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I've Seen Enough

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
 Michael Klakring As a 2/c cadet, a junior, you are given the opportunity to apply for exchange to another service academy for an entire semester. It’s a pretty neat program, and no one really has a bad experience with it. I really wanted to go to the Naval Academy, not only for a semester of exchange, but for 10 years of my life before I chose to come here. I grew up 15 minutes from there, had seen it for years, and knew I wanted to serve. But then my Mom told me about the Coast Guard Academy and after attending AIM and the USNA Summer Seminar, my mind was made up.

Still, I would love to get a chance to be a midshipman for a semester, living close to home, close to my girlfriend, finally going to the Naval Academy, my childhood dream. I had a very brief glimpse of this a few weeks ago when my entire class drove to Annapolis and stayed there for two days. The midshipmen were great hosts, especially considering how many of us came and on such short notice. But I learned a few things, just in the couple of days I was there:
  • The school is way too big for me. Here at the CGA, everyone knows, has heard of, or knows of every other cadet here, and you certainly know every member of your class. Not so as USNA.
  • The food here beats Navy’s by a long shot. Again due to the small size, meals can be served buffet style here, as opposed to the family style meals at Navy which include microwave burritos.
  • The 4/c here at the CGA are much more disciplined, and the corps as a whole seems better focused on our mission.
I have decided not to apply for exchange, for these reasons and because of personal reasons and scheduling conflicts with my major. I can safely say now more than ever, though, that I have no regrets about my decision to come here over the Naval and Air Force academies.

More about Mick.