Once again I am finding myself stumped by how fast this summer has flown by! It seems like only yesterday, I was blogging about my plans for the summer and how excited I was…now the summer is over half way done! In the past month, I have grown in my nautical skills, traveled to Japan, trained to be a cadre, and had probably my best cadet summer yet.
The first two weeks, I spent learning the Rules of the Road (ROTR)…by road I mean the sea and river “roads”… and then I spent a week on a tugboat learning how to operate the boat and act as the conning officer for anchoring, man-overboard, and mooring drills. ROTR training was an intensive, one-week class of straight driving rules and regulations, and I am not going to lie, it was very dry content. It definitely brought back flashbacks from the school year. Despite this, I was glad to learn the rules so that I can not only pass the exam but also serve as a competent officer on a cutter someday. Tugboat training, on the other hand, was one of my favorite weeks of the summer. We spent each of the days either working in the boat simulator or on the tugboat. I got to drive the boat multiple times and act as the conning officer for multiple maneuvering exercises.
Next was Prep Week for Swab Summer. We went to many trainings and practiced speeches and such for the swabs. Because I am cadre 2, I got to act as a swab for my classmates to practice with, which was fun. We also spent hours and hours preparing the swab rooms, getting them all set for the incoming Delta swabs. Then on Sunday – the day before R-day – we vacated the campus for a few hours while the parents and incoming swabs toured Chase Hall. Instead of hanging around, we had a huge cadre-wide BBQ for a few hours.
While I would love to give some sort of a report on how R-day went, I left very early that morning to catch a plane to Japan. I have been at the Japanese Coast Guard Academy for the past week for their International Exchange Program. I went with my classmate, Scotty Kenney, and it was an absolute blast!
Next I have a fairly low-key week in the range. As a member of the Combat Arms Team, I am already qualified in pistol, but I will be helping my classmates get qualified as well. After completing that week of training, I will be taking over as cadre for the Delta Swabs. I am very excited.
Being cadre is honestly what drew me to the Academy, not because I wanted to yell at people but because of the incredible leadership experience. As an AIMster three years ago, I saw the incredible poise and self-control of my cadre and knew that I wanted to become a leader like them. Now, I am standing in their shoes and it is a little daunting, but I am confident in my training, my team, and my God, who has heard and is going to hear so many prayers as I seek to be the best leader I can be. One of the points from the trainings we had during Prep Week was that we need to conduct ourselves in such a way that at the end of the summer we can look the family members of our swabs in the eyes and say that we did our best for their brother, sister, son, or daughter. I would like the family members of my swabs to be confident that I led their child or sibling to the best of my ability, and that is a large part of my focus as I am preparing to take over. Go Bears and God bless!
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