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cadet blogs

Fast Forward to the Future: Homecoming is a Peek into What We May Be and Could Be?

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link   All Posts
Noble Photo The USCGA’s Homecoming is a great tradition for the school that serves many purposes. Although many think of Homecoming as an event for the alumni, cadets also are very involved in the festivities.

 

For the alumni, it is a momentous weekend – a much-awaited time to reminisce, reconnect and revitalize bonds. For those who are still active in the service, Homecoming offers a chance to relax in a place close to their hearts. For those who have retired, Homecoming is a time to cherish the good (and perhaps not-so-good) memories that have become a part of their lives. To the families of graduates, it is a time to reflect on the service of their spouses, parents and siblings.

 

For the cadets, it’s a glimpse of the future five, 10, 20, 25 or even 50 years from now. That’s how we might look. That’s how we might walk and talk. It’s a foretaste of the kind of family that we might have. That’s us…someday.

 

No matter how much we are struggling at CGA, we will miss the institution when we depart. No matter how many petty tensions we have with our classmates, we will miss them and long to be reconnected with them after graduation. Why? Because the bonds that we develop will be very strong, borne by the struggles that we have overcome together as roommates, classmates and schoolmates. That bond is going to endure for years and over distances.

 

For these reasons, the Homecoming parade is always a special time. At that moment, the alumni are the stars and the families are their fans – and that’s something that no one gets tired of watching. No matter how many times we may have heard the songs, cheers or announcements, they take on a special meaning at the Homecoming because they celebrate those graduates who came before us.

 

As an international cadet, Homecoming is an extra special event for me. I look forward to seeing the international alumni, especially those from my country – the Philippines. They are the chosen few from their country – like me and my fellow international cadets. I try to look for them and find out what became of them after graduation. Did they go home or did they stay in the U.S.? Did they go back for a while and decide to come back? I track their footsteps and consider whose path I would want to follow. For the international cadets, the alumni are our forerunners and benchmarks. They are role models, but we don’t just want to emulate them. We want to surpass their legacies.

 

We hear about their stories and escapades and we make the comparison. Now that they have retired, they said that they never forgot what they learned in New London. I enjoy talking to them and listening to their advice and tips. I especially take to heart their biggest lessons from the Academy and how they used it in their careers in the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard.

 

During this 2017 Homecoming weekend, I was privileged to meet a ’77 grad and an ’82 grad who was the former Commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command for the Philippine Navy and was a classmate of Admiral Paul Zukunft, the commandant of the USCG. He majored in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and during his time at the Academy. He told me back then it was not a Swab Summer, but a swab year. What a horrible thought.

 

The Philippines’ alumni are great men and I was very sad when they had to leave. However, I will continue to keep in touch with them and they will always be an inspiration to press on in service to our country and our people.

 

This year’s Homecoming had a special bonus for me. One of the alums brought a special friend with him – my father, Police Superintendent Eric Noble. My father is the newly installed Police Attaché at the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco. I am truly grateful for CDR Crabtree and the Officers’ Christian Fellowship for hosting them at the Shepherd’s Fold.

 

This year’s event surely hit a home run for me, the corps, the alumni and the CGA community as a whole. To the project officers and CGA staff who labored over Homecoming, your efforts were not in vain! Year after year, Homecoming is a testament to the Academy’s investment of time and talent in the corps. Homecoming is a great tradition, and I look forward to many more Homecomings as a cadet and (hopefully) an alumni.

 

More about Eric.