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Really Hard, But Not Impossible

(Initial Impressions, Mid-Week) Permanent link
Isabelita Sekulovic

Day One of AIM certainly caught everyone by surprise. To be honest, I did not know what a cadre was before reporting to the Coast Guard Academy, but believe me when I say I learned fast; more often than not, cadre are intense and may come off as scary to anyone who is unfamiliar with military training. With this being said, they are not individuals to be frightened by because at the end of the day, they are there for everyone’s best interest and they want AIMsters to thrive throughout the program.

For those who do not know, AIM is divided into multiple groups which are known as platoons and each platoon contains several AIMsters. AIM is packed with activities from 0530 in the morning until 2200 at night. An activity I enjoyed was sailing, it was a relaxing time, mainly because we were away from cadre, but also a time to reflect on the program along with appreciating the beauty of the Academy. Besides, there were Cliff bars!

Coming to AIM, I expected to establish friendships, but I did not expect to bond as a family in such a short amount of time. I can easily say that others and I are going to walk away from AIM with lifelong friendships.

Additionally, with the motivation from cadre, fellow shipmates, and staff of the Academy, my shipmates and I were able to comprehend the importance of mind over matter. I know for a fact that if there was no support from others during physical challenges, I would have told myself that I could not do it and that would have made it much more difficult to complete the tasks at hand.

The program so far is doing an excellent job at showcasing what the Academy is and has to offer.

All I have left to say is that AIM is hard, really hard, but not impossible and that is because of the family you have pushing you through it.

MORE ABOUT ISABILITA

More Determined Than Ever

(Initial Impressions, Mid-Week) Permanent link
Mary Coady

My initial impressions of AIM were very good. I was and am very happy with my group. I am in the Bravo platoon, which has come to be a new family over these past few days. The cadre truly want us to succeed, and I can see this in their actions, especially the amount of time they spend with us working on drills. I was expecting most of the events that happened, but I think the one thing that surprised me was talking to the cadre when they were relaxed.

My AIM experience has been amazing! I was not expecting certain things, but overall, I would say the one thing that surprised me was the number of things I had to memorize. I enjoyed everything, even the smoke sessions because they were challenging, but I rolled my ankle and was not able to participate in certain athletic events because of it. I was very disappointed about that, but the cadre did an amazing job of encouraging me and those others who were injured. I especially enjoyed hanging out with my shipmates during the relaxing time and participating in the creation of nicknames for each other. I have one more day to go, and I am confident in the success of my shipmates and I in this last day. At the moment, I am more determined than ever to apply, and get into the USCGA, and AIM has fermented that fact in my mind. I conclude by saying that I am thoroughly satisfied with my AIM experience.

MORE ABOUT MARY

My Whole Way of Thinking Changed in Just a Few Days

(Mid-Week) Permanent link
Mackenzie Boose

That first step I took out of my car upon arriving at the United States Coast Guard Academy was filled with excitement and nervousness. I had a couple of close friends attend AIM in the past, so I was familiar with the intensity. The Academy itself is a beautiful campus and I was very appreciative to be on it, even if that included running the stairway to heaven every day. My cadre were very intimidating at first because their job is to put us into a climate of being yelled at and keeping a perfect position of attention. As the days progressed, I got the hang of things and I realized the cadre only wanted what's best for us and to be our very best. The intimidation and yelling just goes along with getting our brains into the right mindset and contributing to the end goal. Additionally, it was great to be surrounded by people in my platoon that have similar goals and mindsets. All the AIMsters in my platoon showed the epitome of teamwork and drive to perform their best as a platoon.

One of the things that surprised me the most was my capabilities. Before coming to AIM my perception of what I could do was not very broad; I did not have much confidence in myself. Over the course of a few days in AIM, I realized I was capable of doing a lot more than my mind thinks it can do. I was pushed mentally and physically, and I know if I just put in 110% effort, I can do anything I set my mind to. My whole way of thinking was changed within a few days. For example, when doing the IT’s as a platoon I would just be thinking about doing better for my platoon and myself instead of thinking of the physical work I was doing.

One activity I particularly enjoyed was the sports portion of the week. One day my platoon and I competed in kickball. During kickball I enjoyed how we all came together and supported each other to win against the Bravo platoon with a score of 14-13. This game really showed me how the comradery was so great with just a few days of knowing these people. This gave me a taste of what it would be like during swab summer and during my time as a cadet. I hope to make these similar bonds as a cadet at the Academy.

MORE ABOUT MACKENZIE