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Exploring the Coast Guard Family

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2021) Permanent link   All Posts
Felicia Lombardi

This past week I had the opportunity to travel with the Society for Politics and International Affairs (SPIA) to the Washington Symposium on Regional Topics (WSRT). It sounds very official, and we did our best to live up to that perception. However, the truth is the symposium was not an unattainably prestigious event, but rather an example of what can be accomplished and gained through hard work and a passion for learning. WSRT was planned and executed by cadets within the government major who simply have a natural curiosity and desire to pursue Foreign Service.

On the trip we visited the Department of State and the Capitol to discuss the Coast Guard’s role in foreign and public policymaking, and in doing so met a number of Coast Guard officers from many different career tracks. I have written about it before, and I will continue to write about it, the Coast Guard has so many opportunities it is impossible to articulate them all. Moreover, the Coast Guard is open to the creation of new opportunities, like WSRT, where individuals within the service can make their dreams a reality. Whatever work you put into the service comes back to you in buckets, and that is something I am extremely grateful for.

While I love discussing politics and challenging myself and my peers to work towards creative solutions to complex problems, the highlight of the trip was the people. Traveling with shipmates who share in my values but bring multi-dimensional viewpoints to the table made for endlessly exciting conversation. Consequently, meeting officers who reciprocate a desire to build relationships and who are open to providing insight and guidance inspired me to strive toward new role models. Wherever I seem to go, the Coast Guard family is there with welcoming arms.

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