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Summer is Coming

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

Although summer seems to be far away, the Academy is already beginning to buzz with the possibilities and excitement of the summer opportunities offered to us. It is that time of year in the semester where we begin putting in our “E-resumes” for summer assignments, which identifies our top choices of where we would like to go, kind of like a dream sheet. While cadets are able to put in for their top three choices, nothing is guaranteed until the final list comes out later in the semester, but the Academy works hard to make sure everyone gets some part of their desired list, whether that be location, mission, or unit.

Last summer was very enlightening for me as a 3/c, the major summer experience for that year centers around taking charge as cadre for the incoming swabs, those going to prep school, and AIMsters. However, that still is only a little slice of the full 3/c experience; it is a summer full of learning, hard work, and fun with your classmates – from learning how to sail around the coast to understanding the basics of how to fly Coast Guard aircrafts. While that summer has definitely been a highlight of my time here at the Academy, I am just as excited for the possibilities of 2/c summer. On my dream sheet, my first choice is an internship in Washington D.C., working with congressmen and women and aiding any way I can in the legislation process. Before coming to the Academy, it was an opportunity that I did not even know existed but, as I continue my journey here, I find new and exciting opportunities the Coast Guard has to offer every day.

Internships vary for each major at the Academy and are very competitive, starting with the application and interview process. But if chosen for an internship, they are incredibly rewarding. I have spoken to upperclassmen who have been interns or on special assignments that have taken them all over the world and are able to revel in the fact that they made a true difference in wherever they were placed. An internship would only take up half of my summer though, so for the other half I am just hoping to go somewhere warm like Florida or Hawaii, which are my other two choices on my dream sheet. I want to learn more about the law enforcement mission in the Coast Guard wherever I end up. But I know, no matter where I get assigned, it will be another exciting and enlightening summer.

I can barely fathom how fast the time has gone as this will be my last summer here at the Coast Guard Academy. Summer 2020 will hold a whole new set of feelings and preparation and center around one main event – graduation. So, as we all try to survive the cold weather and early nights of this winter, we find comfort in feverishly planning for our summer with friends and looking forward to the warm summer nights to come.