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cadet blogs

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.

 

A Whirlwind Semester and Much to Look Forward To

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Kimura Photo “Flying by” is an understatement when it comes to describing this semester. Diving season ended, spring break in Machu Picchu happened, and now there is only one week left of classes. The end of the school year means 4/c passing boards, earning carry-on (no longer having to brace up in Chase Hall), and using social media again; 2/c bringing back their newly bought cars; and firsties making plans for their new homes, weddings, and 30 days of leave. For myself as a 3/c, this past weekend made me truly appreciate everything I have to look forward to in the next two years.

 

I attended Class of 2017’s Ring Dance, which is a ceremony that recognizes the 2/c approaching their final year of the Academy with personalized class rings. Just looking at everyone’s rings made me excited for when I get the chance to pick out one for myself. The most astounding part to me about the rings was the amount of money people spent on them. The reason behind the hefty amounts paid was not that people had money to spend carelessly. Instead, the splurging was justified by the sacrifice they have personally put into the Academy; those late nights cramming, exploring foreign port calls, running a PFE the day after every break, hanging over the side of Eagle feeling seasick, cleaning until midnight. They made the investment in the rings because of the strong impact of their Academy experience and the bonds they made with the people around them. I’m sure if I asked any of them if they would pay $1,000, $2,000 or even $3,000 on a ring in high school they would laugh at the thought. But, something changes in three years that makes cadets take enough pride to want to spend that sum on a place they had no experience with three years before.

 

More about Amy.

 

The End is Close!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Dow Photo Wow! It’s been a while; you get so caught up in everything here and then it’s April. Between softball, school and other extracurriculars and duties, I didn’t even realize it has been so long since I last posted. But in reality, the days may be slow here, but the weeks are going fast. Only a few more weeks until finals and then second class summer! Although the school years sometimes feel long and very difficult, the summers make it all worth it. Being here at the academy has opened many doors, and more opportunities than I could have ever imagined going to college.

 

During finals week, we can only have at most two finals in a day, and it runs for five days. Some finals you are able to validate if you exceed a certain grade in the class, but it is very difficult and not many do. The summers are definitely a highlight of the Academy experience because you get to go out and explore the real fleet, and meet people you might one day work for, or with. The Coast Guard gives you so many great opportunities to see the world, and all you need to do is put in a lot of hard work.

 

As a rising second class, the week after finals is 100th week when we prepare for cadre summer. The Cape May Company Commanders (who are cadre for a living) come and train us. During this week and the actual three weeks of being a cadre, we also get to sail on the Academy’s yachts to practice navigating, plan the trip and lead our peers. We qualify for pistol; take our Rules of the Road test; and explore what the aviation side of the fleet does with a week at an air station down south. This summer will be challenging, but will also bring us even closer as classmates.

 

Last summer, I was on a buoy tender out of Newport, Rhode Island. It was one of my favorite memories. The second part of my summer was on Eagle, where we sailed to Bermuda, Philadelphia, Portland and Boston. This was also super cool, because not many other people can say they sailed around the East Coast, (and because we got to go to cool places for “work”!)

 

Can’t wait for the summer to begin!

 

More about Emily.

 

Academy Traditions

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Friedman PhotoOne thing that helps me get through my time at the Academy is the traditions we have here. There are many, and when I try to explain them to my friends, I usually tell them if they want to know they have to call me. Trying to explain it in a text message just isn’t going to work, but I’ll try to put some into words for this blog.

 

Hiding the Chain – On campus, there are massive links to a chain that was originally drawn across the Hudson River during the Revolutionary War, and this chain isn’t a little necklace; it was used to sink ships. During Homecoming Week, it’s a tradition that the 4/c hide the chain 24 hours before the Homecoming game and the 2/c have to find it. If the 2/c doesn’t find it by the start of the game, the 4/c have to get the chain to the 50 yard line in order to earn a week of modified carry-on. I mentioned the weight earlier because I was one of the 4/c that got up at 2 a.m. to drag the chain across campus and hide it. It was a long night and even longer day the next morning but the memories are worth it. 

 

100th Day/101st Night – 100th Day is when 4/c and 2/c trade places, but in order to do this, 4/c must earn the shoulder boards of a 2/c they select. To earn shoulder boards the week leading up to 101st night is filled with spirit mission where people’s rooms end up covered in toilet paper, in the shark tank, and sometimes people’s uniforms go missing or get swapped out with something else. This leads up to 101st night where the 4/c go back to being swabs and the 2/c go back to being cadre for a few hours. Once this is over 2/c and 4/c trade shoulder boards and 4/c get to carry on for a day.

 

Class Crest – Every class at the Academy designs a crest. This crest represents your class, it’s on your class rings, class shirts, and hung on the walls of Leamy Ballroom alongside the other classes that have gone before you. The class crest is revealed at 4/c formal which recently happened for the Class of 2019. Our crest now joins the long blue line of those classes before us.

 

If you have any questions feel free to email me at Jill.M.Friedman@uscga.edu.

 

More about Jill.

 

The Journey of Boards

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Sharp Photo Biggest news to date: I passed boards during the week of February 17th! Now, if you understand what this statement means, then feel free to stop reading here. For those that do not understand, let us venture on a little journey together.

 

It all started on R-Day; the day my life changed forever. My shipmates of the Class of 2019 reported to the Academy on June 29, 2015 and immediately got screamed at. We ran around sweating for a few hours, saw our parents for five minutes, and then returned to the grind for the rest of the summer. (Side note: I never fully understood why they let us see our parents after a few hours of running around on that first date. It’s like dangling a piece of bacon in front of a newly “discovered” vegetarian. The only plausible reason it would serve is to weed out the people who want to go home right then and there… but still.) Anyway, one of the best parts of R-Day, and even Swab Summer as a whole, is a little something the cadre call “indoc.” Sounds fun, right? WRONG. For the life of me, I cannot do indoc. What the heck is this demon, you ask? Well, my friends, it is short for “indoctrination,” which is a big, fancy word for random facts about the Coast Guard that some higher-up person thought we should all know. Some of these things are downright insane – like the 250-word response that is proper to answer the question “what time is it?” or the one that talks about a “cow…” Needless to say, I found no point in learning indoc. I would literally rather push deck (do push-ups) for hours on end instead of knowing the length, beam, draft, and displacement of Healy.

 

This mentality worked over Swab Summer because we pushed deck all the time anyway. But, then the school year rolled around, midterms came, the second semester started, and there I was. Little 4/c Sharp in complete denial of all things indoc. Still. It hit me the day before my first board that this was, like, an actual thing. You see, in order to advance a rank (to go from 4/c to 3/c) everyone must pass boards. When our whole class passes boards, we can get social media back, so the stakes are fairly high. I really did not want to be the last one in my class to pass because I hate holding back my shipmates. But, there was only so much indoc I could cram into my head within a 24-hour period. So I studied. Hard. And, with the help of a few people, I somehow managed to get a 6/10. You need at least an 8, however. After that first board, I accepted the fact that I would probably pass last in my class. But I was not about to give up.

 

The Journey of Boards (Continued) PDF 


More about Kirsten.