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The End of the Beginning

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Ryan Hurst

Fourth class year is an exhausting year with an exciting ending. The big finish began in March when I learned my 3/c summer assignment. Cadets get to spend one part of 3/c summer on Eagle another portion at an operational Coast Guard unit. I discovered that for my summer assignment I was going to Station Golden Gate, in California and Eagle, with port calls in Europe. I was ecstatic. It was my first opportunity to see the west coast and many European countries! Looking forward to the summer became my biggest motivator to finish 4/c year strong.

Next, in April we finally got full carry-on. No more squaring, bussing or greeting upperclassmen! It finally felt like I was a cadet, rather than a swab. My class was lucky enough to get this privilege in early April, which is a little bit earlier than it is usually granted. Being able to relax more around my classmates and upperclassmen was so rewarding and it allowed me to be more social and build relationships with my shipmates.

Lastly, finding out which company I was going to be in for the next three years was exciting. After 4/c year, cadets are assigned to new companies. This creates a great sense of camaraderie in the corps because it forces everyone to meet a new group of people. The upperclassmen always come up with a clever way to present the new company assignments to the fourth class, and this year was not any different. I learned that I will spend my next three years as a cadet in Foxtrot company. Go flounders!

In all, fourth class year was a ride. It is not easy to be locked on for a whole year, but it is totally worth it for the rewards at the end. The people I met and friends I made really motivated me to get through fourth class year. I am very excited to come back for 3/c year to meet new people as well as guide my 4/c and my classmates to success.