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Service to Country and Humanity

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Sandri Photo It is almost the end of March, and it feels like the end of the school year is just around the corner! The 4/c now have full wardroom carry-on, so it’s nice being able to go down to dinner and act like a normal person. Everyone in the class has now passed boards, so we are anticipating full carry-on to hopefully arrive soon.


On another note…congratulations to the prospective cadets who have received their appointments to the Academy and prep school! At this time last year, I was in the process of deciding which college to attend when my admissions officer said something that caught me by surprise. He told me that the Coast Guard Academy is unlike other schools in that it will recruit but won’t try to convince students to accept their appointments—we have to want it for ourselves. I had never heard a statement like this before, as most colleges do everything they can to entice students to accept, but it helped in putting my options into perspective. The CGA is a special place because at its core is a pure and simple mission: to educate and train leaders in the Coast Guard.


To be blunt, Academy life is challenging. But people don’t primarily come here to have fun, (though that is sometimes part of the equation), or collect a big paycheck. Most of us came here to do our part in making the world just a little bit brighter, through service to country and humanity. When days get rough, I remember that it was my decision to come here, and I am glad that hardship was something the Admissions Office made clear right off the bat. If you are passionate about service and the sea, the Coast Guard Academy is really a terrific place to be, and it was definitely the right choice for me. Good luck in choosing the right college, and as always, feel free to email me with any questions!


More about Eva.


Awaiting Full Carry-On

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Kuntz Photo The time has come where everyone has now passed their boards and we can now officially look at our food! Wardroom carry-on may not be understood by some of you reading this, but let me tell you, I have never been so excited to eat like a normal person in my life. We still have to be braced up and square back up in the barracks, but day-to-day life and morale among my class is at an all-time high! There are so many things to look forward to that it’s masking the growing anxiousness for full carry-on (to an extent).


The other day we got our summer assignments! I will be going to a small boat station after sailing ends this spring and then I’ll spend about six weeks aboard Eagle with some of my classmates! I’ve heard mixed reviews about Eagle – some people love it, some people don’t love it so much, and some people have been pretty impartial. But everyone I’ve talked to has said it was definitely an experience. I mean, when else will I be on a pirate-esque ship with around 100 of my classmates!? Not to mention, some of my best friends at the Academy will be with me and we are determined to make this one of the best summers to date!


It hit me the other day how close I’ve gotten to some of the people here. When the Dark Ages struck and we didn’t see the sun for like two weeks, it was the people that made this place bearable. We’re supposed to find out company assignments here too sometime in the near future and it’ll be awesome to see who/where we all get stuck with! Until then, it’s once again back to the books and back on the water!


More about Savannah.


What Makes the Corps Great

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Cadet Beck They don’t call the first half of spring semester “The Dark Ages” for nothing. Between snow, rain, and (my personal favorite) ice pellets constantly falling and below freezing temperatures, there isn’t much to look forward to each day. This week we switched back to short sleeved uniforms, and while the ice storm yesterday made this seem premature, the bright sunshine sparkling on the Thames and temperatures expected to soar to 50 degrees have everyone smiling.


In the depths of the Dark Ages, though, there were still small things to keep us all going. The Hedrick Fellow and the Ethics Forum were just a few weeks ago where we heard from some amazing speakers like Justice Antonin Scalia and Mr. Paul Bucha, Medal of Honor recipient. While most college students spend their evenings managing their time however they please, we all rushed from class to practice to dinner then back into uniform for these presenters and we were not disappointed. Following their presentations, I had many conversations with my shipmates about their presentations, all of us were engaged and thinking about what they had to say. A few people commented at how silently 900 cadets could sit and listen, especially to Justice Scalia.


Currently we are in Eclipse Week, celebrating diversity and how each of us makes the corps stronger because of our differences. Coach Herman Boone (portrayed by Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans) spoke to us last night to kick off the week. Each speaker we hear from is of such a high caliber, I really feel lucky to be here and am proud to give up hours out of my study time to listen to them.


My favorite thing about this place isn’t what makes it like a normal college; it’s what sets it apart. The desire to learn and grow from others and hear about these unique experiences makes my education far richer than I would expect from any other institution.


More about Laura.


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.


Time Has Gotten Away From Me

(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Daniels Photo Hello All,

I find myself with only four weeks left in my first year here at the Academy, and even though I am happy to be moving on, it seems a little strange that the time has passed so quickly. It seems like yesterday that I was experiencing Swab Summer, running around and yelling answers at my cadre’s questions. For me, the past few months have been very busy – between the multitude of band events and concerts combined with classes and military obligations – and time seems to have gotten away from me.


Last weekend, the cadet jazz group, made up of me and six other cadets and Bandmaster Ian Frenkel, travelled to the Marriott in Mystic to perform for a Coast Guard Auxiliary function. This was an awesome opportunity to meet some of the Auxiliary, and talk to them about what they do. We played for about 40 minutes preceding their awards ceremony, and they were extremely appreciative of our time, and it was a great experience for me. If you come to the academy, and find yourself wanting to get involved more, I highly suggest the music programs. They get you involved in both Academy and non-Academy functions, and you will make a great group of friends.


With so little time left until the end of classes, the workload is growing, but I am able to manage my time better and get everything out of the way so I can enjoy my free time. That’s what I’ve found the Academy to be more about than anything else, learning to manage your time so you have opportunity to do everything with time left to relax and unwind at the end of the day.


My summer assignment this year is to an 87-foot patrol boat, the Coast Guard Cutter Seahawk out of Panama City, Florida! I couldn’t be more excited to be going there, and I expect to get a lot of work toward my qualifications done this summer. These summers spent out in the fleet really help give a better perspective on the “real” Coast Guard, and I can’t wait for this chance to get out there.


Until next time.


More about Drew.