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cadet blogs

And We’re Back!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Corbett Photo Yes ladies and gentleman of the interweb the corps has returned in its entirety this week from our interim winter break. This time of year can be bleak as the days grow short. I notice this mainly because I hear the sound of evening colors from my room go off sooner and sooner with each passing day. These darkening days can cause bleakness among the corps due to the latter mentioned darkness in addition with the bitterness of the winter air. But there is a light!


You see, a revelation has happened here at the Academy. Upon returning, the class of 2017, my class, is faced with looking ahead. We are already being trained for, and talked to about, the impending summer, which is supposedly our most important summer, so I am told… I guess this makes sense as this summer we are no longer under-class, but just not upper-class. We are thrown into the fire and allowed to orchestrate out a leadership style of our own to be implemented on the incoming class. Now the question rests on my mind…how do I lead the incoming class?


Until now, I haven’t given leadership much thought. I, more or less, just do rather than stop and talk about the “what” and “why” of my doings. Lately, however, I have come to a keen understanding that developing my leadership is important to not only this summer, but to myself. I owe it to myself to take the time to really learn the “what” and “why”. That way, when I first lay eyes on the swabs I will know exactly how to handle them.


With that I have started developing a leadership philosophy so let me know if I have gone off the tracks here. Through my own experience, observations, and readings this is the down and dirty of what I believe. My two cents if you will.

  1. Influence vs. Power: You can have all the positional power in the world, but you will never be as strong a leader as the person who has the most influence. If people feel some divine desire to do what you ask rather than a nagging need to, you will succeed more often than the one who relies on position.
  2. Punishment vs. Reward: Swab Summer, time to yell and do push ups right? Sure, but in good measure. When punishment or reward is abused and out of balance, no growth is made. It all becomes routine, finding the balance between the two will have much more of an impact than doing countless push ups.
  3. Resource vs. Boss: Lastly is this idea of being a resource. As a leader, it can be more beneficial to be seen as a colleague or resource. You should be guiding people in the right direction by feeding them information and wisdom. Then they can function autonomously. If you act as a “do what I say” or “boss” type leader, people will not have as much respect for you and will not feel a part of the team.


That is just the down and dirty of my beliefs. If you are a team captain or are looking for a leadership position and want to talk to someone just shoot me an email! Or if you have questions on anything about the Academy please don’t hesitate!

Have an American day,
Shane Corbett 


More about Shane.


Throwback Thursday: Winter Wondering What to Do

(Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo Last February I worked on a collaboration video with my classmate and fellow blogger Luke Carani. In honor of the 2014 winter Olympics we put together a video about the fun activities available to us during the cold winter months. The only thing is that school and other things got in the way, and I wasn’t able to finish editing the video in time to get it out during the winter. So I waited until this winter to put it out as a way to remind myself that just because it’s cold, there is not reason why we still can’t have fun and stay active outside this winter! Check it out!

*Special thanks to artist Har Megiddo for the use of his music in this video.

Justin's video blog YouTube Icon


More about Justin.


Finals, Break and Returning to the Academy

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo So the first semester has come and gone. It is hard to believe that I am 1/8 of the way through my journey at the USCGA. Although I may have never thought on R-Day that I would make it this far, it has been one heck of a roller coaster ride. Finals approached right before winter leave. One difference I noticed between civilian college and the USCGA is that finals week is a lot more enjoyable at the Academy! While civilian college students cram to learn months’ worth of materials in one night, cadets here (including myself) use the free time during the day to study, but not having sports, extra military obligations, clubs, or classes makes finals week a bit more relaxing than the normally hectic work days.


Once finals were finished, I booked a train out of New London and went back home to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was great to be home. I saw family from all over the country and spent a lot of time relaxing and enjoying the time with old friends. I have heard that coming back to the Academy after winter leave is not enjoyable for fourth class, but honestly coming back was not difficult since I knew all of my friends are like family here and I would get to see them once I walked back in through the doors.


More about Hannah.


A Taste of the Old Days

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Auzenbergs Photo I am back from winter leave, two weeks when life almost seemed normal again. At home, I spent the majority of my time hanging out with friends, visiting with family, and sleeping. I forgot just how simple life was living with the familiar faces of my parents and brother, spending every night out late with friends, and having the ability to sleep in with no 6 a.m. reveille! During that time I thought a lot about the college experience I was getting, as compared to most of my high school classmates. It was extremely different in so many ways, but at the same time, similar. I did not find it hard to relate to these friends, as so many cadets claim. We talked about schedules, classes, new friends, old friends, and our versions of fun. Though the stories were not the same, the common sense of being a “freshman” again was still present.


Those two weeks re-energized me with a taste of the old days, a much needed reminder that I still have the friends from home, who mean the world to me; but a more prominent reminder that the life I knew now belongs to the Coast Guard. As hard as it is to accept while being at home with no worries, the minute I got back to the Academy I was reminded it was the right path. This does not mean that I don’t ever question why I got myself into this, because I do. It helps to scroll through old pictures, reminiscing and laughing about old memories, then switch gears and look ahead at my future in the real Coast Guard because those experiences will surely make it all worth it.


More about Gabrielle.