So, tomorrow is R-Day. As we rode the bus back to the Academy from our class picnic today, it hit me how nervous I am: and I’m not even a Swab Summer cadre! Therefore, I think it’s appropriate to remember that our cadre, 2013, prepared us well for this next adventure. Here’s how:
Teamwork: They really weren’t kidding when they told us the first day that we would succeed or fail as a team. So far, we’ve had our rough patches, but as a class, we have come together as a team to get where we are today. And tomorrow, my classmates will demonstrate that to the families and swabs of the Class of 2017.
Professionalism: Joining the Coast Guard isn’t a walk in the park. The Coast Guard means business, and my classmates and I will demonstrate that to 2017 throughout the course of the next two years we have with them here at the Academy. These boys and girls who will swear-in tomorrow will be the professional men and women who replace us at our first billets two years after we leave them.
Friendship: My classmates are my closest friends. It’s scary to think how if things had gone differently, and I had chosen to attend UNC-Chapel Hill instead, I would not have known these great people the way I do.
Family: Even more important than the friendships you make over Swab Summer is the sense of family. I can trust everyone here to be willing to do anything for me, and I for them. Throughout this summer, my classmates and I get to introduce our swabs to the Coast Guard family.
And finally, class pride: The Great Class of 2015 is the best class. While we have had those rough patches, we’ve developed character as a class. Our class balances professionalism with personal enjoyment, and knows better than any other how to “flip the switch.” We’ve spent two years waiting and preparing for this, working each and every day to make it to tomorrow: R-Day.
Good luck to all my classmates in the Greatest Class of 2015! Welcome to the (To Be Great) Class of 2017!
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