when soccer season started, and Lake Erie freezes in the winter which makes dinghy sailing hard (although we have some awesome friends who do ice sailing, it’s not really my thing). Anyway, I’ve never had to deal with dry suits or sailing in 30 degree weather! I can say it definitely has not been my favorite, and I am counting down the days until the weather gets warm enough where the ice isn’t forming on the boom…

 

We sailed out of St. Mary’s College and practiced on the water almost every day. It was really cool to be with everyone and be away from the Academy. I really got close with some of the people on the team, especially some of the other 4/c who I didn’t really get a chance to get to know that well in the fall! Coming back was way easier than some of my friends here who had to leave the warm beach to come back to Connecticut. At least we were in the cold, miserable weather the whole time so it wasn’t as much of a shock. Life’s all about perspective!

 

More about Savannah.

 

April and the Living’s…Relatively Hard

(Academics, Athletics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Krakower Photo I feel terrible that I haven’t been able to post in so long, but to put it lightly, my workload has been absolutely insane as of late. Papers are flying in everywhere, nautical charts need to be prepped, tests and quizzes are being taken, and presentations are being given. On top of that, so much more has been added to the ever-increasing workload that a cadet will entertain here.

 

On an extremely happy note, I am pleased to say that I got accepted to the Jewish Institute for National Student Affairs (JINSA) Military Program over my firstie (!!!!!!!!) summer, meaning that I get to go to Israel for three weeks and work with the Israeli Defense Forces as well as learn of the history and culture of Israel and its relationship with Palestine. I’ve always wanted to go to Israel due to my deep interest in the subject matter and its potential for leadership and military knowledge. That’s going to be an incredible three weeks.

 

For the other 8/9 weeks of my summer, I will be aboard the USCGC Seahawk out of Panama City, Florida. It is an 87-foot patrol boat, with an entirely enlisted crew. To say I’m not nervous would be a lie, as this will be the first time I’m onboard a REAL coast guard cutter (Sorry Eagle, but you’re not!) and I plan on getting some serious knowledge and leadership experience in. On a fun note, one of my swabs and now-4/c in my company will be coming with me, so that will be quite a good time switching from the role of a 2/c to 4/c relationship into the role of a 1/c to 3/c one. Nevertheless, it should be a great time.

 

Lacrosse has struggled a bit as of late. We’re 1-3 on the season, and after starting out ranked 6th in the nation, we moved down to 21st. Such is life. We have a game on Wednesday against Southern Connecticut State, so hopefully all will go according to plan and we can continue our winning ways.

 

Well, that’s about all I have time for, as a presentation on the Myth of Sisyphus is calling my name. Not really, but I have to do it anyway.

 

More about Sam.

 

From Coast Guard to Army and Back

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Kloo Photo Last semester I had the opportunity to go to the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) as part of the Service Academy Exchange Program (SAEP). It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. The people there were fantastic. My two roommates were extremely accommodating, explaining everything from how to get haircuts to traditions for football games. The Army crew team is an amazing group of guys who welcomed me with open arms and ergs. It was my pleasure to compete with them. All of my instructors were extremely knowledgeable and more than willing to help when I had a question. Obviously West Point is different than the Coast Guard Academy and I wanted to highlight the differences between two factors: academics and cadet leadership.

 

Going to another service academy is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something that I couldn’t pass up. It was also great for putting my time at CGA in perspective. In general, I found the academics at USMA to be less rigorous than at CGA, in particular, the lab periods were extremely limited due to West Point’s schedule. Additionally, classes at USMA meet for an average of 2.5 hours a week for a 3-credit class whereas Coast Guard classes meet 3 hours per week, meaning that there is less class time per week. At USMA, this means slightly lighter class loads but a longer semester in order to meet the required class time. Due to their size though, West Point offers a much larger selection of classes and majors than CGA does.

 

On a military and leadership note, I think that West Point has a more cadet run chain of command. The brigade staff at West Point truly runs the Corps of Cadets. As a second class cadet (they call it a cadet sergeant) you are in charge of four to six underclassmen. The equivalent level of responsibility at Coast Guard is reserved for seniors, instead of juniors. This exposes cadets to command earlier in their career. Because USMA is so much larger than CGA, the companies and their company commanders have much more autonomy than at CGA. The USMA Corps of Cadets is a great unit and I was proud to be a part, even if only for a semester.

 

I was extremely grateful for this unique opportunity. I was able to see how the Army does things, and I was hopefully able to improve my personal leadership ability and bring something valuable back to the Coast Guard Academy.

 

More about Alex.

 

Are You Sure This Is Spring?

(Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Frost Photo While all my friends were posting pictures in at the beach or by the pool in Florida or some beautiful Caribbean island, the sailing team headed off to St. Marys, Maryland for spring training. Now you may not have heard of St. Marys; I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s pretty accurate to call it the middle of nowhere. But hey, that doesn’t mean it’s not a great place to sail…which it is. We got in three solid days of training on the water before heading off to weekend events. Here are the highlights of the week.

 

 

 

Five firsts of spring break 2014:  

  1. Breaking ice while launching a sailboat.
  2. Seeing ice form at the waterline on the beach.
  3. Breaking ice to rig a sailboat.
  4. Watching water freeze as the waves break over the dock.
  5. Having my water bottle refrigerated in the back of the boat by the air.

 

And five ways to deal with them:  

  1. Onesies are your best friend, especially under your dry suit. It’s like wearing a blanket without the limited dexterity. A total win.
  2. Dishwashing gloves. I think they were actually invented for winter water sports, not washing the dishes.
  3. Hand warmers. Now, this seems like an easy go-to, but it’s not that simple. You can’t just wear hand warmers and sail. You need your hands. The trick is putting the hand warmers under your lifejacket so you can warm up between races and drills. Not a perfect solution, but definitely worth it.
  4. The more people can’t tell you’re a girl, the warmer you’ll be. Seriously, beanies and gators and sunglasses all worn together work as a pretty good disguise.
  5. Homemade granola bars aren’t new, but they make everything better… always.

 



More about Christi.