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The “Coffee” at the End of the Tunnel

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2021, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Eric Noble

Last Wednesday, I got the opportunity to catch up with my sponsor brothers and sponsor mom over at the Leamy Hall Student Center. This was long overdue because everyone had been very busy with academics and military. Our sponsor mom also had scheduling conflicts and we had to sort out and synchronize our schedules with hers. Finally, once we had everyone together, we sat down by the couches of the cafe. I was very excited to hear their stories after not being able to sit down like this together in-person for over months now.

While drinking our Starbucks coffee and blended beverages, we conversed about how excited we are for Thanksgiving leave and how tough this school year was due to online classes and the current COVID-19 pandemic. While socially distanced, we exchanged our goodbyes and wished everyone to finish the semester strong. I am happy to see all of them hanging in there and staying positive despite everything that is happening outside the walls of the Academy. We thank the staff of the Leamy Hall Student Center Café for being available for socially-distanced gatherings like these. We hope to spend more time here in the coming weeks as we close out the semester and transition to remote-learning after Thanksgiving.

MORE ABOUT ERIC

COVID-19

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Jacqueline Jones

While COVID-19 has taken away the second half of what is supposed to be the best semester of my academic career, it won’t stop me from being thankful for the time I got to spend at the Academy and for the friends I made. Freshman year I remember trying to figure out what was going on and trying to keep track of my time and obligations. Sophomore year I was happy not to be a freshman anymore, but struggled academically. Junior year was my favorite academically, as I began getting into more major- specific classes, and I began having more fun outside of the Academy. Senior year, I got my car and really began to explore my greater freedom. Unfortunately, I will not get to experience the coveted “gangway,” where seniors earn the right to leave whenever they do not have class or a military obligation.

I am glad to say this is my last semester at the Academy. I am disappointed that I couldn’t celebrate these last few weeks with my friends. I am saddened that I won’t have the graduation ceremony that I’ve thought about for five years. I am grateful to be spending these last few weeks with my family before reporting to my first assignment. I am excited and nervous to report to my unit out of Guam!

While this blog is all over the place, like my feelings at the moment (I write this from the air mattress I sleep on now that I’m back home as I procrastinate doing work for my online classes), I do have some advice to give for college-bound students. Before spring break, I didn’t know that I would not return to the Academy to see my best friends and enjoy the rest of senior year. Luckily, I went on spring break with a lot of people from school. My point is to have fun while you can, make memories, and make the most of all your time.

MORE ABOUT JACQUELINE

Being an Operations Research Major

(Academics, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Francesca Farlow

Joining the Operations Research and Computer Analysis major here at the Academy was one of the best decisions I made. The faculty are extremely knowledgeable and always accessible. While they care about your development as a student, they also spend time getting to know you and expressing interest in your development as a person and an officer. This major has given me many opportunities to have unique experiences throughout my academic career.

During my 3/c spring semester I took Probability Theory (usually a fall semester 2/c class) as a directed study with one other 3/c cadet, in addition to my scheduled classes. This provided me with my first experience of teaching myself a new subject, as I had never taken statistics in high school. It was challenging, but I learned how to teach myself and how to manage a syllabus I created myself to ensure I finished all the material in time for the final exam.

Taking this class earlier than usual allowed me to take a Hispanic Identities class at Connecticut College the following semester as a 2/c. This provided me with a unique opportunity to attend class at a civilian school and get a new perspective on the college environment. As a 1/c I have had the opportunity to take two additional directed studies that have enabled me to be a teaching assistant in two 300 level Operations Research classes. I am also working on my Capstone project right now. We are working with the Coast Guard research and Development Center to model alternate cutter fleets for the future Coast Guard. After three years I am happy to have chosen Operations Research as my major and I look forward to studying these topics again in graduate school in the future.

MORE ABOUT FRANCESCA

Unbelievable Summer

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

So, y'all won't believe the summer I’ve had; I am beyond blessed. I started my summer off with four weeks of leave, where I got to visit my best friend, take dance classes in D.C., buy my first car, and treat my mom and sister to Muse Paintbar at the National Harbor.

During one of my weeks of leave, I volunteered with Coast Guard Station Annapolis, where we did a security zone for the Naval Academy graduation and got a front row seat to view the Blue Angels. After leave, I reported to CGC NORTHLAND in Virginia, but unfortunately there was an engineering casualty the first day we got underway. I spent a week in Virginia as the cutter prepared for Dry Dock. The Executive Officer reached out to other cutters for me to go on.

The next week, I flew out to CGC MIDGETT in Pensacola, Florida. It was coming out of the shipyard to be commissioned. On its maiden voyage, we visited Pensacola, Key West, Charleston, Norfolk, Panama, Colombia, and Mexico before pulling into its home port of Hawaii. The trip was filled with drug busts and search and rescue missions. Rather than heading straight back to school, I spent an extra week in Hawaii to stay for the dual-commissioning of CGC MIDGETT and CGC KIMBALL and became a plank-owner for the new cutter.

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Last 1st Semester

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Francesca Farlow

It is crazy to think that the first month of school is already over and midterms are right around the corner. It feels like yesterday I was taking my finals for the spring semester and then summer absolutely flew by. I spent three weeks on the Japan Coast Guard Training Ship Kojima with five other CGA cadets. We had a blast sailing from San Francisco to New York City through the Panama Canal. We spent 19 days underway talking to the cadets, officers, and sailors on board. We made so many friends and learned a lot about the Japan Coast Guard and Japan Coast Guard Academy. After sailing on Kojima, I returned to CGA to serve as a Battalion Logistics Officer for the remainder of the summer. This was a completely different but equally rewarding experience. I helped over see Swab Summer, CGAS, and AIM as well as the daily operations in Chase Hall for the cadre and trainees. I got the chance to work with people in my class I did not know that well before the summer and now I consider them some of my best friends. Over leave I traveled to Utah, Washington State, Victoria, and Vancouver before heading home to Texas to spend some time with my family. This semester I am looking forward to the rugby season and finishing my last season with my amazing teammates, taking my last Operations Research classes to prepare for capstone, and just enjoying my 2nd to last semester with my friends.

MORE ABOUT FRANCESCA

My Summer Internship: The Perfect Fit

(Academics, Class of 2020, Engineering) Permanent link
Amy Chamberlin

My summer internship was at the Marine Safety Center at Coast Guard Headquarters (CGHQ) in Washington D.C. While there I was comparing sub-chapters T and L from the Code of Federal Regulations in regards to intact and damage stability for a vessel used involved with the Block Island Wind Farm. I am very interested and motivated to become a marine inspector and make a career out of the Coast Guard, so this internship was a perfect fit.

Being able to physically see the application of the topics we learn in class has been very beneficial to learning the important Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering concepts during my internship. I was able to be part of a simplified stability test in Cape May, New Jersey, which directly correlated to what I have learned in my major. As part of this program, I completed marine inspections, experienced the naval engineering side of the Coast Guard, and visited the Pentagon and Air Station Washington.

Feel free to contact me at [email protected].

MORE ABOUT AMY

My Summer Internship

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Courtney Gilliam

I was privileged to be selected for the legislative internship in Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill. When applying for this internship everything about it spoke to me as I love to meet new people and find public policy fascinating. As a Government major on the public policy & law track I knew it would be very beneficial to see how my government classes would apply outside of the classroom and the challenges of policy and congressional affairs in real time. In addition, I have a desire further down in my Coast Guard career to be in congressional affairs so this was the perfect opportunity to get an insight into this particular field.

In the beginning of my internship, I met tons of people from congress from districts all over the country. I worked on congressional inquiries from constituents and helped plan itineraries for congressional trips where everything is planned to the minute to not only ensure the success of the trip but also to continue the high standard of the Coast Guard House and Senate offices known for their thoroughness. On these congressional trips we help educate staffers and/or congressmen on the Coast Guard’s missions by taking them to different Coast Guard units and cutters all over the world. I have also been to a lot of events as well, from breakfasts thrown by caucuses, a Women in Military Memorial Service event, a Joint Service Social Event, happy hours with rooftop views of the Capitol, and more. Happy hours are a great way to network and meet people in congress outside of the office in an informal setting and helps to build relationships. I have learned in this internship that the foundation of this job rests on the relationships you build and people you know, so networking is essential. I have sat in on meetings and attended a congressional hearing where Admiral Schultz testified on behalf of the Coast Guard. I updated and created new spreadsheets in the office to help organize and keep track of office activities. I also made a point to tour and visit some of the great museums and sights in the city as this summer is a great opportunity to see as much as I can and be a part of the great Capital City.

MORE ABOUT COURTNEY

A Rewarding Experience

(Choosing the Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Jasmine Rodriguez

Having the opportunity to hear Major General Bolden speak to the corps was inspiring and rewarding. The moment he walked on the stage, Maj. Gen. Bolden made it clear that his presentation was to be informal and informative. His personal anecdotes paired with a powerful slideshow not only encouraged the progression of space exploration, but of international unity. He shared deeply emotional private stories and encouraged us all not to take for granted the opportunities we have at the Coast Guard Academy. It was truly an edifying experience, and I hope to utilize his quotes, stories, and suggested reads (Hidden Figures and We Are All the Same) to guide myself and possibly others through our cadet careers.

MORE ABOUT JASMINE