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cadet blogs

How I Got Here

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
 George Glock My situation is quite unique, and one many prospective cadets can probably identify with and learn from. The Coast Guard Academy was not my first choice. So how did I end up here, and why am I still here?

When I first began applying to colleges, the most important thing for me was aviation. In some way shape or form, my college needed to give me an opportunity to pursue a flight career. Secondly, I was very interested in the military (I was in the Civil Air Patrol). My top choices, in order, were as follows: Air Force Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona), and a few more local schools.

Interestingly, I did not know the Coast Guard existed until I was applying to schools. Here is an interesting anecdote: During my interview with my Congressional Representative’s staff for my nomination to the Air Force Academy, before I left, a female officer leaned over to me and whispered something in my ear. She said, “Mr. Glock, you are a great candidate for any Academy… however, I strongly suggest, based on your answers to these questions, you look into the Coast Guard Academy. It seems like a perfect fit for you.” When I first heard this, I thought my chances of receiving the nomination were slim because they didn’t think I was a good fit for the USAFA or USNA. However, I ended up receiving all three nominations: Congressman Bishop, Senator Clinton, and Senator Schumer.

Despite receiving three nominations to the USAFA, I was not accepted. I was also not accepted to the USNA because I did not have any nominations since all three had USAFA as my first choice. Several weeks after this news, I was accepted to the USCGA. Looking back, I do believe this all happened for a reason. I really do belong here.

The reason that officer told me what she did was because I am very interested in humanitarianism. Many of my answers were based on of that theme. I was very honest during my interview because I did not want to end up at the wrong school. I even admitted a foible of mine: I highly dislike and discourage violence, although I understand it is needed to prevent worse outcomes. Immanuel Kant would be disappointed in me basing my morals on consequences because humans are not omniscient (my Government major coming out). I believe those officers and alumni appreciated my honesty, an extremely important virtue of an officer. Remember that during your interviews. I have interviewed over eight prospective cadets; I do not look for the perfect answer, I look for an honest answer.

Back on track, I was accepted to the USCGA fairly late and I had about a week to decide if I was going to accept the appointment. I had already enrolled in ERAU (Daytona) and had all of the paperwork and scholarships (including AFROTC) finished. It was an extremely difficult decision, but I decided that the prestige of an Academy and the USCGA’s humanitarian mission was extremely important to me, and it was worth putting my dream of flight on hold for four or more years. I am an optimist, so I looked at the bright side. By then, I had already earned my Private Pilot License during my senior year in high school, so I would still be able to fly occasionally at the Academy, which I have been doing and staying current. In fact, this past Columbus Day weekend I rented a plane with my best friend here, Wryan, and we flew over the Academy and took some pictures for the Aviation Club to use. More on that another time.

To summarize, even though the USCGA was not my first choice, looking back now I would have made it my first choice above all other colleges and all other academies. Every once in a while I think, “Man, I could be in Daytona right now, eighty degrees, flying a plane over a beach.” But then I look at the amazing life-long friends here – people I would give my life for – and I will never trade it for anything. What the Academy has to offer is truly priceless. Unlike other academies, you know everyone in your entire class by first name. I was at West Point last weekend for a rifle match, and cadets there seemed much more disconnected from each other. Their corps is four times the size of ours, and people graduate knowing only a fraction of their class. The atmosphere at USCGA is much more united and close. It’s a great feeling to be surrounded by – and living with – friends who look out for you. If it wasn’t for my friends I have made here, I could not have made it this far.

More about George.