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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Holiday Sandwiched Mayhem

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Hi. It’s weird. Driving back to school this time, I did not really experience that stomach drop. At this point, my closest friends are those who walk the halls here at school. Thanksgiving was nice, and it was a chance for me to be completely off guard prior to the most strenuous week of the semester. Funny how that works. I have to say though, the break was nice. I went home to Maryland and was able to get some quality family time in. I was able to depart early for recruiting leave, which was nice. I got to leave the Academy on Friday instead of Tuesday! I went to four high schools but unfortunately the students in my county were already on break, so I met with some teachers. I also did an informational session at a library, which was attended by a variety of people, so I guess I did get some recruiting in.

 

School is about to be crazy in the coming four days. I have two papers and a poster due, and two tests. And then our military scores are also due in, plus we have to attend military trainings. Additionally, I have a take-home test due and another test on Monday. Soooooo, when I finally make it to finals week, I will be one happy camper.

 

OH! Last week, our “shopping list” came out for all firsties!! I cannot even begin to believe that I have made it to this point in my cadet career, but at the same time, it feels natural that we are all considering where we will be spending the next chapter of our Coast Guard lives. People are starting to get sentimental, which may seem premature but honestly I could not tell you where the month of November went!

 

I hope that you continue to follow my journey as it sure to stay interesting!

 

Fall Goes Flying By!

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Engelhardt Photo Hello all! A lot has happened since my last blog, and as I write this blog winter appears to truly be descending on New London. However, this fall has truly been a blast; from times spent with friends, watching a successful football team, and getting to participate in some truly remarkable events, the first semester of my senior year at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy has truly been enjoyable!

 

When you are an underclass at the Academy, you do not have the privilege of having a car on base. However, as a senior, your car privilege opens up opportunities to travel and get out and about on the weekends. I have taken full advantage of this, exploring new restaurants in nearby Mystic; getting a chance to tour the mansions of Newport, Rhode Island with my girlfriend; and visiting friends at the relatively close U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

 

While the extra privileges have been nice, as an avid sports fan it is always great to see the Bears do well. Our men’s soccer team made the NCAA tournament last year, and our women’s volleyball team is always a force to be reckoned with in the NEWMAC, our athletic conference. Our football team, largely due to weight restrictions that limit the players’ size, always seems to lose the close games. However, this season has been a different one, and we have a great team that is exceeding expectations. It is especially nice to see my classmates on the team end their playing careers on such a high note.

 

Lastly, as a member of Regimental Staff, I have gotten the pleasure to interact with high-ranking officers and speakers when they come to visit the Academy. My most notable experience was escorting the head of the Norwegian Coast Guard during a Regimental Review held in honor of the recently completed Arctic Forum. Revealing my Norwegian heritage to him and getting invited to visit his house (an offer I hope he won’t forget) was definitely one of the most memorable experiences of my cadet career.

 

As Thanksgiving approaches and schoolwork intensifies, I apologize that I am unable to write more about what has been a truly remarkable semester. If you have any questions about my stories here or my Coast Guard Academy experiences these past three- plus years, I invite you to email me at James.D.Engelhardt@uscga.edu. Thanks for the read. Until next time, Semper Paratus and Go Bears!

 

More about James.

 

Arctic Forum Events

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo As a Government major at the Academy, we are presented with multiple opportunities to attend some unique events. Recently, we had representatives from the Arctic nations convene at the Academy to discuss multilateral relations with respect to the Arctic. I was allowed to sit in on a panel discussion with the representatives to hear how each of these countries is developing policies in the Arctic. If you don’t know, the Arctic is an area of growing importance. Never before has the idea of using Arctic region for trade, tourism, or territory been discussed. But now with the changing environment, the Arctic has new importance. Each country has their own unique challenges facing them. It was extremely interesting to sit in and listen to each representative discuss how their country is impacted by the new opportunities in the Arctic.

 

The most intriguing idea discussed was the notion of search and rescue (SAR) operations in the Arctic. Improving rescue techniques calls for multiple agencies and countries to work together to best develop SAR strategies. I found this discussion so compelling that I have decided to use it as my research paper topic for my Maritime Policy class. As a soon-to-be officer in the Coast Guard, SAR techniques and how we can better them are very interesting and useful for me to think about. Who knows, maybe one day I will be the brains behind these operations! Either way, it is a fascinating topic to explore and consider. Altogether, the events that I participated in with the Arctic nations were an incredible experience that some undergraduate college students can only dream of having!

 

More about Allie.

 

Operations Research Capstone Project...Stay Tuned

(Academics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Hirst Photo First semester of senior year is moving at a steady clip. During our senior year, most majors work on a capstone project, which encompasses the entire year’s worth of work. The cadets studying engineering are already well underway with their capstone projects. The majority of my friends are engineers, and they give me a hard time because as an Operations Research major, I haven’t started my project yet. Operations Research just received the capstone slate and we put in a dream sheet of the capstone we would like to work on. Most of the projects are Coast Guard applicable and our work will be put into place to help out the fleet. We have the opportunity to optimize flight scheduling or possibly plan out the best allocation of Coast Guard assets. There are endless opportunities with operations research in the Coast Guard! Most of my capstone work will occur next semester, so expect more information on that to come later! This semester is flying by…I can’t believe it’s already November!

 

More about Townshend.

 

Contributing to the Coast Guard Mission as an Intern

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo This past summer, I completed an internship at the District 1 offices in Boston, Massachusetts. The project that I was tasked with at the end of the school year was to update three of the Geographic Response Plans (GRPs) for the Hudson River. GRPs are basically oil response plans. Maps of this area had not been updated in many years due to the lack of resources and time. The old maps were black, white, and grey lines with very little information. My job was to create more detailed maps, with booming strategies, marinas, environmentally sensitive data, boat ramps, and possible oil spill sources. On the back of the maps, I included other information on strategies, pictures and important phone numbers.

 

I began my internship in the middle of June. Two days after arriving, I was sent to Albany, New York to begin collecting data for the GRPs. In addition, I got to tour some oil terminals in the area. I was in Albany about a week then headed back to Boston to start creating the new maps; 16 in total. After completing these, I presented my work to various members at District 1 and had a surprise visit in the middle of my presentation by RADM Fagan and VADM Lee. It was an amazing experience to be able to present my work to these people.

 

I once again traveled to New York but this time to Poughkeepsie. People from D1, Sector New York and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) all worked with me on boat trips down the river so that we could collect data for the maps. During my internship, I traveled 100 miles of the Hudson River, from Troy to West Point. After the final boat trip, I went back to Boston to finish my internship and plan for working on the project the rest of the school year.

 

Upon returning to school, I completed maps of the entire Hudson River as a part of a directed study. Since I was back in school, I was unable to take the boat trip of the final leg of the river, but I obtained the data from Sector New York and the NYDEC that they collected. After I was done making the maps of the river, I presented them to the Area Committee, a group that is concerned about oil spill response in the New York area. This committee is comprised of members of NOAA, the police department, Sector New York, the NYDEC, the Hudson River Marina and Boat Club Association, and many others. I have presented the maps to the Area Committee and have received their input. My next job is to make any changes there are to the maps and then have them reviewed again for final approval.

 

I am glad that I had the opportunity to participate in this internship and directed study. I learned so much about oil spill response, the Coast Guard’s collaboration with other organizations and all of the work that goes into creating GRPs.

 

More about Kayla.