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Words Lead to Adventure

(Choosing the Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2021) Permanent link
Alyssa Easley

I remember profusely reading through the cadet blogs when I was in high school. I wanted to know what daily life was like at the Academy as well as get any inside scoops and tips that could help me in both Swab Summer and during the academic year.

Choosing to come to an academy is a big deal, and I believe that reading those blogs gave me enough insight to reaffirm that I was making the right decision! Reading peoples’ personal experiences at the Academy gave me the courage to take on everything that comes with being a cadet.

Writing is likely the most convenient way to get through to others, to express emotions, and recreate experiences. Not only that, but free-writing is one of those creative outlets that somehow manages to relieve the most stressful situations.

If, by writing, I can both do something I love and (most importantly) help someone possibly make a worthwhile and big decision, then so be it! Cadet blogging here I come! I’m ready to write about all the cool things that occur within this amazing corps!

MORE ABOUT ALYSSA

Join Me on My 200-Week Adventure

(Choosing the Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2021) Permanent link
Jacob Cheeseman

Why do I want to be a cadet blogger? The answer is simple: I want to give back. Even though I am only a 3/c cadet, I want to inspire the next generation of cadets to come behind me. I remember reading through the blog posts when I had just started to be seriously interested in the Academy. Later, I turned to the blogs for advice before AIM and during the application process. Soon, the blogs gave me important motivational tips that I internalized before Swab Summer began. I want to share my cadet experience with others so they can learn from my mistakes and my successes. If I can inspire even one candidate to apply to the Academy, then I have been successful. But if I can inspire candidates to apply, come here, and succeed, then that would be even better.

I hope to share with you what is most important to me at the Academy. Obviously, I will discuss cadet life, including academics, military, and athletic training. In this program, I will be learning how to be a better cadet as I am writing! I also want to share the unique experiences that you can’t get anywhere else, such as meeting high ranking government officials, participating in historic ceremonies, etc. I want to show the human side of the Academy – having fun with my shipmates, growing in my Catholic faith, and becoming a better person! I hope that you can join me on my CGA adventure and learn with me as I progress through my 200-week journey to becoming a Coast Guard Officer – the ultimate goal and motivation for those who walk through the Chase Hall Archway on Day One!

Semper Paratus! Go Bears!

MORE ABOUT JACOB

Everything's a Circle

(Choosing the Academy, Class of 2021) Permanent link
Malia Haskovec

Something that I hear a lot at the Academy is that the Coast Guard is one giant family. As the smallest branch of the Armed Forces, we must be able to adapt and do more with less. Therefore, in the fleet, there is a high chance you will run into someone that you already know. The same thing happens at the Academy. It is easy to make connections here from the Bears Day program, AIM, STEP, and other Admissions events. There may even be a fellow cadet from your same hometown. That’s one of the major reasons why I chose to come to the Academy is this small, genuine, family-like environment where everyone knows everyone. When researching the Academy, I remember reading cadet blogs on topics like Swab Summer, time management, and Academy clubs. Learning about the bloggers’ experiences through the written word solidified my intention to receive an appointment for the Class of 2021. Now I am a 4/c cadet in the same division as two of the bloggers who impacted my life so greatly. I no longer know them from their profile pictures on a computer screen. Now I know them as real people. It’s truly amazing to see how everything at the Coast Guard Academy comes full circle. My hope as a blogger is to inform prospective cadets about Academy life in hopes of completing many more circles.

MORE ABOUT MALIA

High School AIM Experience

(Choosing the Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
MegMarie Stanchi

Before I attended AIM, I had only visited the Coast Guard Academy in person once. Now, to some, that may be more than what they experienced, but my point is that the Academy was still such a foreign place to me. I think most people can agree that their first visit to the Academy was very confusing. You don’t know what to think or what to ask because it is all so different. Well, that is why I was nervous going in to AIM; I really wasn’t sure what I was walking in to. I had done my research on AIM and Swab Summer, so I knew what might happen, or what may be done, but I was really scared to see how I would respond to it all. Even though I knew it was only supposed to be a taste of Swab Summer, I wanted to see how I would react because that was going tell me if I could handle attending this school for four years.

So, I just did it. I powered through the week and took all that I could from it. AIM is a program that not everyone gets to attend before Swab Summer, so you must take it as an opportunity to learn and ask questions if you are selected. The AIM program might have changed a little bit, but for me, the first three to four days simulated Swab Summer, in a watered-down version. We saw a lot of the Academy, went to trainings, did some incentive training, cleaned our room, folded our clothes, recited indoc, and squared our meals. It wasn’t until the end that we got to talk to our cadre, and hear from them what being a cadet at the Coast Guard Academy was like. When they talked to us, I soaked it all in. My favorite part about AIM was being able to hear what real cadets struggled with at the Academy, what they learned, what activities they were involved in, and really, how they “survived” the Academy. Hearing them speak made it seem less scary and foreign. I realized that these cadets were people from different backgrounds and different regions of the U.S., and they had made it through. They finished Swab Summer, they completed two academic years, and they stood up in front of me and talked about situations they had been in and how they got through them. As corny as it sounds, I realized they were just people. People transitioning in that weird stage from teenager to young adult.

After hearing what the academics at the Academy was like, after seeing a bit of what Swab Summer demanded, and listening to personal experiences from cadets, something was quite clear to me. I had to apply to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and give this place a try.

MORE ABOUT MEGMARIE

Semper Gumby

(Athletics, Choosing the Academy, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Taylor Rowles

As an applicant for Coast Guard Academy, I dissected, read, and reread the cadet blogs to gain insight into the lifestyle of a cadet. The past cadet bloggers truly made a difference in my interest in the Academy and helped me find my way to studying along the Thames. Now that I am a cadet, I would love to give back to those who are lost in the ongoing college decision process through blogging about my experiences thus far at the Academy.

Over the past year at the Academy I have learned to expect the unexpected because no one day is like the next. We are always adjusting to change much like an officer’s day-to-day lifestyle out in the fleet. Whether it is a pop-up uniform inspection or a drug boat causing us to diverge from coarse, I have learned that you must be “Semper Gumby” as a future officer in the Coast Guard. I would love the opportunity to voice our unique experience to those who one day wishes to serve next to us. As an avid participant in over ten clubs and women’s varsity track and field I will be able to give a wide range of information regarding what happens behind the gates of the USCGA.

MORE ABOUT TAYLOR

Bits and Pieces

(Choosing the Academy, Class of 2021) Permanent link
Joshua Roh

It was about sophomore year in high school when I knew that the Academy was where I wanted to be. Coming from a landlocked state in the middle of the Midwest there weren’t all that many people who knew that there was a Coast Guard Academy let alone anything about it, so when I had questions about what I was trying to get myself into no one had any answers. So, naturally I had to turn to the internet and being the mildly obsessive person I am, I went through every single page of the Academy’s website. It took about a week to skim it all but I found the richest resource of information ever, the cadet blogs. To some it seemed like bits and pieces of scattered information and experiences, but having read everything else on the website, I was able to put some of these pieces together and eventually I had a rough idea of what life was like here. There, of course, was some verbiage, jargon, and references only a cadet would ever be able to understand and these added to the excitement of coming here. I looked forward to the day I would be able to understand these references too. These blogs gave me an extra drive to come here. I went to AIM my junior year and having a taste of the Academy and I was sure that this was what I wanted. Throughout the application process and after receiving my appointment I kept reading the blogs trying to find any new information and the more I found, the more excited I was to become a cadet.

I wanted to be able to help others in similar situations so I decided that the first chance I got I would join the Blog Club so that I could add my thoughts and experience to the program that had helped me so much. I’m excited to start my 200-week journey here and I hope share my experience with you all. If you ever have any questions feel free to email me at Joshua.D.Roh@uscga.edu; I will be happy to answer them and will try to respond quickly.

MORE ABOUT JOSHUA

Perseverance

(Choosing the Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2021) Permanent link
Jasmine Rodriguez

I am 4/c Jasmine Rodriguez. My family followed my father’s Marine Corps career back and forth across the country to both coasts, which exposed me to a multitude of different cultures and lifestyles, all the while maintaining military standards and pride. My patriotism is founded in my parents’ examples of service to country and in my young memories of the impact of 9/11. Mixed with a love for the sea, I looked to service academies for an environment that would advance my education and my personal interests – the Coast Guard Academy was a perfect fit. After four applications, an enlistment in the Coast Guard, and a year preparing at Marion Military Institute through the Academy’s Scholars program, I finally made it. I have taken nearly every opportunity the Coast Guard Academy has to offer, and I want to share these amazing experiences with anyone even slightly considering a military academy. I love hearing others’ stories, and I love to write and share mine.

I strongly believe that there should be more enlisted members coming to the Academy – their experiences in Cape May and in the fleet better prepare them for the challenges of the school year and of the eventual challenges faced by our junior officers in connecting the wardroom to the chief’s mess. Last year, the Scholars program took more enlisted members than usual, but we lost some of our companions along the way. I believe if the Academy were advertised more accurately and efficiently to the enlisted corps that more members would be interested in taking on this great and rewarding challenge. I want to write to inspire, encourage, and persuade. I have attended almost every program CGA offers to civilians of all ages in an effort to network and make myself known. I spent thirteen years of my life wanting the Coast Guard Academy and five earning it. Now I’m here, and I want to share with as many people as possible exactly why it is the best service academy, the best school, and the best Coast Guard in the world.

Doing Something Different

(Choosing the Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Jacqueline Jones

Unlike a lot of my classmates, the decision to come to the Academy was tough for me. I had applied to about 15 colleges and I narrowed it down to two. One was a small private school in Baltimore, Maryland, only about an hour away from home. The other was the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, which is about six hours away. To my friends, the decision seemed easy; they expected me to go to the school near home. However, I wanted to do something different and try something new. I wanted to experience life and help others while doing it, and the Coast Guard Academy has not let me down yet.

I decided to become a cadet with the help of mentors, my Admissions Officer, and the cadet blogs. As a senior in high school with a decision to make, I became an avid reader of the cadet blogs. It was interesting to read how cadets felt about the Academy, their struggles, their likes and dislikes, and their many adventures as a cadet.

I am beginning my sophomore year at the Academy, and I can tell you that freshman year was hard and Swab Summer was even harder, but I do not regret my decision to come to the Academy and I cannot wait to tell you guys about the people I have met and the experiences I have had. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Jacqueline.T.Jones@uscga.edu. Thank you for reading!

MORE ABOUT JACQUELINE