Skip Navigation Links
APPLY | LOGIN | CREATE AN ACCOUNT | PARENTS | PROSPECTIVE CADETS | VIRTUAL TOUR | ESPAÑOL | SEARCH
FacebookFlickrTwitterYou Tube
CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Three Parts of Third Class Summer

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Sandri Photo Third class summer at the Academy is divided into three main portions: sailing on the cutter Eagle, experiencing time in the fleet/attending summer school, and going on leave. I was assigned to spend the first five weeks of my summer aboard Eagle followed by six weeks at Station Golden Gate.

 

Eagle was certainly an experience. Our days were filled with double four-hour watches, damage control trainings, working on required tasks such as star shooting and drawing the ship’s firemain system, learning the system of lines so we could help work the ship more efficiently, and of course prepping for in-port duty and liberty. Captain Pulver, the CO, said he wanted to keep us busy, and he definitely succeeded! Here are a few things that made Eagle memorable:

  • My division. Aboard the ship, we attended trainings and stood watches with a group of other 3/c cadets, all under the watch of a 1/c cadet. Although a midnight watch in the engine room may not seem like fun, we made it enjoyable by having discussions and playing lots of games. I couldn’t have survived the five weeks without them!
  • Sometimes, the FS (food service specialist) on duty would make pumpkin cinnamon rolls for people who had the night watch. This always made my night!
  • Spotting wildlife. The Atlantic Ocean is teeming with flying fish, and we would occasionally spot whales or dolphins. It was so exciting to spot them while standing lookout, or waiting during sail stations.
  • The water was colored such a brilliant electric blue around the Caribbean, no wonder there’s a paint color called Caribbean Blue! Not to mention the clarity…you could see directly to the bottom when we pulled into port.
  • Climbing up the masts to pull in or let down sails. The view was incredible, and this was a really special job we got to do.
  • The port calls were amazing. We walked through a 500-year-old fort in San Juan, snorkeled in a natural pool in Aruba, and danced with street musicians in the lively streets of Cozumel.
  • I got to know my classmates better. There are some awesome people in my class who I hadn’t really talked to before, but when you’re together on a 295-foot pirate boat, you get to know each other pretty well.
  • Disconnecting. When you’re underway, there’s no cell service or WIFI access, so we found other ways to entertain ourselves. Sometimes it reminded me of grade school days, in a good way. Frequent time-occupiers included the alphabet game, Never Have I Ever, and writing letters.

 

When we pulled into Miami, we went our separate ways. Three other cadets and I flew to Station Golden Gate in Sausalito, California. It was the busiest unit in the Coast Guard last year and is nestled next to its namesake bridge. These are just a few things from my time in the fleet:

  • The enlisted crew at the station was the best that I could ask for. They were able to more than competently get the job done while maintaining a relaxed atmosphere around the grounds. This was especially important because of the high-stress nature of cases around the San Francisco Bay area, and it was neat to see how the crew members manage themselves with little officer interaction. They were extremely knowledgeable and helpful as we worked on qualifying as communications watchstander and boat crew member for the 47-foot motor lifeboat.
  • I definitely got spoiled by Sausalito’s moderate climate and breathtaking views. There was time allotted for exercise almost every day, and I mostly used it to go on runs downtown. Sausalito is a small, artsy city across from San Francisco, and it was beautiful to run through.
  • SAR cases. We got to experience the life-saving service at the heart of the Coast Guard. No matter what time of day, when the alarm went off there was always a crew racing to the docks to save someone. On the days we were on the first responder boat, we would join the crew on cases. By the end of the summer, I had gotten to pick up kite surfers in distress, tow boats, recover bridge jumpers, break in comms watch for a suspected drug interdiction, and so much more.
  • The station dog, Sierra, was always there to take on walks and play with. The crew was allowed to bring in their own dogs too, and once we took three of them on a four-mile walk downtown.
  • Weekends were ours to use as we wanted. I spent time visiting family and friends in the area, hiked Muir Woods, toured San Francisco and spent one weekend working on qualifications.
  • Scary movie night! Somehow I agreed to watch The Conjuring for Scary Movie Monday at the station…never again.

 

3/c summer was definitely the best Academy summer yet. It feels like we packed so much training into the 11 weeks, which were followed by three weeks of leave. After this culminating end to 4/c year, I’m excited to see what the new year has in store!

 

More about Eva.

 

Getting Involved is Fair-ly Easy (Cadet Activities Fair)

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo We have many clubs and activities here at the Coast Guard Academy. And we have a fun way to find out what extracurricular options are available each year: the Cadet Activities Fair! It’s on the Thursday of the first week of school (sorry for the delay…I had some technical difficulties while editing). This video is a fun exposition of that event. Hear about anything you’re interested in?

*Special thanks to artist Har Megiddo for the use of his music in this video.

Justin's video blog YouTube Icon

 


More about Justin.

 

Halloween at the CGA

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo Halloween at the Coast Guard Academy is unlike anything you would experience in normal civilian life. To start, instead of getting to decorate houses with scary decorations, we decorate our small rooms with as many decorations as we can fit and put buckets of candy outside our rooms. Some people go all in, and even walking into their room can be a challenge. Then there are people like me who don’t decorate at all.

 

On a company level, there are actually some fun activities to do. On the Wednesday before Halloween, my company had a party. We set up a few tables and played a “cider pong” tournament, which drew a lot of attention. Also, we decorated the dayroom with tons of scary spider webs and Halloween decorations. As we decorated, people enjoyed a massive bucket of candy, pop corn, warm apple cider, and caramel apples. The party was pretty fun, and it was a much welcomed break from the monotony of the week.

 

On the Thursday before Halloween, the corps had a chance to participate in the festivities together. At 1830, we had our annual Halloween dinner. The entire corps got dressed up in their costumes and headed down to the wardroom for a festive dinner and the infamous costume competition. This year, the costumes were awesome. Some costumes were really scary, and others were ridiculously funny. Personally, I dressed up as Brad Pitt from World War Z. Why? Well, my rugby teammates decided that we were all going to dress up as different Brad Pitts from the movies he has appeared in. We had over 30 of our guys dress up as different Brad Pitts, and we all sat together at the dinner. The meal was pretty good, but the most fun part was the costume competition. There were several categories for the competition: most creative, scariest, most nautical, and best group. The winner of each category is whoever receives the loudest support, which is a sight to see in itself. The rugby team went up for best group costume, and we each introduced ourselves as “Brad Pitt from___”. Surprisingly, we were very well received, and we won the group contest. That was awesome.

 

After the meal, hundreds of cadets headed up the “hill” for treats and prizes. The “hill” is where ADM Stosz, the Commandant of Cadets, Assistant Superintendent, Master Chief, and Command Chaplain all live. Each house was giving out handfuls of candy, and the Commandant of Cadets was handing out prizes including: long weekends, late racks, and other rewards. I ended up getting a free pass for me and three friends to go to Monday night football, which is typically reserved for seniors only.

 

After visiting the hill, I went back to the barracks to walk around seeing everyone’s costumes and to check out the parties going on. Overall, I had a lot of fun. Halloween at CGA is very different from what I would normally do at home, but I really enjoy it. The weeks here are long, and celebrations like Halloween and Thanksgiving are great stress relievers. Plus, it’s fun to dress up with all my friends and go have fun for a night, instead of studying or doing work.

 

If you have any questions about any of my blogs, please feel free to email me anytime at Hunter.D.Stowes@uscga.edu. I look forward to hearing from you. Take care!

 

More about Hunter.

 

Fall Sports, Liberty and Diving

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo I am happy to report that it was another fun and enjoyable month of my senior year! The football game versus Merchant Marine was the best game I have been to at the Academy. The day started with soccer, a freshman scored the winning goal near the end of the game. Volleyball was simultaneously playing and also won. We then sat in the stands and watched the football team bring home the victory! It was such an exciting game with so much passion and emotion. I also went to New York this month to visit my aunt, uncle, and cousin. It is hard being so far from home, but it is really great to have family close to me. They have been an awesome support system throughout my time at the Academy and I am truly grateful to be so close to them. I also went to a Brantley Gilbert concert with my friends, which was a ton of fun and a great night out on liberty!

 

I know it seems like I only talk about my weekend adventures, but I promise I do school work too! The work load has definitely been picking up this last month and with diving added into my schedule my time management skills have been kicking in. The test and papers have started, but I am not feeling overwhelmed. Diving has been great so far, as of last week I have completed all of my dives that I did at the end of last season. This is huge for me and gives me motivation for a great last year! The schedule is packed from here on out and my weekends are about to be consumed with diving meets, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

 

More about Sara.

 

Looking Forward to a Bright Future

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Carani Photo I’ve been meaning to right this blog entry for awhile now, but I just haven’t seemed to find the time. Rather, I suppose I should say I haven’t quite made the time. Not because I haven’t wanted to write, but because in writing I am forced to stop and reflect. And quite frankly, it is strange to reflect on where I am right now. It seems so strange that I am now writing my first blog entry as a firstie. It seems like just yesterday that I was beginning to write as a 4/c cadet, worried about tests, and grades, and cleaning, and taking out trash and other trivial things. And now, although I still work hard in classes, my mind has turned to much weightier things – such as wedding and honeymoon planning, first billet options, and preparing for the lifelong adventure known as marriage.

 

I have been hearing it throughout my entire time at the Academy, but firstie year DEFINITELY is the best. Having a car, more responsibility, and being trusted by our superiors to take ownership of our leadership positions has been amazing. In my major, the 1/c cadets in the Mathematics department will soon be getting our senior capstone projects, where we will be assigned problems submitted from the Coast Guard fleet to be solved. We will meticulously work on, mull over, trouble-shoot, and eventually solve and present a solution to the problem submitted at the end of the spring semester. And we will actually have an impact on the Coast Guard!

 

These first seven weeks of being back at the Academy have flown by. Honestly, it is in large part due to the fact that I have so much to look forward to! My fiancé is flying out to visit next weekend (she’s literally the greatest), I’ll be home for Thanksgiving and receive the billet list, and then the second semester is non-stop fun as I prepare for the many last milestones in my cadet career and prepare to enter the fleet! I am trying to remain dialed in and focused on the responsibilities that I have here at the Academy, but I would be kidding myself if I said I wasn’t VERY much looking forward to the bright future ahead for me and my fiancé.

 

More about Luke.