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cadet blogs

Summer Recap

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Dow Photo Hello there! It’s been a while! I have been super busy experiencing many different things this past summer as a second class cadet.

 

After the Cape May Company Commanders (who train the recruits coming into the Coast Guard for a living) were with us for a week showing us the ropes on how to be cadre, we earned our second class shoulder boards! Once my relaxing three weeks of leave were up, it was back to the Academy for a week of Rules of the Road (ROTR) class where we are taught a curriculum that we will be able to use toward our 100 ton license when we graduate (as well as being a knowledgeable mariner). A few weeks later, I departed on Coastal Sail with my classmates in my cadre section on a Leadership 44 sailboat. We sailed around southern New England, to ports like Newport, Woods Hole, and Martha’s Vineyard. It was the best experience to date at the Academy, because we chose the route we were to take and what food we would eat — it was an unforgettable and unique leadership experience. Next, we traded our lifejackets for cadre gear for our turn trying our hand at leading swabs. There were ups and downs during cadre summer, but I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything. As a whole, second class summer brought forth challenges to our class, but more importantly helped bring us closer, and I met new people that I would have never thought I would be friends with before. To top off the summer, our platoon placed third in sea trials, showing just how much we have improved, both as a cadre section and as a company.

 

With school and Windjammers in full swing, it’s hard to find time in between my classes, which are now almost all engineering-specific, and daily rehearsals but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My classes this semester are Fluid Mechanics, Electric Circuits and Machines, Principles of Naval Architecture, Maritime Watch Officer, and Thermodynamics (as well as Tennis as my final Lifetime Sports class). Although they are challenging, they are directly relatable to my major, and we have a great support network, between teachers, firsties and some of my best friends in the Nav Arch department! I’m excited for our new Windjammers show this year because our theme is pop music and it sounds super cool.

 

This summer made me realize just how much knowing your classmates helps. Although you might not always see them, you know you can count on each other whenever you need them, whether it’s a laugh, a hug or a pep talk.

 

Go Bears! Beat KP!

 

More about Emily.

 

Halfway There...

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Williamson Photo The summer went by really fast, but it was filled with many great experiences. I learned a lot and I also learned there is so much that I do not know. Second class summer is centered around the idea of practicing leadership in many forms, from being cadre to being watch captain on coastal sail. You need to be well informed on different topics, as well as have good people skills, which is a lot easier said than done. As I move from an underclassman to an upperclassman, I will have to constantly deal with these issues. I am excited for the challenge!

 

Also worth noting this summer, I participated in an internship at the Army Research Labs in Aberdeen, Maryland. I was there continuing my corrosion research through the Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office in the Department of Defense. While I was there I got to meet a lot of very smart and very kind people there who shared an incredible amount of knowledge in a short duration of time. I learned all about electroplating and new electrochemical methods to evaluate metals. For a nerd like me, that was awesome! Through our collaboration, future officers at the Academy will be better informed about corrosion and the effect it has on our service. If anyone has questions about research here, please email me.

 

But enough of that, let’s talk about second class year so far! I am having a great time. I already love my classes (almost all science-based), my rugby team is really fun, and I have a great group of friends. My first two years were filled with hard work and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, but I am glad to move on. I am looking forward to the back half of my cadet career! As a 2/c cadet, I can now wear civilian clothing on liberty and have “shorts” (which means I get Saturday night to Sunday off). Also, at this point, I have paid off my initial clothing allowance, so I am seeing a lot more in my paychecks. Needless to say, when you mix civilian clothes, shorts, and more money together, you have a lot of fun. It’s going to be a great year!

 

More about Cody.

 

An Eye-Opening Summer

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo Second class summer is coming to a close. It is currently July 11th, 2016, and I have been at the Academy since school let out in May. What an adventure it has been. Every week or so the second class transition from one training program to the next. My favorite training program was a close tie between Coastal Sail and Cadet Aviation Training Program, also known as CATP.

 

Coastal Sail was a blast because I was with some of my best friends on a sailing yacht. I got to travel around the Northeast using the navigation skills I have acquired since 4/c year, and finally get to transition into the leadership, or “mentor,” role. Peer-to-peer leadership was especially eye opening. After every transit, whoever was Watch Captain (the designated leader for the day) debriefed with the entire crew about what worked, what didn’t, and the pros and deltas (changes) that needed to be made for the following day. Hearing input from the safety officer of the boat and my own classmates was very helpful for discerning what leadership traits I excelled at, and what needed improvement.

 

CATP was exciting for me because I have not had much exposure to the aviation world until this week. I got to fly an HC-144 fixed wing aircraft (with the help of qualified pilots), got hoisted by a helicopter, and toured the flight school in Pensacola, Florida. Talking to ensigns that had just graduated from the Academy that were in Mobile, Alabama awaiting the start of flight school made me really interested in going into aviation.

 

Overall, this summer has opened my eyes to many new paths available in the Coast Guard. Each day I feel more and more lucky to be here, and I am excited to see what the future holds.

 

More about Hannah.

 

Prep Week and 2/c Summer

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Hosley Photo Here I am almost in the middle of my second class summer and I truly cannot believe it! In less than five days the Coast Guard Academy Class of 2020 will report in to be trained by us, the great Class of 2018. It’s hard to imagine that 318 families have entrusted us with the health and well-being of their children, but rest assured (parents if you’re reading this), we are ready. We have studied for this, we have trained for this, we have prepared for this, and most importantly we have gone through this ourselves. Everything these swabs will learn about the military will initially come from us and our training. We are all phenomenally excited to try out our different leadership styles, work as a team, and to help 2020 to succeed during Swab Summer and the rest of their Coast Guard careers.

 

At the beginning of the summer, I spent a week learning how to maneuver the 64-foot training vessels called T-boats to and from the pier, as well as down the Thames River and under the Gold Star Bridge. While T-boats training was a blast, a much-needed three weeks of leave (vacation time) followed suit and I spent much of that time with family and friends relaxing and feeling like a normal teenager for the first time in a while. When I got back, I completed the cyber/range week of the summer training program where I learned about cyber security and got to shoot the Sig 40 pistols down in the gun range. Shooting is definitely not easy, but with great instruction and hard-set determination I was able to score a 138 qualifying as sharp shooter the first time I took the pistol test! Now, as our preparation week comes to an end, I can feel the excitement building. Our days have been packed to the brim with trainings, ceremony rehearsals, and preparing the swabs’ summer rooms. Each night we stay up late making each swab’s rack and folding their clothes into their drawers and I can’t help but to think of how drastically their lives are about to change… good luck 2020, you’re about to make the best decisions of your lives when you raise your right hand and say “I do.”

 

More about Cece.

 

I'm Halfway There

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Auzenbergs Photo I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…time truly does fly. Between spring break, Easter weekend, 3/c Formal, 2/c Ring Dance, volunteering at the Child Development Center (daycare where many faculty members bring their kids during the day), and going on field trips for my major classes in Marine and Environmental Sciences, I found myself away from the Academy most weekends of this final quarter, and many weekdays, too. Now, with the Class of 2018 having earned our first 2/c privilege of “shorts” every Saturday night, I don’t even have to be back from Saturday afternoon until Sunday night, and I took full advantage of that already!

 

Speaking of being a 2/c, this past week has been full of new uniform issues for Swab Summer; rooming lists coming out for 100th Week and then for the rest of the summer here; duty schedules floating around on email for the summer; and trying to squeeze in plans for vacations on leave and off weekends between duty and training weeks. I cannot believe the time is already here for us to earn civilian clothes privileges, shorts, and train the incoming Class of 2020 as cadre. I will be taking a back seat in the typical Chase Hall training, as I will be a waterfront cadre, but that just means I will be one of the members of the group teaching the swabs the basic skills of sailing down on the Thames River at Jacob’s Rock. I am so excited for this job, and cannot wait to spend those three weeks of summer on the docks!

 

A few more parts of 2/c summer I am excited for are Coastal Sail and Cadet Aviation Training Program (CATP). The Coastal Sail program is an opportunity for six groups of cadets to head out on 40 foot sailboats and travel through the Cape and the islands for two weeks. CATP is held at an air station in Mobile, Alabama or Elizabeth City, North Carolina and there we learn the basics of flying helicopters and perform search and rescue missions off the Gulf Coast. There are so many other great weeks planned for us this summer, and I can’t wait to get started with this milestone of our time here at the Academy! Two years went by so quickly, and now, looking back at the first half of my time here, I am more positive than ever that this is exactly where I should be.

 

More about Gabrielle.