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Summer Ocean Racing and Washington Adventures

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Amy Chamberlin

Offshore sailors have the option to apply for a seven-week intense summer ocean racing (SOR) program during Phase I of the summer. I chose to apply after learning about all the leadership opportunities that are associated with the program. My onboard collateral duty was commissary! The big events that we participated in were SUNY Maritime Safety at Sea Seminar; a trip to Annapolis; the Maryland to Newport race, and Block Island Race Week. In the beginning of the program, everyone wasn’t very close, but when the program ended, no one wanted to leave. This is similar to the fleet because the Coast Guard is a family and is looking out for you.

After SOR, I went to United States Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment for four weeks to work alongside the enlisted in Ilwaco, Washington. I had never been to the Pacific Northwest before going this summer. Not only was the station well set up and responsive to many cases, but the environment surrounding Cape D was incredible. Another cadet was at the station with me, and we went hiking (in the Ape Caves of Mount St. Helens!), shopping, and exploring around the neighboring towns. Sector Columbia River hosted multiple cadets in the area and offered us a tour of the sector, USCGC Fur and USCGC Alert. We also got to fly in a helicopter one of the last days we were at the station. One of my most memorable experiences, but not my favorite, was getting pepper sprayed. I never want to go through that pain again…

After my time at Station Cape Disappointment, I went on three weeks of leave, which included spending time with my family and high school friends, flying back out to the west coast to visit my uncles, and going to Boston!

All in all, this summer was the best summer I have ever had. The academic year at the Coast Guard Academy is very intense and stressful, but the summer training programs make everything worth it!

If you have any questions about the summer, or Academy life, please feel free to email me at Amy.M.Chamberlin@uscga.edu. Have a great day!

MORE ABOUT AMY

The First Full Month

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Francesca Farlow

September started off with a long weekend for Labor Day (yay!). I took the train to Washington D.C. to spend some time with my grandparents. We toured the Capitol building and all the big monuments and memorials as well as Arlington National Cemetery. It was a great way to spend the first long weekend of my 3/c year. Upon returning to school on Monday, I felt as though I never left and began preparing for the short, but busy, week ahead. We had a uniform inspection, an unexpected power outage due to a storm, and our first regimental drill of the season.

The next two weekends, I played a couple of rugby matches, one against the University of New Haven and one against the University of Vermont. On the 18th after morning the colors, there was a small service honoring the 70th birthday of the Air Force that I attended. Before I knew it Parents’ Weekend had arrived. I had a non-traditional Parents’ Weekend this year. It overlapped with my dad’s 30th reunion at West Point so I could join my family in New York for that instead of them coming to visit me here.

The temperature is finally dropping and fall is officially here! Go Bears!

MORE ABOUT FRANCESCA

3/c Summer: Three Weeks of Leave

(Just for Fun, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Anthony Turner

It’s been a while everyone so let me break down my leave experience for 3/c summer. By far it was a great way to end my summer in preparation for the school year. It was three weeks of continuous action. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

The first few days were hectic. I had driving school my first few days, then on the first Monday of leave, my summer took off. My friends and I planned a trip to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was convenient that my friend lives right in the area. We were there from Monday afternoon until Thursday morning.

Tuesday was the day we took over Busch gardens; it was a blast. We also managed to get into the park for free. That’s a wonderful thing about the Academy; it serves as a gateway to make lifelong memories with your friends, at an affordable price. After going on all the roller coasters, we threw a mini dance party at the end. It was a great end to the day.

Wednesday was a much-needed relaxing day. We walked along the Virginia Beach boardwalk and then just hung out at a local mall. Another reward of going to the Academy is that you can reflect on moments like this and truly appreciate how close you can get to others. And when you have an opportunity to relax after a nonstop 11-week summer, it’s amazing.

Thursday was a long day. I drove from the beach back to D.C. then I linked up with my high school friends in the city. We spent the whole day hiking on Theodore Roosevelt Island, and just explored the Georgetown neighborhood. It was so nice to be able to fully reconnect with my homies. Keep in mind, this was the first few days of leave.

Besides hanging out with friends, I attended three different concerts during my remaining two weeks of leave. To all my new age hip-hop fans, I saw Logic, J. Cole, Playboi Carti, and Joey Bada$$. The whole atmosphere of each concert was just phenomenal. Yes, I was lucky to see most of my favorite artists in such a short time span.

While leave seems like a time to kick back and have a whole lot of stupid fun, it is also about the business. My parents made me finish driving school. I know it’s funny, I’m a 3/c now and still do not have my license. Stuff happens, ok?

Summer leave is such a good time to go out and just have a large amount of fun. There is no better feeling than hanging out with your friends under the beating sun. Even after 4/c year and the 11-week 3/c summer training period, those three weeks of leave will seem like a blessing, so enjoy every second of it. Until next time, I’m out!

MORE ABOUT ANTHONY

Coast Guard Family

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Matthew Kim

You’ve probably heard of the phrase “Coast Guard Family” once or twice already. When I was applying in high school, I never truly understood it, perhaps because it just sounded a little too cheesy or simply because I was not part of it, yet.

Fast forward a couple months (past Swab Summer!) and here I am as a cadet at the United States Coast Guard Academy. Surprisingly, this once cheesy phrase has slowly become a reality. The family-like environment is truly strange and magical. Being the small service the Coast Guard is, there are just about 1,000 cadets here, in comparison to the 4,000 at the other service academies. That being said, I see and talk to the same wonderful people at all our daily morning and afternoon formations, which have become an amazing routine – and I absolutely love it!

Cadets who were once strangers, instantly become like family members. These unique relationships help keep me accountable and in check with the high standards that I am to uphold, here at the Academy. These people motivate me and offer great advice, just as a “real” family would.

I’ve felt the same family-like experience outside of the Academy as well. Being from California, my chances of visiting home are slim because it is so far away. Thus, when we were awarded with our first long weekend since had Swab Summer ended, I had nowhere to go. Fortunately for me, however, many of whom I consider family members offered the hospitality of their homes for me to relax in after the grueling seven weeks. Through these great people, I have made incredible memories and have had the opportunities to visit NYC, Boston, Virginia, D.C., and the list goes on and on. I never imagined visiting Times Square or the Smithsonian museums, and, of course, these memories wouldn’t have been made possible without my Coast Guard family.

Make no mistake; this Coast Guard family also applies to the other side of the nation. My mother who works at Long Beach, California is constantly making new friends with the Coast Guardsmen stationed at Long Beach. When they mention that they are in the service, she mentions that I am currently a cadet at the Academy and, instantly, a stronger relationship is built. She calls me often saying she loves this Coast Guard family culture, a new idea within our family.

I am forever thankful for the family environment within the Coast Guard!

MORE ABOUT MATTHEW

Thinking About How Far We Have Come

(Choosing the Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2020, Engineering) Permanent link
Amy Chamberlin

Hello future cadets! My name is Amy Chamberlin and I am from Wakefield, Rhode Island. I love to sail, hike, go on adventures, and hang out with my family and friends. I love dogs and have a Bichon Frise, named Alice. Attending a small college with engineering were two major focuses of mine. I knew that the Academy was right for me because I wanted to be challenged, close to home, and in a close-knit environment.

During the short time here at the Academy, I have learned much more about myself than I would have at any other school. Swab Summer was mentally and physically challenging for me, but when it was all over, I looked around at all of my shipmates, thinking about how far we all have come. The academic year has a very different “feel” to it, but in its own ways, it is still very demanding.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Amy.M.Chamberlin@uscga.edu. Have a great day!

MORE ABOUT AMY

Equestrian Club

(Extracurricular and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link

One of my favorite activities to be involved in here at the Academy is the Equestrian Club. Through the Equestrian Club, cadets here are able to take part in all kinds of equestrian-related activities from trail rides to horse shows.

I have been riding horses ever since I was about 6 years old. During my first years here at the Academy, I was always so busy with classes and military obligations but I was able to get out a few times to the barn to see the horses and even go on a trail ride through the woods. However, now that my schedule has lightened up a bit as a first class cadet, I have had much more time and opportunities to go horseback riding. Through the Equestrian Club, I am able to ride at Mystic Valley Hunt Club in Ledyard, Connecticut just ten or so minutes from the Academy. Mystic Valley has a beautiful barn with lots of all different kinds of horses. My instructor at the Hunt Club, Richard, is a fabulous teacher as well. It is so nice to be able to get away from the stress of the Academy for a bit and get to spend time with the horses. Riding is also a great way to get your exercise as well!

Over the winter, I was given the opportunity to lease one of the horses at the barn and I fell in love. Her name is Merry Melody and she is one of the sweetest horses I have ever met. Over winter leave and into this semester I have been so fortunate to be able to ride her almost every day and to take lessons once a week as well. I have seen a huge improvement in my riding and the strength of my legs too. We have been doing a lot of great flat work and even some jumping, too! We are so lucky here at the Academy to have so many wonderful opportunities such as going horseback riding! If anyone has any questions about the clubs here at the Academy or the Equestrian Club, please don’t hesitate to email me.

MORE ABOUT CECE

A Summer Blog from the Last Frontier

(Just for Fun, Class of 2018, Marine and Environmental Sciences) Permanent link

Greetings from Sitka, Alaska, the most beautiful (and rainiest) place on Earth! I know it’s been a little while since my last blog, but this summer has been a whirlwind of exciting travel and new experiences. This past spring I arrived to my first unit, the great Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro in Kodiak, Alaska. Kodiak was very cold, very rugged, and very beautiful. Life on the cutter was a unique and interesting experience. The cutter is a 378 foot high endurance cutter that patrols the Bearing Sea and over to Japan. While on board we got to live the junior officer life, helping out with the cutter’s Change of Command ceremony, morale events, preparations to get underway, and much, much more.

After Kodiak, I flew to southeast Alaska to a tiny island town called Sitka for the second half of my summer program. Here in Sitka, I live at the Coast Guard Air Station and work at the Sitka Sound Science Center through an internship provided to me through my major at the Academy (Marine and Environmental Sciences). At the Science Center, myself and the other Academy intern, are working on various research projects, while getting involved in the local community and volunteering at other center’s camps and events. Our time here in Sitka so far has been a blast! Our primary research here has been conducting shellfish surveys for the local tribe in an area crucial for subsistence clamming. We are very excited to be wrapping up this work and have put together a wonderful presentation on the Academy and our time here in Sitka, as well as the results from our surveys and the rest of our research to present to the community tonight at the public library.

I have gone hiking, kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, sightseeing, and much more during my time here at the internship. I have seen the most beautiful mountains, sunsets, and wildlife such as eagles, bears and whales! Alaska is such an incredible and amazing place (with the best fresh fish available anywhere) and I would highly recommend visiting! If you are at all interested in the Science Center or the internship you can find us online on Facebook, Instagram or at our website: www.SitkaScience.org :)

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The Cadre Experience: Waterfront Cadre

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Cece Hosley

The cadre experience has truly been one in a million. It is hard to fathom the impact that we have already had on these kids and how much their lives are changing each and every day. I don’t know if they can see themselves growing but I know that I can. Every single day they learn something new and grow closer as a platoon, as a company and as a class. It’s also hard to imagine that I, as only a junior in college, have the power to shape the outcome of someone’s life, of their future and their aspirations. This being said, I do, of course, take this job very seriously and am so very invested in the success of these swabs, this Class of 2020; after all, they are joining my Coast Guard and I want them to be prepared to do so.

I am unique in the sense that I am waterfront cadre so I don’t spend all of my time up in Chase Hall with the swabs in my platoon. Instead, I am down at Jacob’s Rock, the sailing center, preparing lesson plans, sailing AIMsters around in the Colgates, and teaching swabs about safety and the joy of sailing. I didn’t know very much about sailing before I became a waterfront cadre and I am thrilled to have had the opportunity not only to learn how to sail, but to learn how to teach others to sail as well. I have always loved being out on the water and so I thought that this would be the perfect fit for me and I was right. Teaching the swabs about sailing and being out on the water has been an invaluable experience. I never really wanted to yell at anyone or be mean and that certainly hasn’t changed. Sometimes I worry that I’m not the stereotypical yelling cadre that I should be, but I know that that just isn’t me and everyone has a different leadership style. I love being able to teach and talk to the swabs from every different company in a professional and relaxed learning environment.

I know this summer is all about being a swab, but sometimes I think that even they forget that they’re people too. I also get to sail the AIMsters around on the larger Colgate sailboats, which are an absolute blast to sail. Telling them all about the opportunities they could have here at the Academy is both fun and exciting and I hope maybe slightly influential, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Overall, being cadre had been one of the craziest and most rewarding experiences of my life and I can’t wait to see how the Class of 2020 continues to grow and develop. 2020, you’re half way there and you have so, so, so much left to look forward to. Just remember, 2018 will always have your back!

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