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cadet blogs

So Much Homework, So Little Time

(Academics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo So as I sit here just staring at my to-do list, I already feel another cup of coffee is on the menu–it will be a late night! Now that I am finally starting to get into my major’s courses, it is hard to balance the work I must focus on along with the work in classes that aren’t exactly my “major”. For example: Physics. Physics requires a ton of studying and homework, but isn’t a class that contributes to my major’s course of study. It is very frustrating since I want to excel in all of my classes, but I care significantly more about my Government classes. Ah well, welcome to the Academy! Sometimes (and by sometimes, I mean majority of the time) you just have to do things you may not really want to, but are required to. Looking at the glass half full, I really enjoy my Government classes and look forward to getting more involved within my major.



More about Allie.


Recap of Summer I hadn't Yet Blogged About...

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Zwenger Photo I haven’t blogged in quite a while, so I’ll just go over some of the programs from this past summer, a summer that I consider to be one of the best in my life. As you can see this is a huge turn around from a year and a half ago where I almost left; just thought I should mention that.


Range Week: This was a pretty decent week. The only goal was to the qualified in pistol and earn another ribbon, which I can say that I did. However the downside was that many people got to shoot more than once while the people who did well the first time only got to shoot one time. It would have been nice to try and get expert, but there’s nothing I can really do about it.


Marine Safety Training Program: So this week we stayed a week at Sector New York and accompanied some officers, warrant officers, and enlisted members during inspections. It was really interesting because it’s a side of the Coast Guard that not many people know very much about. I came out deciding I wanted to go to a sector and go down that career path but now I may be thinking otherwise. We did inspections on barges where we went down in the tanks and looked for cracks or other imperfections; smaller personal sailing boats that held around 50 people; and bulk carriers. This was definitely one of the highlights of my summer.


Rules of the Road: This is basically school in the middle of the summer to learn about the rules whenever you’re out on a boat. Not much I can say, school in the summer is not fun. I passed and that’s all that matters.


T-Boats: Not one of my favorite weeks. We learned ship handling on the big black boats sitting in the Academy’s backyard. The program was a bit slow, although I did learn some new things, which I guess this is what this is all about.


Coastal Sail!!!!: Hands down, up to this point, this was the best two weeks of my Academy career. I learned more about leadership and followership, had more fun, and went to more new places than I had the previous two years. Basically coastal sail is a program where you leave the Academy on a sailboat with 4 to 6 classmates and a safety officer and sail to different parts of New England. We made stops in Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Hyannis, Newport, and a couple of other different places. Anyway, we left for two weeks and only used the motor a handful of times so it was pretty cool to be able to get from place to place only using the wind. If you make it to this point, this is something to really get excited about.


Prep Week: We cleaned rooms in preparation for the AIMsters… that’s it.


Cadre: So I know I said that coastal sail was the best two weeks of my Academy career. This was true up until the point that I became AIM cadre. I thought sailing was fun but it was a lot of fun being cadre. I honestly can’t think of the words to describe the experience. I had some really good friends that I worked alongside, including a classmate that was in the same AIM company as me. The best way I could describe this would be to say that it is as fun as it looks, plus add some more and that’s what you have.


So, leave flew by as quickly as it always does, I spent time with family and friends and I’m looking forward to the next time I get to see everyone again. If you have any questions feel free to email me



More about Spencer.


First Year of Flight School

(Life as an Ensign, Class of 2012) Permanent link
Glock Photo It’s hard to believe that I reported to Naval Flight School just one year ago. My first year out of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy has gone incredibly fast. I am currently in phase III/IV of flight school and have completed IFS and API.


IFS is an introduction to flying in which students fly with civilian instructors in Cessnas and Pipers. We get about 25 hours of flight time and complete our FAA Private Pilot Exam at Peter Prince Airfield. It is also the last time we will fly until we report to Primary Flight Training, which is the phase I am in now.


After IFS, I checked into API at NAS Pensacola. This phase is six weeks and is made up of classroom instruction on several subjects such as aerodynamics, engines, navigation, and flight rules and regulations. It is an intense six weeks. In addition to heavy academics, we also have swimming almost every day where we learn to swim and tread water in full flight gear and boots. Near the end of API, we have a culminating event in which we must swim one mile non-stop in a flight suit within eighty minutes. It sounds daunting, especially to me, but the instructors work us up slowly and it ended up being a lot easier than I expected.


A few weeks ago I checked into Primary at NAS Whiting Field. In my opinion, this is when the real training begins. I am finishing up ground school and will be flying the T-6B within the next few weeks. The amount of information we had to read, process and internalize is mesmerizing. The textbooks and pubs are endless and there are even emergency procedure checklists that we must memorize verbatim. It’s like learning an entire semester’s worth of material in one month. All this work is, of course, worth it because in just one short year I’ll be pinning on my wings.


I’ll be sure to add some updates as my flying progresses. If anyone reading this wants to be a pilot, this is the way to go. The training is the best in the world and the Coast Guard has the most rewarding missions. It’s a lot of work, but it’s an amazing career.



More about George.