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My Morning Routine

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2022) Permanent link
Elizabeth Carter

Get a sneak peek of life inside the barracks. Follow Erin Edwards along through her morning routine.


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Excited for Summer, Extra-Curricular Activities

(Extracurricular and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2022) Permanent link
Elizabeth Carter

Happy spring everyone!! It is finally beginning to feel like spring around here. Outdoor Track and Field season is in full swing, and the days seem to get warmer as time goes on. There is an exciting energy in the air as well, as 1/c cadets count down the days to the long awaited graduation.

This summer is proving to be a gauntlet of its own right, as I prepare for a position on Battalion Staff. I applied back in December of 2020, and upon receiving a role, have been steadily producing work in preparation for the 2021 summer training period. I am beyond excited for what this summer holds for each trainee and cadet alike.

The second half of my summer will be spent on a tiny buoy tender out of Rockland, Maine. I cannot wait to find myself secluded in a small New England town for my 21st birthday. I plan on finding the best lighthouses, best lobster and clam shacks, and exploring national parks. I have heard nothing but good things about Maine in the summer, and I look forward to the time away from New London. It will surely be a different experience from being a 3/c on a gigantic National Security Cutter. I think I will fit right into the ATON life, and bond with the smaller crew once I report in. I’ll admit, I am counting down the days ‘til Rockland!

Ring dance is right around the corner, and the USAA Career Starter loan is just within reach. Things are starting to look up around here, and I am extremely excited to begin the final year of my Academy journey.

MORE ABOUT ELIZABETH

Tell Us Your Life Story

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2024) Permanent link
Cole Fulton

"Tell us your story." The words glared back at me as if they were looking into my soul.

I shut my laptop, laid back on my chair, and closed my eyes; though the words still lingered – engraved into my vision. Starting out new academic semesters is always an exciting time, though writing “about me” bios for certain classes reduces that excitement significantly. Some find it easy to blurb their entire life story into a measly 500-word essay… I’m definitely not one of those individuals. My mind initially raced with topics to write about but was quickly suppressed with sheer nothingness. I was lost for ideas.

I opened my eyes to find an overused ukulele meeting my gaze. Feelings of warmth and joy engendered from within me. Seeing the tarnished ukulele sitting in the corner of my room reminded me of my early childhood, growing up on the Island of Oahu.

The magnificent beaches, deep-blue waters, and exquisite aromas of fresh ahi poke immediately came to mind. Hawaii, a place so diverse yet so connected, was a place I called home for the first 13 years of my life. My family and I were cramped - yet content - residing in a small house in Mililani. Street fights and drug deals occurred frequently in my neighborhood, but I was too distracted with my Magic Tree House books and Pokémon cards to notice.

Still joyous from the memories of a nostalgic past, my eyes drifted away from the ukulele and locked onto a duffel bag hanging ominously from the corner of my locker. A shiver creeped down my spine. What was now empty and collecting dust had once carried my personal belongings 2,872 miles from the islands of Hawaii to the potato fields of Idaho.

The unforeseen move to Idaho introduced me to an abnormal foe: adversity. I struggled to adjust to this new environment, unwilling to plod down the unbeaten path that trailed off into the wild unknown. But, like most challenges that arise in my life, I decided I wouldn’t back down. Ignoring the warning signs that my anxious consciousness displayed before me, I trudged on, forcing myself to take part in community events and joining clubs that I was initially hesitant to. I continued my passion for basketball and assimilated into the athletic community. I perused my academic passions and continued to challenge myself in school. I had finally adapted to my new home.

The soft patter of rain against my window brought me back to reality. I sighed, content with the life I had created for myself; however, the brewing storm outside reminded me that I was no longer in Idaho. And like driving on most of the streets in my Washington neighborhood, I encountered yet another rut in the road.

I had my summer of senior year all planned out. Everything was in place according to my compulsive behavior. But, instead of partaking in a trip to Canada with my friends. I was stuck packing my cumbersome belongings. Instead of conducting an extensive research project at a local University, I was busy loading up a 26-foot U-Haul. And instead of playing basketball with a team I had become very close to, I was forced to memorize new plays for a team much different from my previous one. Moving again felt like déjà vu being forced down my throat... and it was getting hard to breathe.

I could feel the strain of emotions pulsating through burning red cheeks, though I refused to admit it was there: refused to acknowledge the pain that had wriggled its way back into my life. But, in this moment I began to think. I thought long and hard about the experiences in my life: a lightbulb went off. Somewhere in the deep dark depths of my sorrow, this lightbulb shone down, luminating my shrouded conscious.

I became grateful for the diverse culture I had indulged into during my time in Hawaii: thankful for the values of family and good morals that I had created there. I was grateful for the adversity I faced, adjusting to new environments and experiencing the unknown. I was thankful for the relationships I’d built with the amazing people in each community: those who changed my mindset and taught me to not settle for the circumstances given to me, but to make the best of each opportunity. It helped me overcome the barriers of anxiety and self-consciousness that had created a turbulence in my mind.

And I was grateful for the opportunity to now apply these life-changing realizations to the next chapter of my life here at the academy.

I paused for a moment and grinned, thrilled to have finally thought of an idea. I sat up in my chair, opened my laptop, and began to type.

MORE INFORMATON ABOUT COLE

Changing Things Up this Semester

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2024) Permanent link
Isabel Jimenez

Well, I must say, we are in the midst of an intense semester… Even though there is a pandemic going on, it is quite difficult at a military academy regardless of COVID-19. Since February, academics have picked up as well as the military duties & obligations. Some of these include more drill, more FRAWs, and more of what the military academy day used to look like…

In a normal year, each company must perform a Regimental Review which means marching on the Washington Parade Field in section. The firsties (seniors at the Academy), all have swords while the under-classmen carry rifles. In the past, I’ve heard there were Regimental Reviews every weekend (I’m not sure if that meant Friday or Saturday), but I know they practiced Friday mornings for drill. Our class does not quite know what that experience is like, but regardless we are adventuring new waters! Literally & figuratively.

As for me, I changed some things up. Last semester I played rugby, but this semester I wanted to try something new, so I joined Women’s Rowing/Crew. It’s a NCAA, Division 3 sport, which basically means it’s more of a time commitment than a club sport – but the people there definitely make it a great community. So, when I meant I spent more time adventuring new waters, I meant it in the literal sense because I’ve definitely had the opportunity to spend more time on Thames River (only to get splashed by the salty sea water when the water gets rough). The funny thing is, every time that I get splashed with waves, I have to keep reminding myself that I’m on the East Coast. Random side note: I’m from Wisconsin. This means that anytime I’ve interacted with a large body of water, it has been Lake Michigan – and Lake Michigan is a freshwater lake. Sometimes I get splashed with water (in the face of course), and I lick my lips only to realize it’s very salty!!! If you got splashed in the face in Wisconsin (from Lake Michigan of course), there is no salt because it’s a freshwater body. I don’t know, maybe it’s just a Midwest thing to have to keep reminding yourself in the East Coast and the water is saltier than not…

Anywho, April is our last month, so we just need to make it through our last four weeks of classes. They are definitely going to be quite difficult, but with perseverance and dedication (and God of course) – all things are possible. Oh! And for majors, I decided to switch my major to Cyber, but if you have any questions on the majors – I can definitely point you in the right direction if I can’t give you an adequate answer, we’re all here to help! But I’m going to wait a little, see how the major goes, and then write something of that sort in a blog. I definitely want to give a better perspective about what I learn about in the major – because I don’t know everything yet and there are a few things to learn. I’m discovering whole new adventures, and there is always something new to find!

Until next time, see you later my sea-going friends! Feel free to reach out to me at any time, [email protected].

MORE INFORMATON ABOUT ISABEL

Billet Night Reflection

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2021) Permanent link
Katherine Doty

Thursday, March 4th was a momentous day for many members of the Class of 2021. Billet Night, as it is commonly referred to, is the night where first class cadets discover where they will be stationed for the next 2-3 years. For the Class of 2021, the options included Deck Watch Officer or Engineering Officer in Training aboard cutters, Student Aviator at Naval Flight School, Marine Inspector at a sector or other marine safety unit, or Watchstander at the Cyber Security Operations Center.

The night began with a lovely dinner in the cadet wardroom. We then headed to the Leamy Hall Auditorium for the presentation of billets. The entire auditorium felt like a step into a different world because there was so much excitement and rejoicing. As everyone can attest, the past year has been difficult in many ways. This was an opportunity for the Class of 2021 to take a break from all of the stress and get excited for the next chapter of our lives.

Since Billet Night, we have been busy talking with our new units, apartment hunting, and working to finish our last semester of college strong. Because we will be scattered from our classmates very soon, everyone is doing their best to enjoy the last few weeks with our friends.

May 19th, here we come!!!

MORE ABOUT KATHERINE