While walking around of Chase Hall, I have noticed the cadre putting up the incoming Swabs’ name tags and gear in to the rooms and then I realized what big event in my life happened just earlier this week. June 25th marked my one year of being at the Coast Guard Academy, which inspired me to just give some quick hints for the incoming class.
First and foremost, remember you chose to come to a military academy. It will not be a normal college orientation. You WILL be pushed farther than the edge, but remember it is all training. This will set you up for the rest of your time at the Academy. The end goal is worth the challenge and it’s only seven weeks; it goes faster than you think!
Second, remember the cadre has been in your shoes. They have had training on what to look out for. They know what they are doing. They will yell, they will scream but it all has a reason. DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY! I know a lot of the members of your cadre and they are all upstanding cadets. Just take everything in stride, learn from your mistakes, and be ready to fulfill your role as the bottom of the corps. You will learn this during the summer but the corps feeds off of the Fourth Class. When you all are doing well, the corps is at peace, when you begin to slack off and have problems, just remember the rock rolls down the hill.
Third, you are all the best of the best coming from your high schools. Valedictorians, salutatorians, captains of sports teams, all star athletes, but during the summer you all are going to be part of the sweaty group running down the hallway at 6 a.m. yelling, waking me up from a peaceful sleep. Everyone is on an equal playing field. The term “too many chiefs and not enough Indians” came up a lot during my Swab Summer. Listen to everyone’s suggestions, and be a respectable shipmate. Just because you went to AIM, CGAS, or some other training, although they set you up a little more than those that have no basic training, do not let the words “The way we did it at (AIM, CGAS, etc) is like this” escape your mouth. Just hold it in and drive on.
Lastly, remember as I said before, its only seven weeks. You can make it! Enjoy your mail and care packages when you can and DRIVE ON! Congratulations on making into the Class of 2017, take pride in your class, your shipmates, and the Academy! Fair winds, following seas and SOUND OFF! The cadre are waiting…
If you have any questions please do not hesitate! Nathan.D.Belanger@uscga.edu
More about Nathan.