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cadet blogs

Chasing Dreams

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Kearney Photo This past semester I sat in my room, lights off with only a yellowed bulb desk lamp, while I stared at math problems, listening to music with a pencil in hand. Time would pass with problems unsolved and my eyes would wander toward the guitar sitting in the corner, or the pack of crayons I bought on the way to a cross country meet, or the pumpkin sitting in the window sill I had so doodled on with sharpie images such as Winnie-the-Pooh or the flag raising on Iwo Jima. I’d proceed to take my headphones off and glance at my roommate behind me watching Netflix. It was quiet. A large contrast to the adventure I had during the past summer. I’ll be honest; I had forgotten why I had come to the Academy. I knew it was the right choice, but I couldn’t remember why it was right. The loudness of my thought was lost in struggling to understand linear algebra (no, this is not the same as regular high school algebra it’s a lot harder as I found out) and multivariable calculus (yes, this is also a lot harder than regular calculus).


I have decided to be an Operations Research and Computer Analysis major for reasons I believe are equivalent to my reasons for coming to the CGA. In high school, my cross country team would talk of chasing dreams and changing the world. We’d talk of courage and taking risks with passion. I want to solve problems, and I couldn’t think of a better major than ORCA to learn how to better optimize systems using very real and applicable methods. From pre-school until now, I have been in a formal education system for basically all my life, and in 2.5 short years, all of that learning will come to the test as my class graduates and become officers in the real world. It sounds classic, but we only have so much time in our life to accomplish the goals and desires we dreamt of as children. I came here to make a difference. I came here to take risks. I came here to chase my dreams. I came here to change the world.


More about Alex.


Inaugural Parade: Infinitely Proud to Serve

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Cadet Photo Last week I marched in the Presidential Inaugural Parade. It was truly a whirlwind trip! Ninety of us left the Academy at 0200 on a bus and traveled to the Naval Academy. At USNA, we were each paired with a cadet host and got the opportunity to eat in their wardroom and exchange stories of cadet life. I have always been curious about the other academies and it was really awesome to see a bit of how they run. I can honestly say, however, that the USCGA was the best choice for me. USNA was so gigantic…I had a hard time finding my way around!


The next day we practiced marching and drilling with our pieces before being bused to D.C. The majority of the day was spent going through security checkpoints, which involved a lot of “hurry up and wait.” It was almost dark by the time we began marching and even then there was a lot of starts and stops. Finally, we turned onto Pennsylvania Avenue. As we marched along the route, we were greeted with cheers of “Go Coast Guard!” and “Thank you for your service!” Even though the march was cold and long, hearing those cheers made me infinitely proud to serve. At the command of “Eyes left!” we snapped our eyes to the left to see the President of the United States saluting us as we passed by. I am so proud to have represented the U.S. Coast Guard and the Academy in front of our great nation! God Bless America!


More about Cameo.


Inaugural Parade: Representing the Coast Guard, Women in the Military and Our Diversity

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chen Photo Last week, I had the opportunity to march in the Inaugural Parade. In order to attend, I had to fill out an application and a few days after my submission, I was informed that I was selected to participate. I was very excited and my family was proud of me. I wanted to be a part of history. I chose to go to represent the United States Coast Guard, women in the military, and show the diversity that we as an institution have.


Let me tell you, an inaugural parade is very hectic if you’re marching in it. On TV, you see people marching perfectly as if everything was running smoothly. However, in reality, it is a big waiting game of stop-and-go. When we were marching, we would stop from time to time to allow citizens to cross the street. Throughout the whole day, we spent about ¾ of it waiting in tents, on buses, and on the street, while a ¼ of it was actual marching. I may be underestimating the waiting part.


The best part of the trip was staying overnight at the Naval Academy. Cadets from all of the service academies were there. I had to chance to meet up with old friends and make new ones. I also got to learn about the various lifestyles that cadets from each academy had. It was amazing getting to know these people and potentially crossing paths again one day.


If I could do it again, I would!


More about Sarah.


Presidential Inauguration: A Humbling Experience

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Krause Photo This past weekend I had the honor to represent the Coast Guard Academy in a historic weekend for the United States. It was truly incredible to be a part of the events that surround the presidential inauguration. One of the most inspiring moments was getting to present arms for the President and the Commandant of the Coast Guard. I can still perfectly envision the blinding bright lights, booming voice of the announcer, and overwhelming pressure for a perfect performance the corps experienced as we passed the official party.


However, the inauguration was not only memorable due to our 30 seconds of national fame, but also because of the amazing memories I created with my classmates. It was inspiring to see the past four years of our training come together as the 1/c truly led the cadet contingency. The professionalism and pride that my classmates exuded was mirrored by all of the underclass and ensured that this high-profile event ran flawlessly. Being able to play a part in representing not only the Academy, but also the Coast Guard to the nation was a humbling experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.


More about Gretchen.