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cadet blogs

Cool Experiences and Amazing Achievements

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo Hi everyone!


So now that 2013 is coming to a close, I thought about all the really cool experiences and amazing achievements I have had the past year since I came to the Coast Guard Academy. I decided to choose five and share them with you – honestly this was really hard to do since there were so many. These are in order of occurrence.


1.  Passing boards and getting carry-on was one of the biggest accomplishments I have ever had. Boards are an oral exam every fourth class must take. There are ten questions, usually with multiple parts. The questions are based on a “boards packet” that we are given that is filled with everything from Coast Guard history to flags and their meanings to damage control information. In order to pass, you must get at least eight out of the 10 questions right. Passing boards meant we, as a class, would be basically done with 4/c year. Once everyone passed, we earned the privilege to not have to square our corners and meals, we were able to use Facebook and watch movies, and we wouldn’t have to memorize information for clocks. This is easily one of my top five choices because it marked the end of my 4/c year.


2.  My next great accomplishment had to do with sailing. In the spring, I sailed on the Women’s Dinghy Team. On the team, I traveled from Florida up to New Hampshire to compete. All of our competitions were preparing us for the qualifier to go to the Women’s Semi-Finals in Florida. The qualifier was held at Tuft’s University in Massachusetts. Here we faced challenging conditions and sailed a boat that I had never even seen before the event. However, fellow blogger Christi Frost and I sailed our best in our division and ended up in fourth place. As a team, we ended up 8th and therefore qualified to complete in the Women’s Semi-Finals in Florida. After this we spent the next two weeks practicing and preparing ourselves for the event. We arrived to Florida as ready as we possibly could be. After a challenging two days at the event, we did not place high enough to move on to the finals. Even so, this was an amazing accomplishment, I had always dreamed of going to college nationals, and I can’t believe I got to go in only my freshman year!


Cool Experiences and Amazing Achievements (Continued) PDF 



More about Kayla.


Looking Back, Looking Forward

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo As the year comes to a close with finals, I have a bit of down time to reflect on the past year. A year ago, I was at a state university, waiting to come to the Academy. Life was mundane—fifteen college credits and not much else to do in New Jersey. The first part of this year was a time of anticipation and waiting, waiting to start the rest of my life. Swab Summer came and went, and it was easily the most amazing and challenging period of my life. Former cadre and upper-class acquaintances kept telling me how Swab Summer was easier than the academic year. In some ways, it was, but in other aspects, it was much harder. My advice for Swab Summer: keep your nose down and stay off of the radar, and you’ll be fine. Many of my old classmates from 2016 are anticipating 2018s arrival as they prepare for cadre summer, and as a 4/c, I can hardly wait to act “normally” in Chase Hall.


This semester was very difficult with many different responsibilities. Some days I feel like a part time janitor cleaning up Chase Hall. Other days I feel like a busy college student trying to understand kinetic molecular theory and the meaning behind a dense piece of literature like Emerson’s “Walden Pond”. My life has changed drastically in less than a year. I was just a regular college student with a lost identity, and now I feel I have made a place for myself as a cadet in the United States Coast Guard. Regardless of how well finals go, I’ll be here next semester, learning new things, and figuring out why I was put here. We all know why we came here—to serve the United States of America. Still though, most of us have absolutely no idea what we want to do in the Coast Guard, or even major in! I can’t wait to take Nautical Science I next semester to learn the facets of my hopeful profession: the maritime military officer. In just one semester, we’ll all be out in the fleet learning what real Coast Guard life is all about, and we can’t wait!



More about William.