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

cadet blogs

Week 10: Guam Adventures!

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo I think this week’s reflection is going to be short. There really wasn’t work for the crew this week, so most of my days were free aside from the one day of duty in which I broke-in as an officer of the day (OOD). I’ve been working on many small projects, which are enjoyable. It’s rewarding because I know that I’m contributing to the cutter and doing something that will last and be beneficial for the crew and officers (or at least I hope!). As I mentioned last week, I enjoy projects that make things better for those around me; this week has been great for that!

 

When I wasn’t working this week, I was exploring the island. There are some exciting hikes and interesting places to go. I’ve taken a lot of pictures of the cool landscapes, amazing views, tropical beaches, and ocean cliffs as well as some interesting wildlife (have I mentioned the dive-bombing birds yet?).

 

It’s been a relaxing week, and I still haven’t come to terms with the fact that I only have one week left onboard. Where has the time gone!? I’m looking forward to going home, but part of me doesn’t want to leave. I still have more of Guam to explore. Thankfully I have another week left to have a few more days of adventure.

 

As far as leadership and Coast Guard reflections, I can’t say that I have much to say for this week. I’ve been thinking about school a bit more (mentally preparing myself for it), and the Academy seems like such a different place from this side of the world. Honestly, the perspective has been just what I needed to refresh and ramp up for my last year! It has been incredible being in the operational Coast Guard doing work and standing watches as a professional member of the service. I hope when I face challenges at the Academy that I can remember my perspective now to remind myself that the Academy and all the craziness that goes on there isn’t the whole Coast Guard. I’m proud to serve in one of the world’s premier maritime services!

 

Well, I’ll leave off there. Not sure if I’ll write next week since I’ll be flying home about the time I usually write these reflections (and 10 reflections is a nice even number…). I can tell you now that it’s going to be a busy week as I scramble to finish all my projects, tie up other loose ends, and prepare to head home. Thanks for joining me on my Pacific journey this summer. In a few weeks, be on the lookout for a vlog with pictures and video from these past few months. Have a great rest of the summer!

 

More about Justin.

 

A Dispatch from the Arctic

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Kearney Photo Ahoy all ye blog readers!

 

"Polar Bear! 1 mile ahead. Port Bow." The all-hands announcement ignited a storm of eager sailors and scientists alike, as large-lensed cameras were brought out on the deck of the Healy and a plethora of oohs and ahhs followed. I am writing to you after witnessing yet another polar bear upon this wonderful Arctic ice; the unique wildlife, along with the breathtaking, illuminated horizon, provides a constant reminder of the awe-inspiring world north of the Arctic Circle.

 

Despite the recreational views, the science work has continued in full force this past week. A mooring recovery and deployment were conducted in order to obtain data on the North Slope boundary current, shelf break, and the Pacific water’s path into the Arctic Ocean. The moorings are reused, with this most recent mooring reaching its 10th deployment since 2002. The depth of this particular mooring reached 147 meters.

 

Along with the moorings, we have continued to conduct the Conductivity, Temperature and Depth (CTD) casts. The scientists and crew recently painted creative and unique images upon Styrofoam cups that were attached to our deep sea CTD cast. The water pressure at that depth dramatically shrunk the cups. The depth of the cast reached 3,744 meters, and as a result, the Styrofoam cups are tiny, beautiful, and a wonderful memento of our time in the Arctic.

 

For the duration of the current science mission, six Coast Guard Academy senior cadets have embarked on Healy in order to gain final fleet experience before obtaining their officer commissions next spring. 1/c Marina Stevens, 1/c Elise Sako, 1/c Gabriel Patterson, 1/c Anthony Orr, 1/c Abby King, and myself are currently onboard the ship and have crossed into the Chukchi Sea for the first time. While onboard, we are in a watch rotation where we will either obtain their Bridge Watchstander and Junior Officer of the Deck (JOOD) qualifications, or their Technician of the Watch (TOW) qualification. During their sophomore and senior summers, Coast Guard Academy cadets are sent into the fleet in order to garner skills in seamanship, ship engineering, and leadership.

 

And last, but most certainly not least, the Saturday morale night consisted of a highly competitive sumo wrestling tournament. Our well-trained and Olympic fit athletes donned the giant sumo suits in order to grapple in this marvelous spectacle of pure grit and determination. SN Redhorse won the overall competition, while MK2 Martin won the Most Creative category. The event was a delightful way to end the week, for both spectators and competitors alike!

 

Follow the ship via our track-line updates on Icefloe (http://icefloe.net/uscgc-healy-track-map), and we will catch you on next week’s installment.

 

More about Zachary.

 

Sector Honolulu

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo What an amazing summer it has been so far! I got to Hawaii five weeks ago and have loved every second since! It is beautiful here and there is a ton of stuff to do so you never get bored. I was assigned to Sector Honolulu for the second half of my summer and I have been able to learn a lot about the Coast Guard from the ashore side. While at sector I was immersed into six different areas of operation that report to or are attached to sector. Learning about the different areas of sector prevention and response helped me to gain perspective on what I may want to do in my Coast Guard career and opportunities I can take to lead me there.

 

When I haven’t been working, I have been going to a ton of different, but equally beautiful, beaches. I have also hiked to a lot of mountaintops and waterfalls, snorkeled, swam, and eaten different foods. The views here are like nothing I have ever seen and the color of the water is unreal.

 

All in all I have had an incredible summer so far and I still have three weeks of leave at home to look forward to. I am ready to take a break and relax with my friends and family. I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given to come out here.

 

I know Swab Summer is in full swing so I am sending my best to the Class of 2018. I know they are in good hands with the Class of 2016 and I’m sure they are learning a lot!!

 

More about Sara.

 

Phase I of Firstie Summer!

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Wu Photo I cannot believe I am already a first class cadet at the Academy and the Class of 2018 is reporting in. Similar to third class summer, firstie summer is spent out in the operational Coast Guard. For my first phase, I got the chance to be on CGC Venturous, a 210’ cutter out of St. Petersburg, Florida. A female classmate of mine and I met the cutter mid-patrol in Corpus Christi, Texas and from there we went underway to Cozumel, Mexico and then back to home port in Florida. I enjoyed the experience on Venturous and found it very beneficial. Before my first phase, I had almost no exposure to the operational fleet since I was on Eagle for part of my third class summer and then at the Naval Academy on their Yard Patrol boats. I remember one of the first things our Executive Officer told my classmate and I when we first reported to Venturous was the importance of being a “sponge.” I kept that in mind throughout the phase and got a lot of hands-on experience being on a 210’. As a firstie, the main difference this summer from third class summer is that as a third class you are treated as a Junior Enlisted so you do a lot of manual labor and saw the physical tasks involved in running a boat. As a first class, my classmate and I were given a stateroom to stay in and treated as a Junior Officer. We shadowed the officers, ate in the wardroom and oversaw all the decision making that maintains a functioning boat and crew. It was a lot of hard work and long hours on watch as we got qualified as Navigation Petty Officers of the Watch (NPOW) and Basic Damage Control Practical Qualification Standards (DCPQS). We were also given the opportunity to conn the 210’ (give orders on how to maneuver the cutter) in man overboard drills. It was interesting to see and experience everything we learned in the classroom. During the drill, for example we saw how the surface area of the cutter played a factor in helping recover the man overboard dummy faster.

 

Our time in Cozumel was a great break from being underway. My classmate and I got to go dune-buggying as well as scuba diving. It was an amazing port call and it refreshed the crew for the last leg back to home port. It was inspirational to see a Commanding Officer work for his crew. He was always taking the crew’s best interest to heart, looking for good port calls and when the crew needed a break, the CO had a very well-timed swim call as well as a couple of low key days that allowed crewmembers to catch up on sleep. Once we got back to home port, we got a week of stand down (which means, unless you have assigned duty, you do not need to be on the boat). It gave the crew time to spend with their families and be at home. During that time, I got to explore the beautiful St. Petersburg. The other cadets and I also got to a little trip to Disney World for a few days. We definitely made the most out of our five-week phase; learning as much as we could from the crew while having fun along the way.

 

 


More about Ellie.

 

Pilgrim Prom

(Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo In high school, April was the month to go prom dress shopping, order the corsage, plan where pictures would be taken. But in college, April is a month crammed with projects and exams…so much seems to come at once that, as cadets, we forget about the social life around us. The Academy however remedies this problem ensuring each cadet attends a number of formal dances to practice their social skills.

 

Class of 2015 Cadet Blogger Peter Driscoll invited me to join him this year at the 2/c Ring Dance in the month of April. As an underclass, I saw this invitation as a great opportunity to experience another’s Ring Dance before planning my own. And obviously I knew it would be a great night to escape Chase Hall and spend time with friends. While an odd class year will never be able to compete with an even, I must admit 2015 and especially my date Pete did a fantastic job organizing the evening. From details such as class specific water being added to the ring dipping ceremony, to a father (and Captain) of one of the class member’s being selected as the keynote speaker, the night overall exceeded expectations. Even in a pilgrim-like dinner dress uniform, cadets were able to dance for hours surrounded by friends, guests, and members of the Class of 1965. Pilgrim Prom might not be a frat party, but it is definitely an event that cadets will remember.

 



More about Sarah.