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A Productive, Fun and Rewarding Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2022) Permanent link   All Posts
Jack Brunswick

This summer for me was productive, fun, and rewarding. I first spent six weeks with the Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT) in Virginia. There, I spent many days at the range shooting pistol, rifles, and snipers. I often played as an opposing force in the shoot house, where myself and the other cadets would be bad guys with guns and the MSRT teams would come in and clear the rooms to either arrest or subdue us. Even though we knew they were coming and that both teams used paintball ammunition, it was stressful and intense. I spent a week with the precision marksman team, where we built ghillie suits, hides, and temporary command posts in the woods using camouflage and our environment. All in all, I learned a lot about Coast Guard special forces and the experience made me more interested in joining the special forces community.

The second half of my summer was in Key West on a fast response cutter (FRC). I spent a week or so on the Isaac Mayo, Kathleen Moore, Glen Harris, and Charles David Junior (all FRCs). I got to see four different units of people complete the same mission on the same platform, which was useful to decide how I want my first unit’s culture to be like. I saw four different ways of problem solving, what a good officer looks like, what a bad officer looks like, and four different team dynamics. It taught me that although the Coast Guard has lots of policy and rules, the way we do things is not set in stone. There is lots of room as an Ensign to improve or hurt the team culture at a unit. Mission wise, we spent a lot of time rescuing migrants and sending them back to Cuba. I got to practice on my Spanish skills and speaking to migrants inspired me to get better at Spanish speaking and listening. After being underway, the last week in Key West I spent at the Sector, where I got to see what they do in the command sector, in the response division, and in the prevention division. My goal for the summer was to see and experience as much as possible, which I accomplished. I met lots of amazing officers and enlisted, made new mentors, met up with old teammates, and made lots of new friends. The Coast Guard is a small service- my first day in Key West I ran into old shipmates from my 3/c summer experience. Going into my senior year, I am still unsure about where I want to go, but regardless, every single billet class of 22 gets is an amazing opportunity that few people are given.