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cadet blogs

2018: A Monumental Year

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo 2018. The year is finally upon us. For most, it will be another year full of escapades marked with happiness, sorrow, and more. For a small group of people though, this is a monumental year because it leads to the end of our time as cadets as well as the beginning of a new adventure. Assignment requests, “billet lists,” were due this previous Friday. Submitting my “job application” felt dreamlike. As cadets, you imagine the day that you will get the list of possible locations from Coast Guard detailers and rank your career choices. When I got the list, the options were overflowing. My eyes jumped from job to job, and it took me weeks to finally put them in order of preference because, honestly, every billet seemed intriguing. When the mouse finally clicked submit I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. The choice was out of my hands and the waiting game had begun.

 

While waiting, I’ve started the unstoppable reminiscing regarding my time here. The Academy has taught me immeasurable lessons throughout these past four years. I’ve watched myself and every other classmate grow and change from the struggle of late nights and the overwhelming number of opportunities available to us at this institution. I would not trade it for anything. People always ask me if I stayed at University of Colorado would I have wanted to, especially when it’s a late night or mentally taxing week, but I always have the same response. Never. I think this Academy prepares you as best as it possibly can for challenges that await you upon your first assignment. Whether it is learning how to problem solve, pushing yourself to excel in your weak spots, encouraging and uplifting others, or mentoring those around you, the connections and opportunities I have experienced here are unlike any other place I have ever been in my life, and I am truly grateful for that.

 

More about Hannah.

 

The AIM Experience

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Holland Photo I am 1/c Taylor Holland and I served as the Battalion AIM Officer for the summer of 2017. If you are reading this and considering applying for the summer of 2018 AIM program, do it. AIM is the only service academy program that accurately depicts what the summer would be like as a swab if you were to be appointed to the United States Coast Guard Academy. AIM stands for Academy Introductory Mission, and that is our goal; to introduce you to what we are as a Coast Guard. Over the course of a week, you will have one to two days of simulated Swab Summer as well as a full day of Coast Guard unit tours including helicopters, small boats, training vessels, and a patrol boat. You will have the opportunity to learn about all of our academic majors, as well as how to choose a major if you do not come to the Coast Guard Academy. We will not push you to apply to the Academy but will show you the opportunities that exist if you do apply, which include academics, athletics, camaraderie, and an exceptional career after graduation. It truly is a beneficial experience for all who come, regardless of if you apply after the end of your week experience.

 

When I was a senior in high school, I applied for AIM and did not get in; however, when I reported in for my Swab Summer, many of my classmates who had gone through the program already knew each other and had a general idea of what to expect for their Academy experience. As the Battalion AIM Officer, I was tasked with running the complete AIM program from start to finish with 42 trusted 2/c cadre. Over the course of three weeks, I saw 600 AIMsters transform from individuals into teams, and I saw them become inspired to join our Coast Guard family and inspired to better themselves. We are the smallest armed service, but that means that we know each other, and look out for our own. I'm four months away from the end of my Academy career, and while here I have made my best friends and had the best times of my life. If you're considering the service academies and want a real taste of what it would be like to attend one, start your journey a year early and come to AIM.

 

More about Taylor.

 

Back

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chang Photo “Well, this is it. This journey has been amazing, I’ve made so many new friends, and I’m sure going to miss it. I’ll be back,” I thought as my plane departed Ireland. That’s right, Ireland. You thought I was talking about the Academy? No, no, no. I booked it out of here right after my last final and went straight to Dublin. After that, it was a week of traveling through Belfast, Cork, and Galway (the Cliffs of Moher was by far one of the highlights of the trip). It was a much needed break after the first semester gauntlet we went through, and it was a great way to decompress. If you’re ever going to travel solo anywhere, go to Ireland.

 

So, school stuff. I’m taking Mandarin Chinese again at Connecticut College across the street, which is a great way to experience “civilian college” in the middle of the military lifestyle. I’m taking a class on Arctic Studies, International Development, and the standard Maritime Law Enforcement class. I’m still boxing, and hopefully I’ll make it through this last season without injury. Senioritis will come soon enough – hopefully I’ll still be able to muster up the energy to write these blogs (sorry, Ms. Leann). Finally, billets. I’ve spent a solid month and a half thinking about the next two years of my life, but my personal crunch time came days before our applications were due (as usual). Nevertheless, I’ve put in exactly what I wanted, so we’ll see what happens on Billet Night (48 more days!).

 

And that’s about all I have for now. While grades, billets, and sports are going to be lingering around in my thoughts, this is the last time all my friends are going to be a two minute walk down the hall, rather than a five day drive across the country. Frankly, I’m just going to have a good time this semester.

 

More about Olivia.

 

Coordinating the Hall of Heroes Event

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Wright Photo Happy Holidays! Hopefully you enjoyed the break as much as I did. Last semester definitely brought some challenges with the increased responsibility of being a 1/c cadet. During senior year, every cadet is assigned the leadership role in charge of several other cadets that are organized into a division. Each division has the responsibility of managing a task within the Academy. I was one of two division officers assigned to plan the 2017 Hall of Heroes event, which allows the Corps of Cadets to honor several heroic Academy graduates.

 

At the beginning of the semester, I was both apprehensive and excited about my job. Hall of Heroes is a fairly prestigious event that means a lot to the inductees and their families; however, it is a wonderful opportunity for us to honor graduates that made a significant impact during their Coast Guard career. The event spans half a day and includes a luncheon for the inductees with Delta company cadets, a tour of the Academy, a reception, and concludes with the ceremony. This year there were four graduates inducted during the ceremony that was attended by their families, the Corps of Cadets, and numerous Academy personnel.

 

Thankfully I was part of an amazing team of seven other cadets, who really worked hard to make the event a success. While I am proud of how well the ceremony went, I am infinitely more impressed by that team. Everyone took ownership of some facet of the event and when something did not work out as planned they instantly offered another solution. Working with them was the most rewarding part of last semester and I am excited to see the challenges and rewards that next semester brings.

 

More about Erin.

 

Sponsor Families!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Friedman Photo With the holiday season in full swing and families going to great lengths to be together, I thought I’d give a little insight into a not so well known program that the Academy offers – the Sponsor Family Program.

 

The program provides families from the local area who volunteer to ‘adopt’ cadets. During Swab Summer, all swabs are given the opportunity to sign up for a sponsor family at which time they fill out a survey to determine what kind of family they want. Questions range from whether you like kids, dogs, what your interests are, and captures a bunch of other information so you can be matched up with a good family. Cadets meet their sponsor family at the Academy one night during Swab Summer for dinner and to set up any plans for the Mystic Flag Ceremony or liberty as soon as the summer ends.

 

How much you see your sponsor family is your choice. Some people who live farther away will spend long weekends and Thanksgiving with their sponsor families; some just go over once in a while for a day during the weekend.

 

I have a sponsor family and I love going to their house. I go over to bake, spend time with the family, and just relax away from all the regulations of the Academy.

 

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

 

More about Jill.