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Class of 2019 Billet Night

by Stefanie Senkow
March 12, 2019

Cadets on the EagleNEW LONDON, Conn. -- The wait is over for first class cadets at the Academy. It’s Billet Night!

“Class of 2019, are you ready for your assignments?” exclaims the night’s emcee, Captain Matthew Meilstrup, to the eager cadets filling the seats of Leamy Auditorium.

One of the defining moments in a cadet’s career, Billet Night is the unveiling of a cadet’s first assignment as a Coast Guard officer, post-graduation. Months prior to this ceremony, cadets submit their “wish list” of billets, hoping to get one of their top choices.

As one group of cadets at a time approaches the stage and receives their envelopes containing their assignments, their energy is electric and comradery undeniable.

“You may now open your billets!” Captain Meilstrup instructs. And whether it’s a Coast Guard cutter, sector or flight school, the cadets cheer as they discover their post-graduation assignments while their classmates erupt with applause.

“When I first opened the folder containing my billet, I was so nervous I could barely read the paper!” said Christine McCulla, who will be stationed on Coast Guard Cutter (CGC) ASPEN in San Francisco, CA. “When I finally realized I was heading to California, however, I was ecstatic. It was my top choice of billet, based on platform and location, and while I don't have any classmates on ASPEN with me, I have tons of friends who are going to Alameda, CA, just across the bay.”

“I have the honor of reporting to the CGC RESOLUTE in St. Petersburg, FL after graduation as a Deck Watch Officer. Embarking on this 6 year journey of earning a commission, receiving my billet last night felt like a dream come true,” said Stan Raymond. “Opening my billet and seeing my second pick within that folder had me jumping for joy, I was ecstatic.”

Lydia Kline is overjoyed to receive her first choice aboard CGC DEPENDABLE in Virginia and equally excited to see the culmination of her class’s efforts come full-circle on this magical night.

“It’s amazing to see how everyone’s hard work has paid off after three and a half years together,” said Kline.