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cadet blogs

My Families

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Frost Photo Over the past year, I have realized how important family is. I know that I could not be successful in life if it wasn’t for my family. I never realized how much I had to be thankful for and how much my family really meant to me until I went away for school. It’s crazy how you realize how much someone means to you when you don’t see them every day. Going to school more than a thousand miles away from home makes me appreciate every moment I get to spend with my family.


I know a lot of my friends went away for school thinking, “Yes I’m free! My parents are not my boss and now I’m out on my own!” I can’t imagine this. My parents have only ever been supportive, and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my family. They are always there pushing me to get better, but helping me when I struggle. I have realized over the last year just how lucky I am to have parents and a big sister that I am so close to. I know whenever I am having a bad day, my family will be there to talk no matter what time it is. They help me get through everything. I have learned to cherish every opportunity I get to go home because it is only a few times a year. Being here has made me much more grateful for what I have.


My family doesn’t stop at my parents and my sister. The Academy is a place where you develop so many families, each there to support you. My best friend’s family has become my second family that I can go spend long weekends with. I even get a little brother when I visit them! Then, the sponsor family program gives me yet another family right in the New London area, where I can decompress and get off campus. It is amazing how families around the Academy take in cadets as if they are their own. I feel like I always have someone looking out for me.


Most importantly, the corps itself is a family. My teammates and classmates all form family-like bonds that cannot be broken. This kind of support you don’t get at a civilian college. It’s support I never realized was important before coming to the Academy, but it’s support that everyone needs to get through here. And this support is the same that I give to my friends. You have so many people looking out for you and trying to help you at the Academy. It’s these families that I could no longer imagine my life without.


As always, feel free to email me any questions about the Academy at!



More about Christi.


Update Since August

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Belanger Photo Hello everyone! My last blog was from August, so time to catch up! After I left summer school, I returned back to the amazing city of Jacksonville, Florida to enjoy my summer leave. Being the over-ambitious cadet that I was in May, I had asked the Cadet Training Department to have the opportunity to work at Station Mayport near my house. So the Monday after I got home, I reported at bright and early at 0700 in my operational uniform to get to work. The first few days were a little slow and awkward but then I was introduced to the Reserves Detachment located at the station and my training began hard! The third day I was at the station, I had the opportunity to “drive” the 25-foot patrol boat and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. After growing up by the St. Johns River and going fishing and boating on it, the rush of being on a Coast Guard small boat brought back many memories of my childhood. I had always remembered looking at the Station Mayport and thinking of how amazing it would be to work for the Coast Guard. Finally, part one of my dreams came true. I also had the (horrible) opportunity to get pepper-sprayed. Let me just say it was the worst hour of my life. I’ll let all of the YouTube videos out there show you pretty much what my experience was. While there, I did not work all the time, as it may seem, and I did enjoy quality time with my parents and friends! I cannot wait to see them when I return home in December.


After reporting back to the Academy on August 18 (my birthday; thank you CGA), it was amazing to look around and take in Chase Hall. It was also very strange being called sir…something I still have not become accustom to. After “set-up” week the academics struck, and let me say they struck hard. Having 21 credits is not fun…at all. I am usually working on homework into the wee hours of the night. I am struggling in some classes, but I have great friends and professors that are determined to see me succeed. I have now run my 2nd Tough Mudder and other than that have not really gotten away from the Academy. However, in the coming weeks I plan on going to New York City, I will be serving at the Red, White and Blue Mass being celebrated by the Archbishop of the Military Archdiocese and the Bishop of Norwich, and some other adventures that I will right about later to keep you in suspense. Until next time, fair winds and following seas, Go Bears and Go Great Class of 2016!


If you have any questions please do not hesitate! 



More about Nathan.


Subtle Impacts

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Racz Photo The government shut down had a profound impact on our nation. With our country still trying to put the pieces together, I feel as though it is a good time to reflect. While other academies felt the full force of the government shut down, like MMA, the impact on the Coast Guard Academy was more subtle. Though the Academy felt a little emptier because of grounds crews and other civilian faculty absent from work, daily operations went unhindered for the most part. Although, I will say the shut down may have affected the 4/c cadets the most. One of the many tasks that 4/c are responsible for is cleaning, especially involving taking out the trash. Due to the shutdown, trash bags became nonexistent in the gearheads of Chase Hall. It seemed that when the government shut down, so did the use of trash bags. This caused great disdain throughout the fourth class. This meant that instead of just taking out the trash bags to the dumpster, we as 4/c had to take the entire trash can out to the dumpster and then clean the now dirty trash can after we were finished. This caused a lot of extra work. So let’s just say I’m happy to see that trash bags have been restored to the wing areas around Chase Hall.


Crew continues to go well. Coach Regan’s “odd” words of wisdom are actually starting to grow on me. I say odd because some of his thoughts come out of nowhere and they all still find their way to the point he is trying to instill on us. The Head of the Fish – the big race for the novice rowers – is almost a week away. Our boat is finally starting to put it together. We were off to a very shaky start, but we have come together as a boat to work on the problems that we have had. I look forward to getting out on the water in New York and showing everyone what I and the other seven rowers in my boat can do.


More about Benjamin.