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(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link   All Posts
 Nicole Garrett For all of you out there that are prospective cadets, I’m sure you have tons of questions. I know I did when I was applying. The application process is fairly straightforward, but Swab Summer was a huge unknown for me coming to the Academy. I had no prior military experience, so I literally came in only expecting what I had heard about.

This summer was a lot of the expected yelling and fitness stuff, however, Swab summer was slightly different then I had expected. While the timed objectives and incentive training (IT) was not favored amongst the swabs at first, almost everything we were made to do had some kind of humor behind it. At first the humor was more masked behind the yelling, but then as time went along we adjusted and found reasons to laugh at the end of the night. For example, the first week, cadre #1 was after me. Every 30 seconds you would hear them scream, “SWAB GARRETT!” After a few days they relaxed a little. So of course I thought to myself, “ Yes! I’m doing better!” Then they noticed a hair tie around my wrist and told me to sound off that I was a pretty pretty princess each time I squared…. At the time it wasn’t funny. Looking back I just laugh at how unfortunate the situation was.

One of my favorite parts of the summer was the survival at sea class. In this class, we learned to use our ODUs to float and got to try out different survival equipment. I loved it. Especially toward the end when we got to play with the life raft. The best part was when we were blindfolded before jumping into the pool off the diving board in the pitch dark. Once we hit the water we had to swim and try to find the raft with our cadre moving it and spraying us with hoses. Once at the raft, we had to establish that everyone was accounted for (still unable to see) before the evolution was over. Everyone thought it was a blast. Other than that, my second favorite thing was sea trials, however, what happens then is something you will have to discover for yourself : ).

More about Nicole.