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cadet blogs

Awesome Summer Adventures

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Coburn Photo I cannot believe that it has been almost one year since I arrived at the Academy for R-Day last June. The time has really flown by and I am learning so much about the Coast Guard each and every day. Right now, I am on South Padre Island, Texas at a small boat station with another cadet. So far, this experience has been awesome. At first I was a little nervous but the crew has been very welcoming. They are always helping us and teaching us new seamanship skills. South Padre is one of the busiest stations in the country; not only have we been able to see how the Coast Guard works during real search and rescue missions, but we have actually been able to participate and it is incredible.

 

The weather down here is amazing. It has not dropped below 80 since we arrived and the beaches are great. We are allowed to go out and explore the island and, since it is so small, almost everything is within walking distance. We are at the station for two more weeks and then we will be flying back to New London to board Eagle. On Eagle, we will be travelling down to Philadelphia for the Tall Boat Show, which will be really cool, and then we will be cruising down to Bermuda (I am really excited for that part). It is going to be a lot of work but most of my friends are going to be on the same phase so I will be able to see them all again! Toward the end of July, we will end the voyage in Boston and then I will go home for three weeks of leave. On August 16th, I will report back to the Academy for my 3rd class year. I cannot wait to be part of Charlie Company and meet the new 4th class. To all of you soon-to-be-swabs out there: good luck this summer, have fun and try not to worry too much. Y’all will do great!

 

More about Mimi.

 

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors!

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo Today I was walking to lunch when I spotted an officer in the distance. I prepared to issue the proper formal greeting and salute…then found myself doing a hilarious little half-salute, half-overexcited wave thing as I exclaimed, “Hey, Commander! How’s it going?” Why the sudden adjustment of military customs? That particular commander happened to be one of the Academy’s sponsor parents, whose family I had visited several times! So, conflicting thoughts of “officer – salute now!” and “Hey, I know him!” resulted in a unique new gesture of acknowledgement. Maybe I can get that into our military etiquette book…

 

During Swab Summer, the incoming 4/c has the chance to fill out an application for a sponsor family. You are asked questions about where you are from, what activities you enjoy, how you feel about pets, etc. Each cadet is then matched with a family and gets the chance to have dinner with them over the summer. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for my own sponsor parents – there are truly no two more gracious and caring people! Plus, hanging out with their menagerie of creatures makes for a very good time indeed! It’s wonderful to be able to go over to a regular home and spend the night watching movies, eating delicious meals, bringing friends over, and doing homework somewhere that is NOT your Chase Hall room! These families are always there to provide support as we navigate the rough channels of Academy life. Sometimes I’ll come off of a tough week at school, frustrated and tired but then, I head over to my sponsors’ and get a chance to relax and refocus under their encouragement. It makes a world of difference at a challenging institution!

 

Each cadet has the choice to get a sponsor family officially assigned. What has never ceased to amaze me, however, is the willingness of every family to just pick up random cadets and adopt them as well. I experienced this with the aforementioned officer and his family – having met them at the Academy chapel, I wound up over at their house frequently enough that they had no choice but to call me their sponsor cadet. They perfectly exhibit the across-the-board generosity of all of the sponsors in the program. It seems like every family is thrilled to adopt more cadets than just those assigned to them! The corps is truly blessed to have such a strong support base during our four years here. If you are an incoming cadet, please strongly consider finding a sponsor, even if home is just a few hours away! You will not regret it – and your friends, who will undoubtedly wind up following you over to their home at some point, will be just as grateful!

 

More about Abby.

 

Countdown Begins

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Auzenbergs Photo This is the final stretch! After spring break, there are only six weeks left of school. Everyone says that it will fly by and already we made it to the 20-day countdown. (Until finals, that is!) These last few weeks will not be easy, as classes are coming to an end and exams are piling up but they are the most important in the whole year. Finishing strong is the key… especially as 4/c. This is the time we have been waiting for since R-Day nine months ago. Carry-on! My company, Charlie, has earned back social media privileges by each member passing Boards. It’s really interesting to look up what our classmates were like through their old Facebook posts and my friends and I have found it even more interesting to look up the incoming swabs in the Class of 2019! We are trying to picture them calling us “ma’am” and “sir,” asking us questions, and treating us like we were not just in their position one summer ago! But first, we just need all of 2018 to pass Boards to earn carry-on as a class.

 

Once all that happens, it’s off to summer training which I could not be more excited for! First I will spend five weeks at Small Boat Station Port Aransas, Texas with one other 4/c, learning what life is like working as an enlisted member in the Coast Guard. Then I will travel back to the East Coast, to meet the Barque Eagle. I will be getting very familiar with Eagle during the six weeks we will spend sailing from New York, to Philadelphia, Bermuda, Maine, and Massachusetts! A year ago today, I never would have believed all that has happened this year, and what is in store for near future.

 

More about Gabrielle.

 

Fantastic April

(Just for Fun, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo Another fantastic month has come and gone. It’s hard to believe with all of the schoolwork and military obligations that graduation is right around the corner. Only two and a half more weeks of school and we are in the final stretch to commencement. The feeling is just beginning to become real and a little scary. I don’t want to leave all of my amazing friends but I am also so excited and ready to head to my first ship. It is such a strange feeling and is very hard to explain.

 

Billet Night was an incredible night full of excitement and memories. I will be headed to CGC Legare, a 270-foot cutter home-ported in Portsmouth, Virginia! I am beyond excited to report aboard and be given the opportunity to carry out the missions of the Coast Guard. It will be a challenging two years full of learning but I am so ready to perform to my highest potential and serve this great organization well.

 

Another awesome event for the Class of 2015 this past month was Castle Dance. This is the 1/c formal held at a castle in Newport, Rhode Island. It was a very classy night with a lot of dancing and fun with my classmates. Additionally, it was nice to wear a dress and be able to have my hair down for this formal event.

 

Last weekend was Easter and a group of us went to my friend Carolyn’s house in upstate New York. Her family was so welcoming and made our Easter weekend so incredibly special. It is so nice to be able to get a home-cooked meal and feel like a part of a family when your own is so far away.

 

One of the things that I cherish most about the Academy is the lifelong friends and family you make in just four short years. I did not ever imagine myself being fortunate enough to be a part of so many families and it is so nice to have constant support from so many wonderful people.

 

I hope spring has sprung for many of you reading this and that warmer weather starts making its way up here soon.

 

More about Sara.

 

Last Semester Rapidly Finishing…

(Academics, Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo It’s certainly been a while since I wrote a blog post, so I will write quickly before class to update my readers on what’s happening in Chase Hall.

 

1. Billet Night (March 5th): The Class of 2015 recently found out where we are going for our first tour. It was a fun, suspenseful evening: I loved sitting in the auditorium, cheering for my classmates as they were called on stage and opened their orders, but grew more and more anxious as people opened orders to boats on my dream sheet. Finally, two of my friends and I were called on stage. I’m going to USCGC Sequoia, a 225-foot buoy tender in Guam!! I’m so excited to get my top pick and spend two years in paradise.

 

2. Classes: Well, they are going. Of course, now that I know I am moving to Guam, it’s hard to focus… Senioritis really is a thing.

 

3. Easter: I had a great time yesterday at my sponsor mom’s house for Easter. She threw an awesome get-together this year and outdid herself with all the food. After surviving 40 days of Lent without eating meat, it was great to dig into ham, turkey, and a delicious broccoli casserole! I’m going to miss those parties when I’m on the other side of the world next year.

 

4. Crew: It’s hard to believe that our season is almost over. It seems like yesterday that we were stepping into the boat for our first race. I’m going to miss the boyshouse, but at least we still have four or five more races! GO BEARS!

 

So that’s everything I can think of in the ten minutes before class. Enjoy and please take time to read the blogs of others (underclassmen) who write more frequently and have great advice and stories about this place. The firsties are mentally checked-out and eagerly looking forward to our new assignments. As always, though, if you have a question, please feel free to email me at Peter.M.Driscoll@uscga.edu. Have a great day!

 

More about Peter.