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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Back to the Grind

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Daniels Photo It seems like this summer was a flash of freedom and a different lifestyle and then just like that, BAM! we’re back to the routine we’ve had for so long. My class has already taken the fitness exam, bought books, and found new rooms amongst new companies and new people.

 

My summer experience was unsurpassed by anything I’ve done so far. I got to participate in two search and rescue cases and a fisheries enforcement case. This participation in the “real” Coast Guard showed me what the missions were all about and how applicable everything we were learning about at the Academy is. Eagle was an experience that I know none of my high school friends have or will ever have; instead of working this summer, I got the chance to sail around the Atlantic, and learn all about old sailing ships and nautical traditions.

 

People often have trouble returning to the Academy after their leave because they go back to a “normal” lifestyle for a few weeks, and to be completely honest I did briefly experience these same feelings. However, I thought about what a privilege it is to be here with all of my friends so I packed up my sea bag and trekked back. I’m definitely looking forward to this year, despite the new responsibilities of a third class. This is going to be my first chance to not be on the bottom, and I will help the fourth class in my division. The hardest thing I can imagine for my class is going to be to remember how we felt as fourth class and try to help out and pitch in where we all wished our upper class had helped.

 

Until next time!

 

More about Drew.

 

A Whirlwind Adventure

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Krause Photo Summer has come to an end and the start to my 3/c academic year is fast approaching. Thinking back about the last few months I am amazed at the opportunities I have had. I spent first phase at Station San Francisco with another cadet. We were immediately welcomed into the crew and everyone there worked tirelessly to help us get our boat crew qualification on the 45-foot response boat medium. We were able to participate in search and rescue cases, helicopter operations, SWAT team training, and cruise ship escorts. Not only did we have a blast getting to see so many different aspects of the Coast Guards missions, but it also made me excited for my future career. It instilled in me a great respect for the expertise and dedication among the enlisted. The experience was humbling; there was so much to learn! It was also incredibly motivating as it provided real-world perspective on a variety of Coast Guard career options. On top of all of that we had so much fun exploring the eclectic city of San Francisco every weekend!

 

The second phase of my summer was aboard the Barque Eagle. We started in Miami and sailed up the coast through squalls and icebergs to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. One of the highlights of the six week trip was sailing past Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty to moor up in New York. Seeing these iconic sites from the deck of the Eagle was incredible. Even though the days afloat were long, our division managed to have a lot of fun while learning the different duties aboard Eagle. We saw a great diversity of aquatic wildlife such as dolphins and sea turtles, climbed the rigging, and even had a talent show. The best part of Eagle for me though was that I was able to get so much closer with my classmates. It’s true that here at the Academy your shipmates become your closest friends. We work so closely together, rely so completely on each other, and share the same goals. Long duty shifts, meals in the mess and exploring during port calls allow us to get to know and respect one another, and to truly become a team. Classmates at the Academy come from all over the country and across the globe. I realize that the remarkable opportunities to learn about the world around me aren’t limited to summer travels, they are back here at the Academy as well.

 

After this whirlwind adventure and some R&R on leave back home, I have the chance to use this amazing summer as motivation to push through the academic year. Now back at Chase and having seen my first swab, I’m excited to serve in my new role as a 3rd class to help open their eyes to the opportunities that lay ahead for them.

 

More about Gretchen.

 

A Rewarding Summer

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Pourmonir Photo So summer break is awesome. I love going to the beach and spending nights out on the town with my friends. You must be thinking that you can’t wait to go to college so that you can spend your summers just as I like to, but you must be wondering if that’s even possible. I mean going to the Coast Guard Academy means you don’t really have a summer break right? No. I thought so too, from everything I had heard, but it’s possible. This summer I was stationed at Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During your third class summer you either go to a small boat station, like I did, or a cutter. I got the chance to do both.

 

On the 11th of May I reported to the station. I reported late because I had a race for Men’s Varsity Crew. I was scared it would be hard to get to know everyone since I came the day after the other three cadets I was stationed with, but I was way off. Everyone was so friendly. I learned a ton. I helped to interdict 51 migrants in only four days. I spent a total of seven days on the Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark, a fast response cutter out of Miami, Florida. In less than a week, I was allowed to stand duty as a lookout and watch the migrants. Seriously. I was responsible for the control and safety of 51 Cuban migrants. Everything from meals to bathrooms breaks I had to help control. At only 19 years old. I don’t know about you, but I considered that a huge responsibility that required a lot of trust in a person. I was humbled to be trusted with such an important task. I learned that while I did spend a ton of my summer on Fort Lauderdale’s beach and out in the city of Fort Lauderdale, it is a lot more rewarding to spend your summer learning how to serve your country and take part in some of the many missions the Coast Guard has. Interdicting migrants is one of money, but in just a few days I learned the difficulty and responsibility that every Coast Guard member accepts when they assume the duties as a member in a military service that focuses on helping others and protecting our coasts.

 

More about Keemiya.

 

A Reflection on the Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Mills Photo As I am packing into my new room, in my new company, I cannot help but be amazed by how fast time has gone by. It feels like I had just begun my summer training.

 

I was on a fast response cutter (FRC) for the first five weeks of my training. It was my first real taste of the operational Coast Guard and it was unforgettable. I was given the opportunity to travel to new places like Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and St. Lucia. We worked hard to get our qualifications and made new friendships with the amazing crew of the CGC Charles Sexton. The missions of the FRC include drug and migrant interdiction as well as search and rescue. I was able to be a part of two drug chases and a rescue mission of a sinking cargo vessel. Firsthand experience with the missions of the Coast Guard was a great way to apply what I have been learning at the Academy as well as to learn new skills. After five weeks, I parted ways with the Charles Sexton and headed off to spend six weeks on the CGC Eagle for more training. I had a wonderful time on Eagle while I was there. I learned valuable lessons from the crew about leadership and followership. Unfortunately, I broke my foot on Eagle and was not able to complete that training. Instead, I was sent back to the Academy to finish out my training at station New London. So this summer I was able to experience all three third class summer possibilities because I was able to go on a cutter, spend time on Eagle, and go to a station. I find myself very fortunate to have had this opportunity to experience these varying environments.

 

Once on leave, I crammed as much adventure and fun with my family as I could. I went to the zoo and also went to Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida and the loggerhead turtle rehabilitation center in Palm Beach, Florida. I was able to recharge being around those I love and come back to the Academy prepared for another dynamic school year.

 

More about Sydney.

 

Only the Beginning of My Fantastic Journey

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Sakowicz Photo This summer has been the most exciting and greatest fun I ever had! Finally earning my red shields and being allowed to call myself a third class was only the beginning of my fantastic journey!

 

My summer started the day after my last final where I met the CGC Eagle on the New London docks. Nothing compares to the feeling of knowing you will spend the next five weeks learning to operate a square rig sailing vessel. Over the next five weeks I learned the 200+ pins and lines, I sat on the bowsprit at 0200 watching dolphins swim through the bioluminescence and climbed to the royals in rough seas! I learned how to navigate by the stars, turn on the main diesel engine and make baggy wrinkle. What I learned on board was amazing and the people I worked with were even better! What really made my trip was the port calls; three days in Puerto Rico, Aruba, Cozumel Mexico and a day in Miami! The new places and cultures was an eventful break from the hard work on Eagle. I really liked my time on board and hope the future sailors have as great a time as I did!

 

My second phase was six weeks on the CGC Dauntless. The cutter'a home port is Gaveston, Texas but it was dry docked in Brooklyn for the six weeks I was on. This wasn't a tragedy for me I live only an hour away so I was able to visit my family and friends on my off days. The Dauntless was so much different that the Eagle in more ways than just sails. The dynamic of the crew and the flow of work was very smooth and everyone got their work done swiftly and efficiently. The crew took us in and put us to work and I was able to experience what it was like to be a functioning member of the Coast Guard. I made a lot of good friends on both my phases and I was able get so much out of all of these experiences; I couldn't have asked for a better summer. now it is time to take my leave before returning to the Academy for my second year. Thank you for reading!

 

More about Emily.