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The AIM Experience

(Choosing the Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link   All Posts
Taylor Holland

I am 1/c Taylor Holland and I served as the Battalion AIM Officer for the summer of 2017. If you are reading this and considering applying for the summer of 2018 AIM program, do it. AIM is the only service academy program that accurately depicts what the summer would be like as a swab if you were to be appointed to the United States Coast Guard Academy. AIM stands for Academy Introductory Mission, and that is our goal; to introduce you to what we are as a Coast Guard. Over the course of a week, you will have one to two days of simulated Swab Summer as well as a full day of Coast Guard unit tours including helicopters, small boats, training vessels, and a patrol boat. You will have the opportunity to learn about all of our academic majors, as well as how to choose a major if you do not come to the Coast Guard Academy. We will not push you to apply to the Academy but will show you the opportunities that exist if you do apply, which include academics, athletics, camaraderie, and an exceptional career after graduation. It truly is a beneficial experience for all who come, regardless of if you apply after the end of your week experience.

When I was a senior in high school, I applied for AIM and did not get in; however, when I reported in for my Swab Summer, many of my classmates who had gone through the program already knew each other and had a general idea of what to expect for their Academy experience. As the Battalion AIM Officer, I was tasked with running the complete AIM program from start to finish with 42 trusted 2/c cadre. Over the course of three weeks, I saw 600 AIMsters transform from individuals into teams, and I saw them become inspired to join our Coast Guard family and inspired to better themselves. We are the smallest armed service, but that means that we know each other, and look out for our own. I'm four months away from the end of my Academy career, and while here I have made my best friends and had the best times of my life. If you're considering the service academies and want a real taste of what it would be like to attend one, start your journey a year early and come to AIM.