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cadet blogs

An Absolutely Remarkable Summer

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link   All Posts
Culp Photo Well, this last summer was most certainly a whirlwind of activity! Second class summer is particularly exciting, as you do several different programs through the 11-week training term. My two favorite programs were, without a doubt, being cadre for the swabs and going to the Cadet Aviation Training Program down in Mobile, Alabama.


There is nothing more rewarding than spending three weeks with the people who are going to be your replacements once you promote out in the fleet, teaching them the skills they need and giving every minute of your time to their development. It’s exhausting, to tell the truth; not a lot of sleep is involved, and you’re on your feet almost every second of the day. But, for me, it was always worth it to see how my swabs grew together as a team. The best times for me as cadre were the times I got to simply observe them working together to accomplish a task, whether that was at the ropes course, IC sports, or a challenge in the barracks. I loved seeing their team dynamic and getting glimpses of each swab’s personality, watching them start to gel as a team. Teamwork is absolutely critical at this school; there is no way you can make it through four years of intense academics and detailed training without your friends and classmates by your side. I am so grateful to have been one of the first people to work with Golf Company’s Class of 2019, and to be in the unique position of watching their growth from when the very first entered the Coast Guard!


I did three weeks straight as cadre with the swabs then I got to end my summer with a week of flight. I travelled with seven other classmates down to the Coast Guard’s Aviation Training Center in Alabama. Lordy, was it hot there…but, in spite of that, I got some incredible exposure to a fascinating field within the Coast Guard! We visited the flight training school in Pensacola, toured the base, and of course spent hours in the air. I actually got to pilot some of the aircraft, namely a C-144 and a 65 (Dolphin helicopter)! It was certainly a rush, and definitely a game changer in my career plans. I had been on the fence about putting in for flight school, and CATP helped me realize that flying is what I want to do in the Coast Guard. I really love how the Coast Guard is so willing to throw cadets into new situations and push us to our limits – no one outside this service would ever dream of letting an untrained 20-year-old fly a plane over Mobile Bay. What a privilege, and a great model for us to follow in our careers as we travel and experience all sorts of foreign things with ensign stripes on our shoulder boards!


Second class summer was absolutely remarkable, and I’m excited to have that continue into the school year. I have a lot on my plate with clubs, company leadership, and of course my own spiritual and personal life and I know every minute I spend on those things will be repaid with an amazing year and an even more amazing career! Time to get the school year rolling!


More about Abby.