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Mr. Friedman Visit

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo Hey, CGA blog readers! It is almost spring break time here and that means a flurry of trainings, corps-wide lectures, and, most dreaded, midterms! Despite everything on our plates as we approach break, spirits have been pretty high at the Academy. This past week, we had health and wellness week, so we got to try out some awesome smoothies in the wardroom, sleep in a few days, and we even had a dodge ball tournament. Also, the fourth class are starting to take Boards, their cumulative indoctrination test, and many of them passed on the first time around!


With everything going on, I could write forever. However, I will focus on one day that I thought was very interesting. Mr. Thomas Friedman, an internationally renowned columnist for the New York Times, came to the Academy to give a lecture. Mr. Friedman has written six books, mainly about globalization, which is the increasing inter-connectedness of world affairs. He is a very engaging man and his writing provokes you to think about how technology is bringing the world closer together than ever before. If you haven’t read his work, I recommend skimming some reviews on the internet because it is definitely worthwhile.


During Mr. Friedman’s visit, I had the pleasure of sitting in on an exclusive lecture for some government majors. During that class, I was really impressed with Mr. Friedman’s work, his character, and humor. His public speaking and writing are presented in a manner that anyone can understand and he is very in touch with his audience.


After the class, I had the privilege of leading Mr. Friedman on a tour of our barracks. Needless to say, I was very nervous. I spent most of the morning before the tour familiarizing myself with his work, because I anticipated having to answer questions about what he had written. However, Mr. Friedman was more interested in learning about the Academy and the cadet experience. Like many of our visitors, he was not intimately familiar with what the Coast Guard does and he didn’t know much about the Academy. It was a pleasure leading him around the barracks, discussing cadet life, our opportunities, and mission. He was very attentive and interested in learning everything. I hope he will write a column about us!


During the evening, the corps gathered in Leamy to hear Mr. Friedman speak. I was drawn in by his presentation, and it made me think a lot about the United States’ role in the future and how the Coast Guard will factor into the accelerating pace of globalization. The cadet reaction to Mr. Friedman was impressive. Cadets, even non-government majors, seemed to like his lecture.


I am so thankful that I go to the Academy because I realize that we have outstanding opportunities here. The Academy does a great job developing us into well rounded officers, with knowledge in issues outside of our majors, and, as always, the Academy is dedicated to molding us into the officers of the future.


If you want to know more or have any questions about my previous blogs, please feel free to email me at


I wish the best to applicants, prospective cadets, and parents!


More about Hunter.


Class of 2015 Billet Night

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo Although this month was full of schoolwork and fun adventures there is only one thing on my mind and that is BILLET NIGHT. Billet Night is only four days away and I can barely sleep or think straight about anything other than Thursday night.


Now, you may be wondering, why is she so excited about Billet Night? What is that? Well, for anyone asking themselves these questions, Billet Night is the ceremony at which the first class cadets (seniors) find out where they will be stationed after graduation for either two or three years. I don’t know all of the details about what exactly happens that night because they try to keep it a secret to make it as exciting as possible. I know that there will be a dinner before, then our names are called and we walk up on stage to open our billet in front of the rest of the class. It is going to be such an exciting and nerve-racking night for all of us in the Class of 2015. I personally am hoping to go to Portsmouth, Virginia on a 270’ cutter. Some of my friends want different types of cutters located all over the country, from Hawaii to Alaska to Florida. Some want sectors and some want flight school.


For me, Billet Night will be very exciting, but also a little bit sad. The only reason I say sad is because it will be a definite reminder that after graduation, my best friends who I have been able to live with for four years may be across the country. We have already planned to take a girls’ trip once a year, but the reality of it, with everyone on different cutter schedules and all over the country, is it may not always happen. No matter where we all end up, I know I will stay up-to-date on their lives and how they are enjoying their first units, but it will be hard to not get a hug from them on a bad day.


As Billet Night quickly approaches, I wish everyone in the Class of 2015 luck and hope we are all happy and make the most out of our first experience in the fleet.


More about Sara.


Pumped for Cadre Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Tousignant Photo Cadre summer can be a captivating experience because so much power is given to the cadre in a short time frame. I am not excited about the power I will have, but about the opportunity I will have to help shape these high school kids into leaders of America. This summer I will learn what it means to serve those I am leading. I will be able to try out different leadership philosophies with the desire to give my very best to the incoming swabs. By making the environment rigorous for the swabs, we are preparing them for the Academy and the fleet. My goal is to help them see the necessity of time management. I want them to see the value of their hard work. Most of all, I want to instill in them the importance of truthfulness and respect. This summer I will become a leader and the swabs will become part of our family.


More about Jackie.


Fingers Crossed

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Haerr Photo Hi, again!


It’s finally spring semester, though it doesn’t really look like spring for there is a LOT of snow on the ground! These past weeks have included many snow days due to the winter storm, Juno! I’ve never experienced such large amounts of fluffy snow in my life! In Texas, we usually get ice.


During some of our snow days, we got to go outside. We went sledding and had plenty of snow ball fights. Some of my shipmates even made huge tunnels on the football field! One of my good friends here is from Panama, and you can imagine her surprise with all the white on the ground—let’s just say she couldn’t stop making snow angels!


Other than all the bizarre weather, 4/c life at the Academy this semester has included much preparation for our Boards. This exam concludes life as a 4/c and when everyone in our entire class passes the verbal indoctrination exam, we finally get “carry on,” which means no more squaring and bracing up! Fingers crossed and plenty of prayers for the Class of 2018!


More about Kathryn.


So Close to Freedom!

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Auzenbergs Photo I am currently sitting in the library looking at a soccer ball with a sharpie face drawn on it, wrapped in one of my extra bed sheets, wearing my issued nanook, and I must admit… it really does resemble a baby! My job this week was to take a regular soccer ball and pretend it was a baby that I should carry around with me to classes, meals and basically anytime I wasn’t in my room. I needed to make up random Coast Guard facts about it and introduce it to anyone who asked as “Bobby.”


Why, you ask!? Well, this upcoming Sunday is 100th day, or the day the 4/c must relive Swab Summer with our old cadre (now 2/c) for a few hours. Logically, that makes this Monday 101st day, better known as the day that the 4/c are supposed to switch roles with the 2/c, and watch them brace up, square around and greet us. We know that this will not happen as expected but in order to even earn the possibility of carry-on for a day, we as 4/c need to earn the 2/c shoulder boards! This can be accomplished by completing physically challenging, mentally challenging, or just plain embarrassing tasks. I have seen some 4/c doing pushups in the P-ways, riding around Chase Hall on broomsticks, performing spirit missions on the upper-class, and spouting off indoc facts to prepare for Boards at the end of this month. To me, my challenge falls in the embarrassing category and most of my fellow 4/c get a kick out of it at my expense… but it’s all in good fun.


Boards are the indoctrination test that all 4/c must take toward the end of the spring semester to earn carry-on for the entire class. This is a very exciting time but also extremely nerve-racking. No one wants to be that kid who can’t pass and holds the whole class back! Plus, when you pass as an individual or company, you slowly earn more privileges before full carry-on is granted. Studying the 64-page packet of facts about Coast Guard heroes, flags, cutters, aircraft, rates and ranks, and historic events won’t be fun, but every single 3/c, 2/c and 1/c cadet had to do it, so it’s definitely possible.


More about Gabrielle.