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Man, That was Tough…Oh, Wait

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
 Michael Klakring The end of the school year has finally come! 4 semesters down, 4 to go! It has been a long time coming, and it certainly took a long time to finish the last few weeks, but I can safely say I am half way finished with my cadet career. Finals were outrageous and the study to Xbox ratio slowly changed from more of the former to more of the latter throughout the week. But I prevailed and ended up having my best semester thus far.

Just when I was ready to take a deep breath and relax for a minute after another long school year, however, my classmates and I quickly realized we were not going to be relaxing anytime soon. My last final ended at 1600 on Friday, and on Sunday afternoon at 1500, the Cape May Company Commanders (the Coast Guard’s boot camp drill instructors) had us doing push-ups, squats, squaring, and yelling like Swab Summer all over again. Over the following 6 days, we were reminded of what is like to be a swab, but we were also trained by the best in the business on how to be a cadre in just a few weeks. We learned how to teach drill movements, how to incentively train swabs, how to lead calisthenics, and tricks of how to keep our uniforms up to snuff.

Aside from our personal time with the CCs, we also had Leadership and Management School with instructors from the Coast Guard’s Leadership Development Center. Here we learned different types of leadership and decision making in order to prepare ourselves to make that transition from leading self to leading others, which we will be doing come R-Day.

The best part of our 100th week was definitely the Leader Reaction Course that we visited at a local National Guard base. It consisted of 16 different challenges that we completed in teams of four in order to develop our leadership and teamwork, and see where we needed to improve. It was a great time to work with our shipmates in a situation we don’t encounter very often, and was a pleasant change of pace from the classroom taught leadership we usually receive. I hope that we can use this course more often as cadets.

Finally, at the conclusion of the event, we were declared 2/c cadets, and the company commanders awarded us with our new collar devices and the privilege of wearing civilian clothes on liberty! It was another tough week, a new cadet tradition, and was well worth it!

More about Mick.