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Communications Watchstander

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
 Katie Schumacher May 26, 2009

Classes ended. Then final exams in Dimick and on 5th deck Roland. With the school year at a close, a new phase began as our class was shipped to every corner of the United States and to Spain. I was supposed to go on the first phase of Eagle, but due to a stress fracture in my leg, I needed to stay a little closer to the Academy. Actually, about five minutes from it. That is why I am here at Station New London.

I was disappointed. The scenery did not change too much; the Thames River is still right outside and the same stores nearby. But the atmosphere has changed; the station is not like the Academy. I have met so many new people and settled into a different lifestyle that the last couple of weeks have been both educational and enjoyable.

School was about finding integrals, the composition of organic compounds, and the reasons we entered World War II. At the station, I have learned to keep contact with Coast Guard boats underway through the radio, how to make a line, and the features of a survival vest. The first two weeks or so, I worked on becoming Communications Watchstander qualified: learning how to properly answer phone calls, make pipes over the intercom, and maintain contact with the Coast Guard forty-one and twenty-five foot small boats underway.

Today I passed my board and am now an official Communications Watchstander. Now, instead of working everyday, I work two days and then am off for two (a normal station schedule). Since I don’t have a car, I’m planning on working most of my off days to get more experience. I stopped using the crutches I have had for the last three weeks today. I still “gimp”, but I am practicing to walk straight. Hopefully I can go out on the small boats soon.

Yesterday was Memorial Day and my section had duty. Not much was happening so the crew put together a morale event in the evening with basketball and then a barbecue with hamburgers, chips, corn, and watermelon.

Katie.M.Schumacher@uscga.edu

More about Katie.