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cadet blogs

As Close to a Normal College Experience

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Wu Photo Finally, as a first-class cadet, I am having the closest experience to a normal college possible at CGA. Having a car makes the world of a difference! It was so nice having all of my stuff in my car and being able to drive back to the Academy in August.

 

As a firstie, we now have the privilege of going out on Thursday nights in addition to Friday nights, and unlimited Saturday to Sunday overnights. Also, as a Department Head, which is a minor leadership role, I have the privilege of liberty on Wednesday nights as well. As a second-class cadet, I never used Friday night liberty because I was limited to where I could go. However, now with a car, I am able to drive to parks with running trails and go to yoga classes in Mystic. There is a lot more freedom to go out and do my favorite activities and hobbies. It is even easier to go home now that I have a car with me. This past weekend, I was able to drive home after the CGA vs. MMA football game and surprise my mom for her birthday. She was not even expecting it because normally a trip home takes three hours on a train and then another hour or so of mass transportation from Grand Central Terminal back to my house. It is a tiring process compared to a two hours car drive home.

 

Whether going home for the weekend or just being out in the Connecticut area, it is nice to take a break from the Academy since it often encloses the feeling of stress within the barracks. Even when I do not go out on a day that I have liberty, I like knowing that I have that outlet. This lifestyle is completely different from fourth-class year and it is so weird seeing how far the class of 2015 has come!

 

More about Ellie.

 

Spirit Mission

(Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo Every so often, especially if you are a firstie in a company or regimental command position, you get “spirit missioned.” A spirit mission is an attempt by the fourth class cadets to steal something of yours and replace it with a funny object, or change the layout of something to create a laughable inconvenience. I never realized how funny/annoying spirit missions are, until I served on the Regimental Staff this fall.

 

The first spirit mission fell on the first day of classes. I forget which company did it, but one set of 4/c stole every four, five, and six-striper’s shoulder boards and replaced them with blank 4/c shoulder boards. However, they forgot to take our extra pairs…so I wore my extra pair as a reminder to follow through the next time. Unfortunately for me, the Class of 2018 took that lesson to heart…

 

Yesterday, I came back from liberty to discover that my combination cover (my white hat that mildly resembles a bus-driver’s) was missing. In its place, the Echo 4/c had left a pink Hello Kitty fedora, with my cadet insignia wrapped around it. We wear our combination covers for drill practice on Monday mornings, so I had to wear my Hello Kitty fedora instead. As if I didn’t stand out enough already in a bright pink hat amongst a sea of white hats, the Charlie 4/c replaced all our swords with brooms. Thankfully, we made a clean sweep of drill!

 

It’s good to see the morale. I hope the 4/c help keep it high as we prepare to BEAT KINGS POINT and get through the rest of the semester.

As always, if you need anything, email me at Peter.M.Driscoll@uscga.edu.

 

More about Peter.

 

A Lovely Labor Day Weekend

(Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo Labor Day weekend is one of my favorite long weekends in the fall school year because it still feels like summer and the outdoor activities are endless! This Labor Day weekend a group of eleven of us left on Friday afternoon and drove to New Hampshire. We pitched a tent, made a fire, and went to bed earlier so we were ready for our hike the next day. On Saturday, we woke up early and drove to the bottom of Mount Washington. We started the hike at 0730 and ended around 1500. It was numerous hours of beautiful scenery, beautiful weather, and great friends. I had so much fun climbing up and down the mountain and it was a great day to do it! The weather was perfect, not too hot, but not too cold. After our hike we went back to the campsite ate good food and relaxed. Sunday morning we went tubing down a river, which was a great way to relax and unwind from the previous day. Sunday night we decided to drive back to the Academy because the weather report was calling for rain. Monday I went to the beach with friends and soaked in the rays (almost felt like I was at home).

 

Without a doubt, this was one of the best Labor Day weekends I have had and I was so fortunate to be with my very best friends. I will always remember the hike and cherish the experience of being able to hang out and live with all of my friends. It’s hard to think that in eight and a half months we will all be saying our “see you later” and the unknown of when we will be seeing each other again will set in. I remind myself everyday to enjoy every moment of this place because I sometimes take it for granted and it won’t be this way forever.

 

More about Sara.

 

Back-to-School Blues Following an Incredible Summer

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Corcoran Photo Back-to-School Blues: (Noun) The act of going back to school when all you really want to do is go to the beach, soak up some rays, and forget that school even exists for the time being.

 

Unfortunately, the back-to-school blues are a very real thing here at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The whole corps of cadets is lucky to participate in different summer training schedules every year and we are always upset when our time comes to an end. But before I jump into how sad I am that the school year is starting, why don’t I tell you a little bit about what my 2/c summer had to offer.

 

As a 2/c at the Academy, everyone is required to be a cadre in some shape or form. And before you ask, not every cadre is some mean, yelling 20-something year old, making the incoming freshman do push-ups or as we like to call it, “push deck.” There are several types of cadre including: Swab Summer, AIM, CGAS, Eagle, and the best one – Waterfront. I was lucky to be chosen as a waterfront cadre this summer where I spent my days teaching the swabs anything and everything that had to do with sailing. Being a cadre for three weeks was definitely a learning experience not only for the swabs, but for the cadre as well.

 

However, the highlight of my summer came from the Coastal Sail Training Program. In this program, groups of six to eight cadets and one to two safety officers are assigned a yacht and a port call schedule for about eight days and the cadets are in charge of sailing to each destination every day. Not only is this program a learning experience for leadership and followership, but it was also so much fun! We sailed to places that I have never been to before including: Block Island, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and other famous places in New England. This was a great way for everyone to be able to bond with their classmates and learn more about each other, while also learning more about nautical science.

 

Of course there were many other things I had a chance to do this summer including getting my pistol marksmanship (and shooting a gun for the first time), becoming Rules of the Road qualified which is a test every cadet must get a 90% on before they graduate, becoming proficient at driving the T-boats down at waterfront, and also spending at week at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City where we learned more about the aviation side of the Coast Guard. Also, on my three weeks of leave in the beginning of the summer, I got to spend a week in California visiting my best friend who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and also spent a week in Virginia Beach with my family.

 

Needless to say I had a very busy, but interesting summer this year so I am very sad to see it come to an end. However, I decided to try out for the women’s varsity soccer team this year instead of run cross country so I am excited to see how our soccer team does this year! School on the other hand…that’s a different story.

 

As always if you have any questions about anything feel free to email me! Samantha.E.Corcoran@uscga.edu.

 

More about Samantha.

 

Guam Greatness

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo After two months on Sequoia and having crossed most of the Pacific Ocean, we finally reached its homeport: Apra Harbor, Guam! What an incredible place! And the third video of my “Pacific Journey to Guam” vlog series will show you some of what I was able to do there. My time there was short, but I got a lot of exploring in and had some pretty amazing experiences. Distinctly unique from the other tropical islands I visited this summer, Guam is home to incredible adventure, warm hospitality, and great memories.

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

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More about Justin.