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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.


The Meaning of Fourth Class Life

(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo Right now I’m on a train heading from the Academy back home to Cape May, New Jersey. I am excited to begin spring break after an arduous first half of the semester. Classes are going well, I’ve started a new fitness plan and my shipmates and I have been having more and more fun as it (slowly) gets warmer.


The past two weeks have been non-stop, with late nights, which usually is not the case for me. The last few weeks have been jam packed with a Model UN conference at USMA West Point, a band concert at Connecticut College across the street, International Ballroom Dance (who would have guessed that?!?), Cadets Against Sexual Assault trainings and meetings, recruiting leave, and a community service trip to Key West Florida. Of course, I need to keep up on my school work to participate in all of these events, as well as ensuring that I continue to adhere to military obligations such as trainings, my midterm Cadet Evaluation Report, community service requirements, and division work. Somehow, it all gets itself all done by 11:30 p.m.! Sometimes I groan, but I wouldn’t have it any other way—I am never bored in New London.


The beginning of March marks the beginning of regaining privileges as a 4/c. For making both the Dean’s List for academics and the Commandant of Cadets’ List for good military performance last semester, I am able to take recruiting leave for spring break, meaning I get to leave a few days early to visit high schools near my home. I look forward to wearing the uniform in my old stomping ground representing America’s finest seagoing service. Ok, I’m proud...! After passing the Coast Guard Indoctrination board, commonly known as “boards” we gained individual privileges such as not having to write notecards when leaving the barracks and playing music out loud. As soon as everyone in our respective companies passed, we were allowed to reactivate our Facebook accounts. Hopefully, we will be awarded wardroom carry-on the week we return from spring break, given everyone else in our class passes that same week.


Hearing about 2018 already is getting us all very excited. I am excited to soon no longer be the lowest on the totem pole, and finally put on that one diagonal 3/c stripe. It is almost scary how already my old 2016 shipmates will be cadre! It feels like just yesterday we were getting yelled at: time flies at the Academy when you don’t look around. However, I will miss the funny parts of 4/c culture, like the “spirit missions”.


Captain Gaines, my chemistry lab instructor, gave me some pretty inspiring advice the other day. He reminded me that I need to make sure I always hold myself accountable automatically, ensuring that self-responsibility is second nature. Soon enough, he said, there will be a 4/c I will have to help, and I will have to worry about both of us. After that, one day I could very well have many people I am responsible for, and potentially assets of the government as well. I realized then why I have to, and want to, do all of the many things I do, stretching myself in so many ways as a 4/c. Someday I will have to look after myself while ensuring other people around me are succeeding. It was a quick wake-up call—soon I won’t be a 4/c, and soon I will have to take responsibility for more than myself. 4/c year is about learning how to function as an individual while balancing functioning as a member of a team. These missions are, whether we realize it or not, preparing us to be role models for the incoming class, guiding them through the same thing we are going through right now.


The Key West community service trip was awesome! We painted, primed, and shined the floating museum ship, USCGC Ingham. There was so much history aboard the ship, and we experienced it firsthand living on the cutter for a week. The skipper who runs the museum operation told me the first night I was staying in some Admiral’s old rack when the admiral was a cadet—that’s how old the cutter was! We met with the Commanding Officer of Sector Key West, Captain Young and his wardroom; went underway on a 110 foot patrol boat; visited a small boat station; and interacted with junior enlisted, senior enlisted, junior officers, warrant officers, and senior officers. So many different perspectives, and it was all jammed into one week! Liberty at night was awesome: experiencing sunsets on the island, the many amazing restaurants, street performers, and all of the neat shops in town. I visited the Harry Truman Little White House, saw the Ernest Hemingway house, and climbed to the top of the Key West lighthouse. The experience really motivated me to come back to the Academy next week and push through the last seven weeks of school before summer training. Seven more weeks until we put on that coveted 3/c stripe. Can’t wait until 2018 arrives!


More about William.


From Swim to Water Polo

(Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo At the end of February, swim season finally came to a close. Our NEWMAC championships were at WPI on February 20th through 23rd. Since I missed school on Thursday and Friday, I had a lot of work to catch up on, which made the following week exhausting. Like any other week, though, I found ways to get everything done on time. Things are always busy and stressful here, but if you can learn how to set your priorities and work hard, somehow everything will work out.


When swim season ended, I expected to feel relieved, but I was actually quite sad. I’ve swam year-round for almost as long as I can remember taking only a few weeks off in April and August. Knowing that the varsity season is all that I have anymore and I won’t be practicing officially again until September was surprisingly upsetting to me. I don’t think I’ve ever missed swimming as much as I have the past few days. As with many swimmers, swimming is a love-hate relationship for me. The season is so long and challenging that many times I wish I had chosen an easier sport, but as soon as the season ends, I want to go back to practice. So the day after NEWMACs, I joined the water polo team. I needed to get a second sports credit for this year, and I figured it would keep me in the water. I had never played water polo before except for conditioning with my swim team. I was uncomfortable during the first few practices I went to because I had never done anything but swimming as a sport. I felt like I didn’t fit in because the team had been practicing for a few months already, and I knew I’d have a ton of catching-up to do. The first practice, I really wasn’t sure if I would stick with it. It was so different from swimming, and I had no skills, but as the week went on, the team really welcomed me and everyone began to help me out and give me tips and tricks to the sport. It’s a much shorter season than swim, but I’m really looking forward to having some fun with it.


More about Sarah.


Lights, Camera, Action

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Gurtler Photo Who knew video blogging could be so much fun?! I recognize that I haven’t posted a blog in awhile and this was a great way to get back in the swing of things. It was a pleasure to be interviewed by my classmate, 2/c Justin Sherman, and reflect on my past experiences here at the Academy as well as the opportunities I have in my near future including the cadet musical and my position as the Hotel Company Commander this upcoming Swab Summer. My involvement in numerous activities is not unlike most cadets here, and I am thrilled to be able to share my insights via film. So without further adieu, take a few minutes and watch my interview! Thank you, again, Justin, for your job well done and your efforts in making this interview a success. I think it helped prepare me a little more for my musical debut in ‘Guys and Dolls’ this upcoming weekend! Hope to see you all there!

Victoria's video blog YouTube Icon


More about Victoria.


Can’t Rock This Boat

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo Ahoy shipmates! This video blog was a lot of fun! I had the privilege of interviewing one of my classmates, 2/c Victoria Gurtler, about all the activities she participates in and how she manages to stay on top of her school work and military obligations. She’s been a very successful cadet and has great advice about managing a busy schedule as a Coast Guard cadet. Victoria is going to be in the musical Guys and Dolls next weekend (March 1st and 2nd). Come see the show!

Justin's video blog YouTube Icon


More about Justin.