I am writing to you from the Baltimore airport on my way back from three weeks of leave. I had a ton of fun with my family, surfing, camping, hiking and generally working on my tan. It was an awesome three weeks, but I am finding myself at the end of it. And as always, I am confronted with so many different emotions, sadness of leaving my family but excitement at returning to my buddies and an appreciation for returning to work. Rest is good but to a point – then it is time to get back to the hard work I have been blessed with. So here is what my summer looks like:
Week 1: I will be spending about six hours a day in a classroom learning rules of the road (affectionately referred to as ROTR). Though it will not be the most exciting part of the summer, it is super important if I want to be a ship driver (Conning Officer). So, as exciting as it was to read the driving manual before getting to drive a car, I will do it just as eagerly hoping to one day drive a cutter.
Week 2: Tugboats. I am not entirely certain what this week will hold but I am sure that it will involve several hours on the Thames River driving tugboats – which as a sailor, I am stoked about!!
Week 3: Prep Week. Dear class of 2016, we, as your cadre, really do put in A LOT of effort into making your life simpler – though it will not appear that way when you show up :). This is the week when we clean and organize the swab rooms. We will be filling all of drawers with the issued gear, waxing and buffing the decks, and generally making the place spotless for your arrival.
Week 4: I FLY TO JAPAN! So exciting, as I was accepted for an exchange program with the Japanese Coast Guard. I am very excited to meet the Japanese Coast Guard cadets and to see beautiful Japan. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to represent my Coast Guard Academy, but also incredibly nervous…anyone know how to speak Japanese?
Week 5: While trying to recover from extreme jetlag (however worth it), I am hoping to participate in a marine safety internship. After getting commissioned, I am very interested in the marine safety prevention and inspection side of the Coast Guard. To my knowledge, this would include inspecting ships that come into port for marine structural safety, unwanted cargo, etc. I am not entirely certain what that part of the Coast Guard involves, but I think it sounds awesome! So hopefully I will be able to participate in this internship to understand it better.
Weeks 6 - 8: Cadre…oh yes, this cadet will become, “2/c Nelson, Ma’am.” Wow! I cannot believe that I am here. Only two years ago, I, “Swab Nelson,” and only dreamed of being like my cadre. Now I am in their shoes. I pray that the superior leadership and maturity that I saw displayed in my cadre will be something that I can model and display for my swabs.
Week 9: I am not entirely certain what I am going to do with this week but probably get my wisdom teeth pulled. Oh. Joy. Unfortunately, it is a necessary evil to being an officer.
Week 10: The corps returns to now include the Class of 2016. Welcome. Hopefully we will greet you as the finest class of 4/c because the finest class, the Class of 2014, trained you.
God bless, Class of 2016! Get pumped. Take this time to prepare mentally. The biggest difficulty you will face this summer will be yourself.
More about Jessica.