Wait… final stretch of 4/c year? I don’t believe it. But it’s true! Coming back from Spring Break and leaving family and friends behind was not my favorite, but, seeing the Chapel spire as you cross the bridge over the Thames, you realize that you are in the last stretch of the worst year and after this, it all gets better! Just one quarter left, yet we all know it will be the worst quarter. Cumulative finals, final papers and reports, presentations and oh… Boards. If you don’t know, Boards are the 4/c oral test to make sure that every 4/c knows basic sea knowledge, history and customs to be a functioning member of the operational Coast Guard on our summer assignments. It's what all the 4/c are stressing about and it will keep stressing us until about April 15th. Once we pass Boards, we have Challenge of the Guardsman, which is a version of Sea Trials that is meant to be our “cumulative event” of being a 4/c and transitioning into the small leadership position of a 3/c. We have a lot on our plates, yet we keep looking toward the finish line, well the break point, for we are never truly finished.
End of March and beginning of April is a pretty exciting time around here: the firsties find out where they will be stationed for their first assignment, 4/c start earning privileges like playing music out loud or wardroom carry on, and the corps is doing a lot of events. Last Friday we had the Ethics Forum, which is on a Friday where all the cadets go to sessions on ethics instead of classes. It is really good information on how to be an ethical leader in stressful and challenging situations. I went to three sessions, one by a retired Army Major General, one by a reservist Marine Corps Corporal working at Lockhead Martin, and one by a Navy Captain and distinguished pilot. All of their themes were the same, all with different sea stories, war stories, or business stories that tied it all together. With all of their experience, they wanted us to take away that being a moral and ethical leader is essential for the success of the organization, the unit, and the individual. It was a great day meeting and hearing from people that most others wouldn't be able to hear from. We also have Eclipse Week coming up which is a week dedicated to learning about the benefits of having a diverse organization. A lot of people complain about having to go to these trainings, but its one of those things that sets us apart from civilian schools in that who gets to hear from these amazing speakers in a small environment and learn how to be leaders from the best leaders.
Just four more weeks of classes! I’m so ready to get underway.
More about Matt.