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Returning Home to the Academy

(Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Daniels Photo For some reason this year, as I find myself returning to the monochromatic Chase Hall, there is no longer the sense of dread there was previously. I almost looked forward to returning and being with my friends and getting back into the routine of the Academy. By no means was winter leave unwelcome, a respite was both needed and gladly accepted, but there is something about a routine that helps me be much more productive than my lazy self on leave.


For the first time at the Academy, I earned a place on the athletic directors list. To do this, I had to score well enough on the fitness exam, which, while never being a concern of mine, has never been one of my strengths either. It was one of the prouder moments in my cadet career so far, I found myself finally able to see a concrete result of the work I had been doing.


This upcoming semester, I’m also starting a new program with the Connecticut College Orchestra, through which a few cadets will be able to participate in their program. I’ve been trying to revive cadet music, and this is a big step for us, because the program will allow for option for cadets who can’t participate in other groups due to time constraints, and allow a little more participation. On another musical note, our cadet-run brass ensemble had our first performance at the winter formal. Everything went smoothly, and we’re looking forward to another great semester of music.


Until next time!


More about Drew.


The Academy Summer Experience

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Seaman Photo One of the main things that attracted me to the Academy was the summer experiences cadets have. Unlike most other colleges, the Coast Guard Academy allows cadets to work in the operational Coast Guard by sending them to cutters, small boat stations, and air stations depending on which class you are. For the first part of this summer, I worked at a small boat station in Fort Lauderdale for five weeks. This experience was extremely rewarding and it served as a great transition from 4/c to 3/c year. Station Fort Lauderdale opened my eyes to a part of the Coast Guard that I had not been exposed to yet. I learned about the station’s responsibilities and daily routines and was able to contribute by earning qualifications. Along with achieving a communications qualification and making ground in becoming a boat crew member, my classmates who were with me and I were exposed to even more experiences the Coast Guard has to offer. We shot pistol, learned defense tactics, and even got getting pepper sprayed out of the way. These involvements taught me a lot about ways I can improve because it is impossible to be perfect one hundred percent of the time. It also boosted my confidence by giving me valuable interactions with Coast Guard members.


Since the main goal of this summer is to learn the junior enlisted member’s role in the Coast Guard, I spent time getting to know the crew members and engaging in the work they do on a daily basis. I observed that their role in carrying out the mission is huge, thus teaching me to value and respect the hard work of everyone. This summer was informative and a blast. I am grateful for the experience I gained and the preparation it gave me in becoming a 3/c cadet.


More about Rachel.


And We’re Back!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Corbett Photo Yes ladies and gentleman of the interweb the corps has returned in its entirety this week from our interim winter break. This time of year can be bleak as the days grow short. I notice this mainly because I hear the sound of evening colors from my room go off sooner and sooner with each passing day. These darkening days can cause bleakness among the corps due to the latter mentioned darkness in addition with the bitterness of the winter air. But there is a light!


You see, a revelation has happened here at the Academy. Upon returning, the class of 2017, my class, is faced with looking ahead. We are already being trained for, and talked to about, the impending summer, which is supposedly our most important summer, so I am told… I guess this makes sense as this summer we are no longer under-class, but just not upper-class. We are thrown into the fire and allowed to orchestrate out a leadership style of our own to be implemented on the incoming class. Now the question rests on my mind…how do I lead the incoming class?


Until now, I haven’t given leadership much thought. I, more or less, just do rather than stop and talk about the “what” and “why” of my doings. Lately, however, I have come to a keen understanding that developing my leadership is important to not only this summer, but to myself. I owe it to myself to take the time to really learn the “what” and “why”. That way, when I first lay eyes on the swabs I will know exactly how to handle them.


With that I have started developing a leadership philosophy so let me know if I have gone off the tracks here. Through my own experience, observations, and readings this is the down and dirty of what I believe. My two cents if you will.

  1. Influence vs. Power: You can have all the positional power in the world, but you will never be as strong a leader as the person who has the most influence. If people feel some divine desire to do what you ask rather than a nagging need to, you will succeed more often than the one who relies on position.
  2. Punishment vs. Reward: Swab Summer, time to yell and do push ups right? Sure, but in good measure. When punishment or reward is abused and out of balance, no growth is made. It all becomes routine, finding the balance between the two will have much more of an impact than doing countless push ups.
  3. Resource vs. Boss: Lastly is this idea of being a resource. As a leader, it can be more beneficial to be seen as a colleague or resource. You should be guiding people in the right direction by feeding them information and wisdom. Then they can function autonomously. If you act as a “do what I say” or “boss” type leader, people will not have as much respect for you and will not feel a part of the team.


That is just the down and dirty of my beliefs. If you are a team captain or are looking for a leadership position and want to talk to someone just shoot me an email! Or if you have questions on anything about the Academy please don’t hesitate!

Have an American day,
Shane Corbett 


More about Shane.


Parents' Weekend: A Deeper Meaning

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo The atmosphere of the Academy changes immensely when everyone’s families are here. Cadets and their family members all wear ear-to-ear grins; they’re overjoyed to see each other. We often talk about the strong support network that cadets have, but it’s really something to see it. Families come from all over the country, and some from other countries, for Parents’ Weekend. Cadets whose parents can’t come are taken in by other families so they’re not alone. We become one big Coast Guard family instead of 1,000 individual ones.


This year, I noticed a huge difference in myself from last Parent’s Weekend. As a 3/c, I’m more confident and comfortable here and less reliant on my parents’ support. Every time my parents left after visiting last year, I cried. This year, it’s was a “see you next time!” and no tears. (Don’t get me wrong, I still need and appreciate all the support my parents give me, but I’m also a lot more independent.) Also, this year, I spent as much time as I could enjoying my mom’s company instead of worrying about homework and indoc all weekend. I didn’t even bring any homework with me to the hotel. I had a lot to do Sunday night, but I don’t regret it.


I could see how nervous some 4/c parents were because they didn’t know what to expect or were almost discomforted by the amount their sons and daughters had changed and grown up. For some, it was the first time they’d seen each other since R-Day. With those nerves comes pride. It is wonderful to see how proud each and every parent is of his or her cadet. My mom has a shirt that says, “Some people never meet their heroes… I raised mine.” I know that a lot of other parents feel the same way. You can see it in their smiles and feel it in their hugs. I found it heartwarming when I saw a cadet holding their parents’ hands like she was still their little girl. It’s those signs of love and support that give Parents’ Weekend a much deeper meaning.


More about Sarah.


A Non-Stop Semester

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Cannon Photo Well, this semester has been literally non-stop, with campus tours, hosting prospective cadets, working out for baseball, and no longer being a freshman! That last part might honestly be the brightest aspect of this year so far. I honestly can't put into words what it is like to be a sophomore, there are countless things I am no longer required to do like squaring my meals, marching to and from class, among other obligations. Now that everything has settled down and been a lot lower key this year, I have been able to focus more on baseball, something I am very passionate about. I can not wait for this upcoming season, and all of the challenges that will come with it.


In addition, the Academy kept me even busier than in comparison to freshman year, I can hardly believe Thanksgiving break is already approaching fast. It seems just like yesterday that I was a little freshman, trying to survive. But with time, I have learned more than I could ever imagine, and I feel like I will be prepared for this upcoming summer to train the incoming freshmen or even possibly be involved with the AIM program. I think it would be awesome to have an opportunity with the AIM program especially because I would help lead three different groups of high schoolers, potentially getting to find out my leadership style. I am anticipating what this year will continue bring to the table, and I think I am prepared for new challenges that will come my way!


Go Bears!
3/c Colton Cannon


More about Colton.