Skip Navigation Links
APPLY | BEARS DEN LOGIN | REQUEST INFORMATION | ESPAÑOL | VIDEO TOUR | SEARCH
FacebookFlickrTwitterYou Tube
CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Swab Hosley’s Swab Summer Survival Guide

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Hosley Photo *Let me just preface this by saying that I was by no means a perfect swab; however, I did sail through the summer with no major problems or punishments, earned the respect of my toughest cadre and mentor, and reached my ultimate goal (so in my mind, that’s a win).

 

Step 1: Physical Preparation

Honestly, there is no way to truly prepare for Swab Summer. Yes, being hydrated and physically fit coming in may help you out a little bit in the long run, but not too much. The best way to prepare is to relax and spend time with friends and family because your life is about to change drastically (for the better of course), and why stress out doing push-ups the week before R-Day? You’ve got all summer to do those silly, and don’t worry you will!

 

Step 2: Mental Preparation

The most important way to prepare for Swab Summer is mentally. Get tough and get psyched. So what if it’s going to be rough, they will be some of the worst times and some of the best. Tell yourself it’s going to be hard because it is, but also you’ll get through it; if I can, you can! Lastly, mentally prepare yourself for the yelling, there is going to be a lot of yelling, so expect that. It’s okay to be scared, fear is excellent motivation but always remember, never let the fear of striking out prevent you from playing the game.

 

Step 3: Let the Games Begin 

  • Always remember, Swab Summer is a game and all you have to do is play by the rules.
  • Listen to everything your cadre tell you and be a sponge, absorb all the customs and rules and core values because one day you’ll live by them.
  • Read your Running Light and don’t just pretend to study, but do. The more indoctrination information you know the better!
  • Always try your best, and never, never, never give up (you’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish).
  • Set goals for yourself. I told myself that one day I would be able to climb up the rope on the obstacle course all the way to the top and you know what? On the very last day of Swab Summer I did, and I have never been more proud of myself.
  • Fly under the radar. Whatever you do, keep a low profile; that is single handedly the best way to survive the summer. If you do what you’re told and always try your hardest, you will be successful.
  • Take care of your shipmates because you won’t succeed without them and I promise you they’ll become your best friends.
  • Never take shortcuts; always remember that the truth rises above all else. It is better to be slow and to do something the right way then to take a shortcut, because your cadre will know.
  • Have fun and be creative with it. Don’t get bogged down by the small stuff and remember that at the end of the day, you’re one step closer to reaching your end goal.

 

Step 4…

Okay so maybe there is no step 4, but I can’t give you guys all my secrets; that would take the fun out of it. Don’t be nervous, it flies by faster than you’d think. Deep breaths, it’s not that bad – you will survive I promise, and you’ll be stronger for it. Just remember it’s all a game, you just have to play by the rules. Good luck! Go Swabs, Go 2020, Go 2018, and Go Bears!!!

 

More about Cece.

Class of 2020: Focus on the Future

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo I changed my phone background recently. It’s now some lovely tropical flowers gracing my screen. Really, the last one I had was fine… but with finals coming up and a heavy influx of division work within Chase Hall, I needed a consistent reminder that in about one week, I am heading to Florida for my first assignment at a Coast Guard air station! Trust me, I’m ready for it. Five weeks of immersion in Coast Guard aviation, hanging out at the beach, great food, and running past palm trees will be rough, but I think the challenges of this school have prepared me well.

 

I truly was pretty overwhelmed this last week, what with giving two presentations for the Science Department and lots of last-minute work for my division, but it truly did help to have something to look forward to. The annoyance and frustration is temporary; the experience is forever! I hope the incoming swabs will remember that as they go through the summer. The initial shock is pretty rough, and the days are very long…but believe it or not, the weeks are short. You just have to remember that there are better days ahead and a million adventures awaiting you. Before I reported in, I did some math. Did you ever realize that seven weeks, out of 200 for our training program, is only about 3.5% of your Academy career? That means 95.5% is made up of meeting new people, travelling, getting into a great major, assuming some leadership positions, flying, sailing, going on internships, joining clubs, attending religious activities… not the rigorous, loud days of the summer. Focus on the future, on the great things in store for you if you endure Swab Summer, and you’ll be fine. Even if you have some doubts at the beginning, 2020… I think you’ll grow to like those odds.

 

More about Abby.

 

Top Five Experiences

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Engelhardt Photo Hello again.

 

As is often a common phrase now when I write my blogs, I had no intention for such a long delay between posts. If fall flew by, then winter was here and gone in a blink of the eye. As spring approaches the Academy, I wanted to take a moment and be reflective on the top five coolest things that the Coast Guard Academy has enabled me to do while I was a cadet. This place has given me so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences and that I wanted to take a quick moment to jot down just some of them.

 

5. Participate in an Inaugural Parade
The Coast Guard Academy sends a contingent every four years to march before the President in the Inaugural Parade. In 2013, I was fortunate enough to be selected for this honor, and got to drill with my piece, in downtown Washington, D.C. in front of the Commander-in-Chief. How cool is that?

 

4. Drive a Mercedes in the Military Bowl Parade
Noticing a theme here? The Military Bowl, held in Annapolis, Maryland, solicited for representatives from West Point, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard living in the capitol area to participate in the Military Bowl festivities. This event, which took place on my 22nd birthday, allowed me the privilege to drive the Mayor of Annapolis in the parade, meet Miss. America, escort Medal of Honor winners on the football field during the coin toss, and watch the game from the stadium’s luxury box. Talk about a day to remember!

 

3. Attend the U.S. Naval Academy
This is not a typo – through the Service Academy Exchange Program, which allows members of the service academies to exchange for a semester during their junior year, I was able to attend USNA in the fall of 2014. Although I am proud to say I will graduate from the Coast Guard Academy and serve in the U.S. Coast Guard, my experience at Navy allowed me to interact with peers who are going on to serve in the Marine Corps and Navy. This exposure was invaluable to me, and gave me an overall greater appreciation of not only the other naval services, but also the Coast Guard, as I learned more of the positive impacts my service has had on others.

 

2. Visit Exotic Locations on Eagle
Through my cumulative nine weeks aboard the Coast Guard Academy’s training cutter, I had the opportunity to visit three foreign nations, and five ports-of-call in the United States that I had previously never been to. Although it is hard to pick a favorite, I must say that visiting Bermuda in 2013 has certainly created a desire for me to plan a return trip.

 

1. Get My Dream Job Upon Graduation
When I reported to the Coast Guard Academy in 2012, it was hard for me to gauge how realistic of a goal it was for me to want to be a Coast Guard pilot upon graduation. However, with hard work and perseverance, it really is true that anything is possible. I am happy to report that on August 1, I will report to Pensacola, Florida for Naval Flight Training, and God willing, earn my wings in no more than two years. Although this last experience is a little bit of a cop-out, for those reading this, just know that no matter how hard the Coast Guard Academy is, the end reward, a commission in America’s finest seagoing service, is certainly worth it.

 

I hope you enjoyed my blog; it certainly has been enjoyable for me to relive the cool experiences the past four years have given me. If you have any questions, I invite you to email me at James.D.Engelhardt@uscga.edu. Until next time, Fair Winds and Following Seas, and always Go Bears!

 

More about James.

 

Class of 2017 Ring Dance

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Mills Photo Ring Dance is a very momentous milestone in a cadet career. We finally have a physical connection to the Long Blue Line and to all those who have walked through the halls of Chase and across that graduation stage. The night was full of good food and lots of dancing, which made me very happy. I got a miniature rose gold band with an amethyst for my stone. Amethyst is my birthstone so it makes the ring that much more personal. The Class of 2017 cannot stop gawking at one another’s rings and I think it is just because we are in total shock that we have made it so far in our Academy careers already. Time has surely flown. My friend was also kind enough to remind me that the next huge landmark in our path is Billet Night. That was crazy to think about, and I cannot tell you for sure where I plan on spend the first two years of my career but hopefully this last summer as a cadet will inspire me to come up with an answer.

 

This summer, I will be on commercial vessels for five weeks, getting a look into the merchant mariner world and the people we serve. For the last six weeks of my training, I will be going to Sitka, Alaska for an internship. I am aware of how challenging internships are to get, in both civilian college and here, so I am super grateful that the Academy has given me this opportunity. Being able to use the science knowledge I have learned over the past two years in a real life study at the Sitka Sound Science Center will be amazing.

 

As always thanks for reading and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions!

 

More about Sydney.

 

1/c Summer on the Horizon

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo This week has been madness! I’ve been swamped with finishing up term papers, group projects, routing planning memos for Swab Summer, studying for finals, and attending end-of-year club dinners.

 

My classmates and I just received our class rings this past Saturday! We had a great time dressing up in our dinner dress white tuxedos, donning our class rings, and spending the night off-base afterwards. It was a great event and definitely a milestone for the Class of 2017. Looking at our class rings, it is clear that we are almost seniors. Time has flown, but at the same time, it feels like it has been a lifetime. With the Class of 2020 receiving their appointments, it means that the Class of 2016 will soon be shipping out to the fleet. Crazy to think that soon my classmates and I will be the oldest folks here at the CGA.

 

I am excited to leave for Alaska on a 110-foot patrol boat in two weeks! After finals, I have to pack out my room and move all of my stuff to Regimental Row for the second half of the summer (which should be a monumental task with many trips)! Less than a day after that, I’m leaving for Alaska. I’ve already started my qualification for Quartermaster of the Watch with my Nautical Science instructor, and hopefully this summer will be a good opportunity to shadow junior officers and see what it’s all about. My next blog in May will probably be from the icebox!

 

More about William.