This month has been a tough month for everyone. Midterms, CER’s (military performance evaluations), cadet drama and the unrelenting flood of homework have kept everyone from 4/c to 1/c busy. But as 4/c, we’re also responsible for running trash orderlies, doing twice-daily clocks, taking indoc (military knowledge) tests, and squaring our food and corners on top of everything else, so it’s not surprising Chase Hall can become a little stressful.
Fortunately, this month I was given my first real opportunity to travel away from Academy outside of liberty when I went to Washington D.C. to compete in a Model United Nations conference with three other cadets, including fellow 4/c and blogger Will Glick. The trip proved to be a fantastic time. We attended the opening and closing days in uniform, and the amount of support and thanks we received from people recognizing the Coast Guard was truly humbling. It’s also a reminder that we must always be aware of our actions, and that we are direct representatives of the Academy and of the entire Coast Guard. And while we met many people who understood and appreciated the Coast Guard and its missions, we also met many who did not, and so it fell upon us to explain what we were as cadets, and what the larger role of the Coast Guard is. My favorite quote came from someone in the elevator who asked us “So are you like a branch of the Air Force?”
At the end of the trip, we did not manage to win anything, but to bond with the other cadets was a terrific experience, and Will Glick and I went from being acquaintances to close friends over the course of the weekend. To represent the Coast Guard gave me a sense of pride and served as a reminder of why I chose the Academy; to get to debate and do something I genuinely enjoy gave me an opportunity to clear my head and de-stress; and, finally, making new friends that will carry over when I get back to the Academy made this a fantastic and incredibly worthwhile weekend.
More about John.