I am one of the few foreign cadets going to the Coast Guard Academy. I serve the Republic of Singapore Navy and have already graduated from the Singapore Armed Forces Officer Cadet School. I am pursuing my college education at the Academy and will be here for all four years.
Many people ask me how it is like to graduate from an OCS program back at home, and have to go through the training all over again here in the United States. Frankly, both experiences are simply incomparable. The Academy’s training spans over four years, and thus cannot be assessed on the same basis as my OCS experience. 4/c year was mentally tough for everybody. Coming to a foreign country and being thrust into this new environment sure presented a steep learning curve for me. I made the mistake of assuming that my prior military experience back at home would help me make the adjustment easier, but the pre-conceived notions that I had only made it harder.
One year in, I can safely say that I am just thankful to be here. The start of 3/c year meant the beginning of grueling academic pursuits and honing our basic military skills. I feel like I am given more room to grow after the Academy successfully stripped me down for the first year, and now I am able to find my own way to build myself up again into a fine leader and an officer. Even though I will not be serving the Coast Guard in the capacity of an officer in the future, I am excited to share my learning experiences through this blog.