When my mom asked me how graduation and commissioning was, my initial response was “good.” But good doesn’t exactly do the most monumental event of a cadet’s career justice – no one word really can. Even if I could have an entire sentence worth of words I do not think I could adequately summarize graduation and commissioning at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. It is like absolutely nothing else.
At this point in my cadet career, I am just over 100 weeks in, with less than 100 weeks to go until I follow in the footsteps of the 2014 graduating ensigns across the stage. I have completed four semesters of class and two years of military training, then hundredth week (the best week of my cadet career by far), and finally received 2/c class shoulder boards. But watching the graduation events on May 21st made those 100 weeks seem so insignificant and also made it clear just how much there is still to learn. I was honored to give first salutes to ensigns and hope to carry on their legacy at the Academy specifically in McAllister and the Rowing Center. My salutes to Ben, Cole, and Dave reminded me of the direct impact they have had on my Academy experience and without a doubt on cadets throughout the corps.
If someone was to ask me, now 48 hours after these firsties became ensigns, if I could describe their graduation and commissioning ceremony I would still struggle to find words. But asked how I feel about the last 100 weeks of my cadet career, the word would be “excited.” Excited to finish, yes, but even more excited to have the opportunity to serve alongside the great Class of 2014 for many years to come.
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