Well, it has been a while since I wrote a blog! So much has happened since my last update. First and foremost, congratulations to the Class of 2014! They finally made it! The class that was my cadre graduated! It is entirely too strange to think that I am now only two years away from my commission. But something even stranger is the fact this summer I will take on the role as cadre for the incoming Class of 2018. Last year I wrote a blog as a 3/c on how to survive Swab Summer and now I’m going to give a few more tips from the cadre perspective.
1. Just follow instructions. Everything we tell you has a purpose. Whether it applies to safety, uniform standards, etc. We will not waste time giving you information that has no point in the matter.
2. Sound off. WE WANT YOU TO BE LOUD! We are going to be loud so please be loud also. You may start to lose your voice, (I did the first day of my Swab Summer) but this just means you are using your throat instead of your diaphragm. Make the adjustment and continue to be loud.
3. Don’t give up! You can do much more than you think. You can always run farther, you can always do those extra push ups. We have safety measures in place so you do not get hurt. If we see you pushing too hard we will stop you. Just try with all your might and never say “I can’t.”
4. Embrace the Coast Guard Core Values. You will learn them on the very first day. Do not lie to your cadre. Respect yourself, your shipmates, and your cadre. We all will work together one day in the fleet. You will end up disliking some of us throughout the summer; however just remember we only act this way for seven weeks throughout the entire 200 week program.
5. Memorize, memorize, memorize. There is a lot to learn. You will get frustrated, but you can do it. I struggled during CGAS learning indoc until I found a way that worked. When I came back for Swab Summer I applied the same technique and it made my summer much more enjoyable.
6. Remember this is only seven weeks long. You can do it. All of my class has faith in each and every one that enters through these doors. We will not hold grudges, single people out, or make your life difficult. We are training you to be members of the United States Coast Guard. It will be challenging. It is demanding. But there are a countless number of officers that have made it through the program. You have this, take a deep breath, reset and drive on. One quote that the Army has is “Drink water and drive on.”
7. The last note isn’t a tip but….just remember, we have been waiting for this moment for two years now…and we are ready for you.
You will be trained by the GREAT CLASS OF 2016, so good luck Class of 2018!
Got a question? Email me Nathan.D.Belanger@uscga.edu!
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