Hey Zack! What’d you do this summer?”
“Well, friend from back home, let me tell you. I learned how to shoot a pistol, passed a pretty tough boating school test, drove T-boats in large circles, was picked up out of the water by a Dolphin helo, yelled at 18-year-old kids to press the deck harder and oh yeah, sailed for two weeks on a million dollar sailboat to pretty gnarly New England towns that were filled with the summertime spirit and a whole lot of money.”
Wow, doesn’t that sound awesome? 2/c summer has been quite the experience and the best summer spent while at the Academy. From learning how to sail, to practicing my much-out-of-practice cooking skills, to visiting wonderful ports with a new set of friends, the Coastal Sail Training Program (CSTP) was probably the most fun I’ve had at the Academy. I could write pages upon pages on how magnificent the wealthy New England towns were, or how relaxing some of the sailing days were when the wind was just right and the sun shone the perfect amount. Some of the ports we visited during CSTP were Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island and Newport. Before this trip, I had no idea how to operate a sailboat but by the end, all of us were sailing with ease and confidence, tacking and jibing only when necessary and always seeking a way to make the boat fly faster. If only we could have just spent the entire summer sailing.
However, cadre summer has been a good, intense experience as well. For the last few weeks of the summer, I have been a Swab Summer cadre for Hotel Company. As cadre, I have been put in charge of a division and have had to move out of my own comfort zone. Instead of welcoming the swabs with hugs and open arms, all of us have to act the part of the stereotypical drill sergeant. But as a second phase cadre, I have been able to begin changing the focus of the summer from intense military indoctrination into a stern learning environment to prepare all of the swabs to become successful 4/c cadets. I have learned a lot about myself this summer and my own leadership style. Cadre summer is very tough and we get much less sleep than the swabs, but I think the rewards once the summer comes to a close will be far worth it. One more week until the fall semester!
More about Zachary.