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This Week Changed Everything for Me

(Mid-Week) Permanent link
Morin Samples

As a military child I have seen countless military movies about basic training and the life of someone who serves our country. I always thought it was just an easy couple of pushups or just some running and chanting. As a shipmate in the Bravo company we did endure the stereotypical basic training, however, it was not as easy as it seemed. In the past years I have struggled with confidence. In school I would never really say an answer because I was too afraid to share my answer. This week changed everything for me.

I have learned so much about myself and the Academy. This week my shipmates and I explored the different majors. My roommates and I thought that civil engineering and naval architecture were the best majors offered.

I have visited the Coast Guard Academy countless times but nothing matched the experience that I have had so far. This week so far has been tough but also rewarding. We have been so busy, moving from one building to another. I just learned my roommates first names!

I love my group or my platoon. We are so close even though we don’t know much about each other. If one of us is falling behind, we would go back and run with them.

My cadre are intense. It’s difficult to understand with all the yelling that they are good people. I think I saw one of them smile this week. I don’t think I was supposed to see that.

I really enjoyed the PFE, which is the physical fitness exam. Since I run cross country, I liked that everyone was cheering for each other during the 1.5 mile-run. It made me feel a little closer to home.

This week has been great so far. I cannot wait to see what the rest of the week looks like!!!


I Was Expecting Hard, But This is Another Level

(Mid-Week) Permanent link
Emily LeBrun

I am no longer “I.” Since the beginning of the week I have been known as “AIMster LeBrun” and must refer to myself as such. This past week has taught AIMster LeBrun so much about herself and others. AIMster LeBrun learned about respect and teamwork and worked specifically on those skills.

The Academy itself is beautiful. I always saw pictures and videos that show the Academy, but they never did it justice. The Academy is so much more than just college dorms and lunchrooms. This campus is rich in history and tradition. Everything at this place has a purpose and a meaning behind it, and that is very special to AIMster LeBrun.

AIMster LeBrun…I was told that this Academy program was the most intense and most like Swab Summer. I wouldn’t doubt that for a second. This is hard. I was expecting hard, but this is another level.

This week started on Sunday and we were thrown right into it. The first few days were very rough, especially for me, but I stayed and persisted throughout the week. I am so happy I continued to push through and make it to the end. Tomorrow is graduation and I get to see my parents and retrieve my phone. And if anyone is wondering, you do not miss your phone. You are way too busy to even think about your phone during this week of intense training.

This week I met Swabs and discussed their experiences with them. I learned so much in a span of five days. I picked up on marching cadences and learned how to and when to square. I became even better at keeping a straight face and I believe I will be making a much more informed decisions about my college career after this week.


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 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.


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.


Realizing How Much Can Be Experienced through a Screen

(Mid-Week) Permanent link
Elizabeth Meyer

When I first found out that AIM was going to be conducted online this year I had a lot of questions. The biggest one being, how is this all actually going to work? The idea of doing an all-inclusive camp about life at the Academy online seemed unrealistic at first. Now as I have participated in a few days, I have realized how much can truly be experienced through a screen.

So far through this program, I have learned so many new things about not only the Academy but also myself. With interactive guides such as the FIT booklet we were provided and daily workouts, it feels to me as if we were actually at the Academy. I never expected that I could learn so much just by signing on to a Teams call. This program has opened my eyes to so many new things I didn’t even know were possible.

One of my favorite things about this virtual program is having discussions with our platoons. I find it fascinating to learn about people all over the country and what brought them specifically to AIM. It is very refreshing to see that even with all that's going on in the world that we all still have the same goals for the future which is to serve our country.

My favorite experience so far in this program would definitely be learning about all the activities available at the Academy. I found it somewhat surprising seeing that an Academy dedicated to serving also has somewhere for each person to have fun. Not only does the Academy have athletic activities, it also has musical, religious, and other activities.


An Incredible Experience So Far

(Mid-Week) Permanent link
Madison Nualart

My virtual AIM experience has been incredible so far. I have learned so much every day and I am continuing to do so. I expected for this journey to be very informative but this has exceeded my expectations. Due to the program being moved to a virtual platform, I lowered my expectations for AIM. However, the program has actually been extremely hands-on and interactive. I have been able to make long lasting relationships with like-minded individuals. I have learned everything I need to know about the campus life, clubs and sports, application process, and more. AIM could not have been more informative about what the Coast Guard offers.

My favorite part of the AIM program so far has been the time we spend in our own divisions. This time is so enjoyable because we are able to have one on one time with our cadre and peers. Everyone’s personalities are really shown during this time. It is also really nice to see how different everyone’s interests and aspirations are. My cadre was super nice and was very excited to answer all of the questions we had for her.