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Swab Summer: Humility, Commitment and Teamwork

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2021, Swab Summer) Permanent link   All Posts
Jasmine Rodriguez

Swab Summer is not meant to be easy, whether you consider the incoming civilian students powering through their transition into the military or the cadre forging their leadership skills. I remember my Swab Summer vividly. I had proud moments, and I had moments of disappointment and doubt. So, too, did every other member of my class, but we made it through together.

As a prior-enlisted member, I was met with Swab Summer’s unique challenges compared to basic training at Cape May. Though the core values are the same, the mission and model are different. Humility, commitment, and complete reliance on teamwork are, perhaps, the main lessons of Swab Summer ‒ for both leaders and followers.

As a scholar who attended Marion Military Institute, I appreciated every minute and mile of preparation with my classmates. Any spare moment not spent bettering myself or others, mentally, physically, and spiritually, was time wasted.

Finally, as a 2012 participant of the Academy Introduction Mission program otherwise known as AIM, I reflect again on commitment and teamwork. I still remember when my arms were failing during a static hold of our water bottles, and my peer squared to face me. She held her arms out beneath my own and held mine up, simultaneously teaching me new facets of humility, self-sacrifice, and mental strength. The friendships I built through all my trainings are strong, and they support me personally and privately. This is not a journey one can complete alone. Each training program – be it AIM, Cape May basic training, Coast Guard Academy Scholars, or Swab Summer – is a necessary challenge designed to prepare a balanced, confident Coast Guard team.