First class summer for cadets is the final one and very rewarding in the preparation to be become officers in the United States Coast Guard. I had the wonderful opportunity to be stationed on the USCGC Adelie, an 87’ patrol cutter out of Port Angeles, Washington.
The location was amazing. Port Angeles is home to five Coast Guard cutters, a small boat station, and an air station. The town has a large Coast Guard presence, as well as being close to other Coast Guard locations, including Seattle, Washington and Astoria, Oregon.
Port Angeles is the northern point of the amazing Olympic National Park, which is more than 900,000 acres large. The park is ecologically diverse, with the Pacific coastline, the meadows of wildflowers, the mountain vistas, and the rainforests. I soon learned that eleven weeks was not nearly enough time to fully comprehend the beauty of the park.
I had a great time conducting Coast Guard missions aboard the Adelie. The Adelie’s primary missions are conducting escorts of Navy vessels, search and rescue, and security boardings of small craft in the Puget Sound. I learned so much from the crew, and I worked hard to get qualified in different positions. For example, I qualified as an in-port Officer of the Day (OOD), the Watchstander for the cutter while in port. This position leaves the entire cutter in my responsibility after the workday after the rest of the crew departs for home. It’s amazing that someone like me, at the young age of 21, was given such a great responsibility.
I learned so much in eleven weeks, and I cannot wait to return to the “real” Coast Guard next year. It was very rewarding to do what I did this summer, and I cannot wait to be able to continue as a career.
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