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cadet blogs

Long Time No Write

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Corcoran Photo I just realize that I have not written a blog since 2013…yikes. I would love to say that my lack of writing is because I simply forgot; however, it has been a very busy semester here at the Coast Guard Academy!


For news in my cadet world: I am now an official CGA baseball manager. Every cadet needs to receive 2 sports credits every year or disciplinary action is taken, and nobody wants that. As a result, many cadets who do not participate in varsity sports either play a club sport or engage in intramural sports which are between companies. Last year I did two varsity sports – cross country and indoor track. However, this year I realized that I do not have the same passion for track as I used to. Therefore, my best friend and fellow blogger, Rheanastasia Doctolero, and I decided to become CGA baseball managers because we love the sport and would be able to receive a sports credit for our time commitment to the team. So far I would say it was a great decision! We have already missed two personnel inspections in the morning due to 0530 a.m. practices and we even got to miss a field day (when every member of the corps of cadets has to help clean Chase Hall) because of a Saturday morning practice! As you can tell, cadets highly value the little things in life while they are here.


In other news, we finally had a snow day last week! It seems as if it is always snowing here, but the Academy is never closed. It was nice to finally have a day off of school and catch up on some well-deserved rest. It seems as if I always look forward to the weekends for rest, but then I end up being so busy that I never get any sleep! The sound of Chase Hall was crazy after the email announcing the snow day was sent out. Every cadet ran out into the passageway of my deck (floor for you non-nautical type) and screamed “SNOW DAY!” or something of that nature. I’m not sure if students at other colleges experience the same level of hysterics when school is cancelled, but it is definitely a great feeling here.


I’m always willing to answer questions about anything at all whether trivial or important so feel free to email me! 


More about Samm.


Winter Update

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Belanger Photo Hello everyone! It has been a little while since my last blog, so here has been what has going on for me at the Academy. If you read back to my last winter experience, it was not too enjoyable. This year however, is a different story. Skiing has surprisingly become a pretty big hobby for me. Since arriving back from winter leave I have been 3 times with plans to go this next weekend. I can safely say that if a boy from Florida can learn to ski, anyone can. So far we have had 2 days off from school to enjoy snow days! It is a great day to wake up and get ahead in school, or have the day off to do whatever you want. (I will leave you to imagine what cadets rather choose.) School has been a little rough, mainly with trying to play catch up after missing classes, but just the work load. I, along with everyone else here, try to stay on top of it. I am just being patient and just waiting for spring break to get here so I can go and enjoy the beaches in Jacksonville!


If you have any questions or ideas for blogs please do not hesitate! 



More about Nathan.


So Many Learning Experiences…

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo Connecticut really does get cold. The polar vortex of the first week back, combined with some wintry delights, has made living here unbearable at times. When the wind chill or the temperature drops to the single digits—or even the negative digits—going outside is not fun at all! We’ve only had one-half of a snow day (we closed early and opened late), but I’ve already seen more snow than I think I ever have seen before! Hopefully, it gets better…spring is coming, right?


Crew is always a learning experience, in my opinion. After taking the PFE the first week back, we launched into phase 2 of our winter training plan, gearing up to spring break and sprint season. Each piece is difficult in its own way, and nothing makes my day more than being able to help one of the guys finish his piece. There’s something indescribably cool in helping and motivating someone to cross the finish line. It makes your day; in my case, it generally puts me in a great mood for the rest of the night. Each day down at the boathouse is a learning experience, as I learn more about how to make a fast boat go faster…


The first round of papers and tests are coming up quickly: from here on out, it’ll be hell week almost every week. I’m sure it is the same story in high schools across the nation, where applicants are finishing applications (due February 1st) or playing the waiting game. Best of luck to everyone! If you ever have questions, or want to learn more about the Academy, please email me at Until next time, stay warm and do great things!


More about Peter.


Looking Forward, Looking Back

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Townsend Photo I am in absolute shock that I only have one semester left at the Academy. I have vivid memories of my first day at the Academy when I reported in. These past few years have gone by so quickly and there are so many good memories, but there are many more memories still to make. As a second semester first class at the Coast Guard Academy there are numerous events to look forward to. In just a few short weeks I will find out my first unit and where I will be stationed for the next two years. That is only the beginning of the excitement because not long after that I will be on spring break, starting my last season of lacrosse at the Academy and attending Castle Dance in a beautiful Newport mansion.


As first class we also have Dining-In to look forward which is an event that every class has done and is a tradition at the Academy. Dining-In is a dinner that all first class attends along with the members of our command and our instructors to reminisce about everything that has happened over the last three and a half years. I am excited to look back at all of the good times that I have shared with my classmates and even some of the bad times to see how much we have all grown and improved since then. I am looking forward to the future, but I can’t forget to enjoy the moment that I am in right now.


More about Brianna.


You Never Go Hungry at the Academy

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Quintero Photo As the semester is winding down, my eye is on the prize and that is winter leave. While at the Academy or anywhere as a matter of fact, it is important to set short term goals or things to look forward to. For example, I know that there is a federal holiday once a month so we have a long weekend that often. Furthermore, I have all the federal holidays memorized by name and what month they are in; it’s just a little something I look forward to every month to keep me sane. Right now my motivation is getting to winter leave, even if there is a lot of work, tests, papers etc. in the way. For whatever reason, it seems like teachers pack all big projects and papers toward the end of the semester so it can get hectic at times. Some cadets may describe Chase Hall (the dorms) as a very dark place, but during the holidays, I think even with all the work, there is a vibrant air that floats around.


Something else that I look forward to weekly is watching the Eagles play on Sunday. For all you sports fans out there game day/night in whatever sport you may enjoy spectating is a great way to get your mind away from all the work at the Academy. Since you can’t sleep at all during the week (6 a.m. wake up) except on Sundays, I generally wake up at 12 or 1 on Sundays and then turn on some football. Since we only get local cable on TV, you have to watch some games on the internet. But cadets aren’t allowed TVs in their rooms so people watch TV in one of the eight communal rooms in Chase Hall. I know a lot of cadets that enjoy watching TV and own a subscription to either Netflix or their parents own a cable service that allows them to watch local channels on their computer. Along with not having TVs, we are also not allowed to have fridges, couches, microwaves or anything of that sort in our rooms. Those things I listed are nice commodities, but they are things that you can live without. Especially since the food at the Academy is outstanding and there is plenty of it. I can honestly say that I’ve never gone hungry while at the Academy; now at prep school it’s a different story because that food was awful. I’ve eaten at a couple of college cafeterias with my friends and they were not as good as the Academy. And on top of that Academy food is FREE! So you can’t beat that anywhere else. The Coast Guard Academy is also ranked #1 for best food out of all the other service academies and after talking to Coast Guard cadets that went on exchange to a different academy for a semester, they say that the thing that they missed most from our Academy was the food.



More about Carlos.


A Few Flights Under My Wing

(Life as an Ensign, Class of 2012) Permanent link
Glock Photo Spring break is almost here! Oh, wait... flight school students don't get a spring break! But that's fine, because instead of going on vacation, i'll be flying high in the T6-B completing my first solo flight in it and beginning my aerobatics phase of Primary Flight Training.


I have to admit, Primary is really hard work and demands a lot of time, patience, and drive. Luckily, that's is exactly what the CGA helped me develop. If I tried to go through flight school out of a normal college, I really don't think I would make it through the program. The T6-B is a lot of fun to fly. We call it the Ferrari of the sky. And they are just a few years old which helps with maintenance!


I'm currently in the Contact Phase of flight training. We focus on the fundamentals of flying, emergency procedures, flying by visual flight rules, and studying the systems of the aircraft. As I said, it is a lot to learn. This phase is a fire hose of information. But it all pays off when you have that moment when everything "clicks" and you can enjoy the training flights. After all, that's what we're all here for - to fly military aircraft!


I'll post another blog once I complete my Contact Solo and begin Aero. Stay tuned!


More about George.


Ready to Take on Challenges

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Quintero Photo It’s currently just after the midterm period of my senior year. Life as a senior is so much different than that of an underclass. If I could describe senior year using one word then it would be EASIER. The course load, especially for a Management major is a much lighter than it has been in the past. After a while you just get into the swing of things and get into that groove and classes come easier. We have a lot more privileges as well that make me feel almost human again. I can go out Thursday nights. I don’t have to be back on Saturday nights, and I could also wear civilian clothing when I go out. I am allowed to have a car on campus too, which makes it easier to get from Point A to Point B.


When you are a freshmen or even before then if you went through prep school, you ask yourself everyday whether you made the right choice by coming to the Academy or not. The reason why underclass question themselves everyday is because it is not easy being a cadet, although it is very rewarding. It is a fact that nothing that comes easy is appreciated in life as much as the things that you had to work hard for. That is why in retrospect as a 1/c, I feel like I have made the right choice by coming to the Academy. I had to make a lot of sacrifices down the road just like everyone else; you have to leave family behind, sometimes your personality, and a little bit of your freedom. Now remember that the Academy is not for everyone, you can be just as successful if not more successful in life doing anything else other than the Academy. But for those that feel like they need order, self-discipline and have the calling to serve their nation should join.


All walks of life show up to the Academy on Reporting-In Day at the end of June every year. There are those that received an athletic scholarship and those that just want to play a sport, there are those whose parents where in the military, those who wanted a free college, those who dreamed about being in the Coast Guard all their lives, prior enlisted, college students that get sick of regular college, those whose friends dared them to attend an Academy, those whose parents forced them to come, and (my favorite) those who thought The Guardian was a great movie. You put all these people together and the end result, no matter where you come from, what your sign is or your story, is an outstanding group of human beings ready to take on any challenges.


More about Carlos.


Songs in the Windy City

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo It’s been a long weekend – in the best of ways! When these three-day weekends come along, such as MLK Jr. Day recently, the corps gets to leave base at our last military obligation (LMO) on Friday, and not return until liberty expires on the day off. Seeing as how most cadets, especially fourth class, usually don’t get to stay overnight off-base on weekends, you can guess how exciting these weekends are!


But, this one was particularly special for me. I had the privilege of traveling out to Chicago, Illinois with the Cadet Chorale. I along with 14 other cadets and the choir director, Doc Newton, left on Friday at 0400 (oye…) and arrived back in New London Monday evening. We met and performed with a high school a cappella group on Friday evening – very talented young men and women, indeed! The next day we had an engagement at Navy Pier, right in the heart of downtown Chicago. It was so much fun to perform for the families walking through the pier, and to have the chance to see the city! (I must say, the Adler Planetarium was very interesting!) Our weekend closed out on Sunday with a performance in the Tivoli Theater, an old venue that was the second American theater designed to show films with audible dialogue. Once again, I felt the thrill of being on a stage, with lights shining around you, and the voices of several devoted and gifted cadets filling the room.


Yes, I am a performance geek… that’s why I love being a part of the music program here at the Academy. Our music is very beautiful, mostly oldies, show tunes, nautical songs and sea chanteys and patriotic selections. I appreciate that while some of our songs require piano accompaniment, many of them are a cappella, meaning no instruments except for voices. It’s a lovely, rich sound, with the challenge of keeping up the tune on our own. The choirs here are such an integral part of my cadet experience; my life would be much too quiet without them (literally and figuratively!).


More about Abby.


Life as a Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Major

(Academics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Bellm Photo As a junior, now in my sixth semester at the Academy, you could say that I’ve gotten pretty used to everything around here. Wake up, morning formation, breakfast, morning classes, afternoon formation, lunch, afternoon classes, workout, dinner, homework, go to bed, and repeat. We could add in a few other military obligations here and there, but for the most part, that’s how your normal weekdays will go. Now, you’re probably thinking, that sounds pretty awful, and you’re right, it could be, but it’s not. The reason is because of the amazing group of people in my major that surround me for the majority of those activities. I’ve been a part of countless sports teams throughout my life, but nothing has quite been the same as our group.


As a NavArch (what we are commonly referred to at the Academy), we take an insane amount of credits. We’re basically taking what should be a five-year program and cramming it into four years. To date, I have over 100 hours completed from only five semesters. For all of those hours, I have completed countless additional hours of work outside of class, all with my classmates in my major, sometimes at 1400, and other times at 0200. While it has been a real challenge, I am so happy, even now, that I chose the major that I did. Those countless hours have been some of the best bonding time that I could have asked for with my classmates. My fellow NavArchs are some of the best people that I have met in my life. Being in this major has provided the roots to many lifetime friendships. Not only in academics at the Academy, but even in my personal life, I know that I can count on them when I’m stuck in a rough spot. They would likely be some of the first people that I would call in a sticky situation. We all talk about how happy and excited we will be to walk that stage at graduation when they announce our name, closely followed by our major because we will know how hard we worked to get there.


On top of all of that, being a NavArch will set me up perfectly for my fleet life hopefully. My desire to be an engineering officer stems directly from my good experience at the Academy in the field. Not only that, but I have gained so much knowledge, not only of engineering systems, but of problem solving and how to think through a system to get the answers that we need. Although it has been a long and sometimes bumpy path, by classmates in my major have had my back the entire way, and that has made it all worth it.


More about Lulu.


The Bittersweet Return

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Cannon Photo It is hard to believe I'm sitting in this chair right now. One second, Swab Summer was in full swing and I am drenched in sweat, trying to make timed objectives so my cadre don't make me and my shipmates do any more planks or push-ups. And then in the blink of an eye, it is the end of the first semester and I am saying goodbye to my friends for three weeks during Christmas break. The weirdest part about the whole situation is that Christmas break was the longest amount of time me and my classmates had not been together for six months. Nevertheless, the break was awesome and flew by so much faster than I had anticipated.


It was great to be able to wear civilian clothes, go to Waffle House (8 times), sleep in my own bed, and even drive my own car. I got to spend a lot of time with my family, and also got to see some friends who go to regular colleges. It was interesting to hear how different our college experiences have been, and how much free time they always had during the week. Although I somewhat resent some of their experiences, there is something about a regimented schedule that I still like about the Academy. While fourth class year is tough and draining at times, I would not trade it for anything. Soon, my classmates and I are going to be able start earning simple privileges like playing music out loud and social networking. The real thing I am looking forward to this semester is the beginning of baseball season. I can't wait to be back out on the diamond and playing the game I love. I am very excited for this upcoming year, and I am more than ready to become a third class. I know I am meant to be here, regardless of the countless sacrifices I have made to be a cadet at the Academy.


More about Colton.


A Month Full of Fun

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo It’s crazy to say it's already February! This semester has been flying by. The past month was full of fun; I went skiing at Mohawk Mountain which was a good time. It was freezing that day, but it was nice to be on the mountain since I had not been there in a year. This past weekend, I went to Mohegan Sun to see a Lady Antebellum concert with Kacey Musgraves and Kip Moore opening. It was an awesome concert and I loved the set up because it felt very intimate with the artists. I also had an away swimming and diving meet, which was our last meet before championships. It will be nice to have two weekends without a meet, but I will still have practice everyday.


This month will be another fast paced month that will slip right by. The corps gets a long weekend for President’s Day, but I haven’t figured out what I am going to do yet. The swimming and diving championship is the last weekend of this month, which I am very excited for, but also a little nervous. It is crazy to think I am almost finished with my third season at the Academy. Time really does fly when you’re having fun! The second class cadets also get their loan at the end of this month. This is a really exciting time for our class because we will have money to buy a car, invest, or/and save for when we graduate. The second class also get to try on their class rings at the end of this month. I CANNOT wait to see my ring! The ring I designed means a lot to me and represents my family who are the people who have helped me most to get through the Academy.


Hopefully everyone is enjoying their schoolwork and weekends! Keep chugging along…before you know it the snow will clear and everyone will start complaining about the heat!


More about Sara.


Doing What You Love

(Academics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo A popular question I have been getting from many 4/c lately has been “What major do I pick?” It’s about that time of the year when 4/c choose the major they would like to pursue for their remaining time at the Academy. Cadets are told that certain majors can lead to certain officer career paths, and extrapolating that far ahead into our career, especially as a 4/c, can be pretty intimidating. However, I always end up giving the same advice, regardless of the career path a 4/c may be contemplating. It’s quite simple: do what you love, and don’t be afraid to experiment!


I was originally a Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering major. And then I switched to Marine and Environmental Sciences. But I finally settled on Government. It sounds a little crazy, and maybe a bit scatterbrained, but I wanted to make sure that whatever I was planning on studying for the next three years would make my time at the Academy a little more bearable. After testing out most of the majors offered at the Academy, I am happy with the choice I’ve made. I find the world, people’s interactions, and different cultures fascinating; not to mention I love reading and writing. Majoring in Government, with an International Affairs focus, allows me to study those things while also giving me some free space to pursue classes from other majors. I intend on taking some MES courses as a 1/c and 2/c to cover all of my passions and interests.


So basically what I’m suggesting to the 4/c is to not get caught up in the pressures here to study certain majors. Many (perhaps most) things cadets do are predetermined and prescribed. What we study and the classes we take are one of the things that we actually have influence over (after 4/c year, of course). Figure out what you like to do first, and then select a major. Don’t sit there and ponder life, trying to predict your future. Just because you may want to be an aviator now doesn’t mean you “should” study mechanical engineering to better your chances – you may not even want to fly in three years, anyways! But what is for certain is what you will enjoy in the present moment. So make a choice in the best interest of your happiness! If you do what you love in life, life will love you back.


More about Allie.


A Delicate Balance

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Schroeder Photo I can’t believe a month has already gone by since I started this semester! I am definitely a lot busier than I was last semester! I have a couple more classes, and overall my homework load this semester is greater. It’s been nice being busy though – I actually enjoy being able to check things off a list, whether it be homework, military, or sports obligations – feeling accomplished is great.


I’ve gotten my fair share of breaks from school though. I’ve spent most of my weekends either away in Boston with friends, on hockey trips to places like New Hampshire or Massachusetts, or just down the road to Waterford to spend time with my sponsor family. We also have had an early dismissal for snow, a delay due to snow, and a snow day in the past month; all of which were awesome breaks from school. Presidents Day is coming up next weekend and I’ve got plans to go see Brad Paisley and Chris Young at Mohegan Sun and then go skiing in Maine for the rest of the weekend! I’m super excited. Even though the Academy loads you up with a lot of different types of obligations, sports, military and academic, once you learn to balance everything it is relatively easy to make time for yourself. It’s already been a great semester because I figured out the balance early and have set a routine.


We also just recently put in our requests for what cadre section we want this summer. This summer I will be a cadre in charge of training the incoming swabs in the Class of 2018. It’s pretty exciting; it marks your halfway point through the Academy and it gives you your first real exposure to key leadership positions. Along with cadre, I will also go to the range to get qualified in shooting a pistol, go to an air station for a week, and go coastal sailing for a couple weeks. There will also be some training in there but overall I’ve heard it’s the best summer experience you get at the Academy; and the summers are definitely what make the Academy worth it.


For now, I’ll just be waiting for spring break. I’m going to Disney World and Harry Potter World in Orlando with some friends! I have thirty days to go and I plan on powering through this last month so I have no worries when I’m having fun in the sun.


More about Jade.


The Present

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Miller Photo Last night I was out on liberty with a friend, and while we were on the libo bus, we started talking about how much can change in a year. I realized that a year ago, I was a fourth class getting ready for 101st night. When I was in Chase Hall, I was braced up and squaring my food. I didn’t even know what I was doing for the summer. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t even thinking about the summer—I was taking it day by day. I still try to take things day by day, since I have the habit of thinking about the long term and sometimes forget to recognize the present.


Two years ago in high school, I had just submitted my application to the Academy. I wasn’t really sure what the Academy actually was, but I applied anyway. Now I’m a third class, eagerly anticipating my second class summer and taking on a bigger leadership role. While I still look forward to the future, I’m remaining focused on what is happening in the present. As I’m writing this, I can hear the current 4/c “enjoying” 101st night as they attempt to earn 2/c shoulder boards for 100th day. Next year, I’ll probably be IT-ing 4/c as they attempt to earn my shoulder boards. It’s about 365 days away, but days go fast. Two years from now, I’ll be contemplating what I want my first billet to be. And I’m definitely excited for that. But for now, I’m going to enjoy the cup of coffee in my hand and the relative quiet in my room.


If you have any questions, feel free to email me at


More about Caroline.


Happy To Return to the Academy

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Quintero Photo After a long summer of being out in the fleet, most cadets are happy to return back to the Academy. I know I’m excited for a number of reasons, with the first being that I get to see my friends again. I have made great friends at the Academy that I know I will keep for a lifetime, and that is because we go through a lot together. Unlike civilian colleges, even during some summers you spend the whole time with your shipmates. This fosters friendships like no other, especially because after a while you grow more distant from your friends at home.


The latter obviously depends on how close you live to the Academy, because if you live so far that you are unable to come home once a month with ease I doubt that you’re going to keep a close relationship with friends at home. From what I have experienced, cadets that live as far as Virginia, have no problems seeing their friends and family on a monthly basis. This is also very dependent on your funds, because you can only go as far as money can take you. I’ll be honest with you that the monthly stipend will cover only your very basic necessities like to go out and eat on the weekends and perhaps buy yourself a little something. Although you should remember that most college kids don’t have money for anything anyway and the cadet is no exception. So you better pray that your parents hook you up with a little bit of money. I would suggest that you constantly remind your parents about how hard you’re working and how depressed you are at times and perhaps they will send you money. Someone wise once said “money can’t buy happiness.” Whoever said that is completely wrong and I guess he/she didn’t attend an academy. I can assure you first hand, that when the Academy takes all these privileges away, but you can buy yourself a Big Mac or a Whopper on the weekend along with some ice cream…yeah, I’m very happy.


Moving on to another reason why I am happy to be back at the Academy is that I can start school back up.


“WAIT. WHAT???” That’s what you’re asking yourself. “ARE YOU CRAZY, CARLOS?? You can’t wait to go back to school? Are you a nerd?”


I would like a chance to answer those questions and then explain myself, NO, I am not crazy, Yes, I can’t wait to go back to school and NO I am not a nerd (although I wish I was because I am currently ranked one of the last in my class for academics). Now remember, this summer I have been working hard on a cutter (boat), meaning long hours of manual labor. I enjoy a good mix between hard manual labor and classes. I tell kids all the time, why wouldn’t you want to go to college and would rather just get a job right after high school? College is probably one of the best deals that life has to offer…trust me. You get to sit on your butt ALL DAY, and listen to a professor. It doesn’t get easier than that. Then you go back to your room and sit on a chair and study. Add free food and school into the mix…life doesn’t get better than that. That is why if you may think or consider yourself lazy, then go to college.


More about Carlos.


A New Year, A New Semester…Bring it ON

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Daghir Photo Happy Monday! It’s almost the end of January, but this semester is just getting started. I forgot how hard it was to get back into the swing of things, but I think that after the first test, I should be okay! I have been very busy with getting into the good old Chase Hall grind. I am in the rifle division of Delta Company, so I spent some time today making sure that anyone in the Corps of Cadets who didn’t have a rifle or a bayonet received one. In addition to doing division work, I have been very actively preparing for the spring lacrosse season. I am so excited because I haven’t played since my senior year of high school!!! I miss it a lot and the team from the morning workouts we have done so far is super nice and fun and talented. Last but not least, school has been challenging in that my MES schedule has left me with a total of three free hours in the entire week due to a large amount of labs and classes. Not to say that I do not love all of my classes, but a full schedule will definitely test my organizational skills.


This past weekend, I went to a Luke Bryan concert and then spent all of Saturday in Hartford, Connecticut, at a boat show. I helped man a booth for Amber Alert, an organization that provides guardians of children an identification card with a picture of their child in case the child is ever lost. We essentially made IDs for little kids all day, which was fun but draining.


I am really looking forward to the next few months. Between getting my cadre assignment (I put in for Waterfront 1), spring break, and finishing another semester that will bring me civies, shorts, and second class summer, I can hardly wait!


As always, I am thoroughly enjoying myself at the Academy and am in a constant state of motion. I have begun to realize that I am excited about my future hear and in the Coast Guard.


The Coldest of Times

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Kukich Photo Like most college students, a chief cadet complaint is the cold. It might be the drafty wardroom at breakfast or the whipping wind around campus during the winter months; there is no shortage of temperature dilemmas at the Coast Guard Academy. But instead of fueling the pessimism I decided to list the ten warmest places on campus. Hopefully, if you’re stopping by during these chilly Connecticut days, you can drop by one of these locations!


1. G. William Miller Reading Room: The library café is visited by cadets looking for a break from studying or to warm up with hot chocolate, tea, or coffee. It is located on the main deck of Waesche Hall, the library on top of the hill, and is an essential stop before starting a research paper the night it is due.


2. Coast Guard Memorial Chapel: The chapel is always an inviting place if you have the strength to hike up to the highest point on campus. It is kept warm enough to take your outerwear off, yet still comfortable with a dress jacket on.


3. Coast Guard Rowing Center Tank Room: One of my favorite places at the Academy; the tank room is used by the rowing team especially during the off season. While it can be humid at times, it is definitely warm enough to wear shorts working out in here.


4. McAllister Restrooms: Engineers flock to McAllister, casually known as “Mac,” on a nightly basis. Oddly enough, the bathrooms, “heads”, are one of the best heated spots on campus. It’s just one more reason to join the engineering community.


5. Satterlee Management Lounge: The lounge is tucked away in the basement of Satterlee Hall but provides space for reading, writing, and group discussions. For some reason this room is noticeably warmer than others, and because of this, often tempts cadets to fall asleep.


6. Dry Dock Café: A common meeting place for visitors and cadets, Dry Dock is located in the lower level of Leamy Hall. Not only are the refreshments warm (French fries and onion rings, yes please) but the space is always warmer than the Connecticut wilderness.


7. Roland Hall: “Fifth deck” is the location of the ominous PFE, whether the weather outside is frightful or not. The scent of blood, sweat, and tears are associated with the rich history of this dreaded indoor track and even with doors open, runners begin to roast after 1/13th of the mile and a half.


8. Henriques Room: This formal room is one of the most treasured in Hamilton as it has astonishing paintings of the Coast Guard’s history wrapped around its lofty walls. Cadets have developed a negative connotation with the place, as large masts are held within, and just the sight of it can instigate a sweat.


9. Billard Saunas: Obviously, the saunas within the locker rooms of lower Billard are kept toasty. No one is quite sure why they are located in such a conspicuous place, but they are gratefully used by many.


10. Chase Hall: While I’d like to say our beloved dorm is inviting and warm, in reality only certain sections are reliably warm. After living here over a year I think I have narrowed down those hallways and can confidently say that somewhere in the 600 room labyrinth there is warmth, hope, and a chance of survival in the harsh Connecticut winters.


More about Sarah.


Moving Day

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Wu Photo Over the last year I have had five major moving days. I moved into my room with my spring 2013 roommate. Then at the end of the semester I had to move from 1st deck to 2nd deck into another room for the upcoming summer. 2/c cadets stay mainly at the Academy during their summer to partake in Cadre Summer, range qualifications, Rules of the Road, and the T-boats program instead of going out into the Coast Guard fleet like the 1/c and 3/c. At the end of the summer I had two of my trunks packed and shipped to the Air Force Academy, and everything else I had to manage to fit into my sea bag or wally bag. I was also able to disperse all my remaining items that I did not want to bring to Air Force to various friends.


Once I was at Air Force I had the whole process of moving in, but before I knew it, my sister was taking some of my things back home after her visit during Thanksgiving and I found myself packing up everything again. It has been a constant feeling of packing and having my things dispersed with various people in various places.


After a fun and very quick semester, I came back to CGA. It felt very foreign at first, but seeing all my friends again was very welcoming and comforting. Moving in was stressful and chaotic since I had to find all my things again. Even though I knew what room I was going to be moving into, I could not fully pack in. The problem at the Academy is that after every semester we have to move rooms and the backlog makes the process miserable at times. If one person cannot move out of their room for some reason, it stalls the person that is trying to move into that room and so forth. When I finally thought I was all moved in, I received the trunk that I had sent back to CGA from Air Force. Notice how I said I sent two trunks to Air Force and only sent one back to CGA. Unfortunately, moving also involves the risk of your things getting damaged and my big trunk got smashed like it was an air dropped package without a parachute! Luckily, I got reimbursed for my trunk, but I have not bought a new one yet.


All the moving also made me realize how much I have been hoarding over the years and there were plenty of things that I no longer needed. It was accomplishing to finally do a little early spring-cleaning and lessen the load for when I have my next moving day…at the end of this semester. Until then I will mark my place and make E115 as homey of a room while obeying the cadet regulations, of course.


More about Ellie.


Respect for the Armed Services

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo This weekend I went home to take advantage of the last long weekend I will have that won’t be spent on homework, playing a sport, or catching up on sleep. I got an Amtrak ticket to Boston, which is pretty close to where I live, and I got the ticket with a military discount. While I was home, I got to see the new Lone Survivor movie with a military discount. And even riding the T (Massachusetts’ commuter rail train), I got a free ride for being in the military.


I was honestly humbled that all of these businesses have military discounts. It shows that people still respect our military members, and I greatly appreciate their support. In the midst of our long conflict in the Middle East and the tensions in Congress, some people have lost faith in our government. However, it is nice to see that the military members are still respected (at least where I live in the Northeast).


It is an honor to be a part of the United States military. Even though I am only in training to be an officer at school, I am still part of America’s armed services. If the United States needed the Coast Guard to go to war, we would join the Navy, and we would be deployed for active duty. Remembering this fills me with pride and reminds me that I joined the Coast Guard to protect and serve the people of the United States.


Thank you to all our readers who support our military, the Coast Guard, and the Academy. I am thankful for everything you do, no matter how small.


If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at


Happy Martin Luther King Day!



More about Hunter.


Second Half of the Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Quintero Photo The second half of my 1/c summer has been very eventful. I had the opportunity to be a part of two different drug cases where there were narcotics on Venezuelan vessels. It was great finally getting an opportunity to do drug interdiction in the Caribbean. This mission is a more serious one in the Coast Guard because it can cause international incidents or put people in harm’s way. The personnel on the cutter I was on were very professional and took the mission seriously every step of the way. During the second part of the summer I was also able to do some migrant interdiction on the west coast of Puerto Rico. We encountered both Dominicans and Cubans. It was an unbelievable experience and unreal to think that people are willing to navigate that many miles in dangerous waters to get a chance of going to the United States. When we weren’t carrying out the mission, then we would enjoy some port calls. I got to drive the cutter into other islands in the Caribbean like St. Thomas, St. Croix and Tortola. We actually got to spend a couple of days in St. Thomas where we went to the beach and I met up with an old Academy friend who lives in St. Thomas now. I was on other islands that are unknown to people that aren’t Caribbean locals and saw some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, in part because they were so far removed from society. It was an overall great experience on a cutter based out of Puerto Rico.


I also spent about four weeks of that summer in Sector San Juan because the boat was experiencing a crew change so they needed to train other personnel and it exceeded the cutter’s maximum holding capacity. A lot of the jobs I did at sector were not as exciting as those on a cutter. My time at the sector included working in an office environment and doing paperwork; although I did have the opportunity to inspect containers that came from all over the world into Puerto Rico. The Coast Guard has the authority to inspect all the containers in the port for drugs, immigrants and other illegal substances. We didn’t find any contraband although there were a lot of random things to be found in the containers such as Styrofoam cups, mountain bikes, baseballs, plastic forks, etc. The good thing about working at sector is that the job is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for most of the days and then you are able to go home. So it is just like any other job anywhere else. This time off gave me the opportunity to go out and explore Puerto Rico with my shipmates.


More about Carlos.


Hola. Muy Feliz Ano Nuevo 2014

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Tress Salvatori PhotoLes deseo mucho éxito, salud y felicidad para este nuevo año. Después de un largo semestre en la academia con todas sus altas y bajas por fin logre cumplir con el objetivo: pasar el semestre y disfrutar de un merecido descanso. Es triste haber regresado a la academia pero a la vez me da mucha felicidad el haber disfrutado de mis vacaciones en México en compañía de mis familiares y amigos.


Les contare un poco de las tradiciones en México durante este periodo vacacional tan especial. Estas fechas todo mundo se rodea de familiares y amigos para disfrutar de comida navideña exquisita y para divertirse a lo máximo. Para antes de Navidad hacemos algo llamado Posadas. Las Posadas comienzan el 16 de diciembre de cada año y concluyen el día de Navidad. Su objetivo es prepararnos para la Navidad. En ellas se pide posada, simulando como la Virgen María y José pedían un lugar donde pasar la noche para que naciera el niño Jesús, se cantan los villancicos, se rompen piñatas y se distribuyen los aguinaldos. Se disfrutan con ponche de frutas, dulces, frutas y comida de temporada. Para la celebración de año nuevo, tradicionalmente la pasamos en familia donde disfrutamos de una rica cena con pavo, ensalada de manzana, pierna, puré de manzana, bacalao, chiles chipotles, entre otros. En la cuenta final para comenzar el año nuevo es tradicional el comer doce uvas. Estas uvas representan cada mes del año nuevo que comienza en donde al comerlas cada quien pide un deseo que quisiera cumplir para el nuevo año.


Mis vacaciones en particular fueron muy especiales, ya que tuve la oportunidad de reunirme con toda mi familia, mi mejor amiga de la escuela naval, mis amigos y amigas de la escuela naval y de visitar: la ciudad de México, Puebla, Córdoba, Orizaba y Veracruz. Disfrute mucho de la compañía de mi mejor amiga de la escuela naval: Luz del Carmen Urista Mendoza. Ella y yo hemos sido amigas desde que empezamos el proceso para formar parte de la escuela naval. Hemos sido compañeras en los buenos y malos momentos. Hemos crecido juntas logrando día a día nuestras metas. Así mismo disfrute de grandes momentos con mis papas y mi hermano. Ellos estaban felices de verme pero más se en contentaron cuando les di todos los regalos que les lleve de la Coast Guard. Compartí mis experiencias con mis compañeros de la escuela naval al mismo tiempo que los acompañaba de regreso a mi antigua escuela. Por otro lado disfrute de las fiestas navideñas en compañía de mis primos, tíos y abuelos. Fue una experiencia única el aprender a cocinar la cena navideña con mi abuela materna.


Fue triste dejar mi país otra vez y encaminarme a un nuevo semestre en la academia pero valió la pena. Estas vacaciones me recordaron todas aquellas personas por las que ahora estoy aquí y por las cuales día a día me levanto y doy lo mejor de mí. Mis metas, mi familia y mis amigos son el motor que me impulsan hacia el éxito. Eso es algo que nunca debemos olvidar, ya que en los momentos difíciles es fácil dejar de intentar y rendirse. Doy gracias a Dios por haber repuesto mi ánimo y haberme dado la solución para minimizar mis penas y seguir adelante.



More about Ruth.


Hello. Happy New Year 2014

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Tress Salvatori PhotoI wish you success, health and happiness for this new year. After a long semester at the Coast Guard Academy, with its highs and lows, I finally achieved my objective: I carried out the semester and enjoyed a well-deserved rest. I feel sad being back at the Academy but at the same time I was very happy to have been able to enjoy my leave in Mexico surrounded by my family and friends.


I am going to tell you a little bit about the traditions in Mexico for this very special time of the year. During these days everybody is surrounded by family and friends with whom you enjoy delicious Christmas food and to have lots of fun. Before Christmas we do something called Posadas. The Posadas start every December 16th of the year and ends on Christmas day. Its objective is to prepare us for Christmas. The main activity is to ask Posada, by simulating being Virgin Mary and Joseph when they were looking for a place where Jesus could be brought to Earth. We sing villancicos, break piñatas and distribute aguinaldos. We enjoy fruit punch, candies, fruits and Mexican food. For the New Year’s party, we traditionally spend the night in surrounded by our family where we enjoy a delicious dinner with turkey, an apple salad, ham, apple sauce, cod, chipotles chili, etc. For the final countdown to begin the New Year, we traditionally eat twelve grapes. Every grape represents each month of the new year where we wish something we want to accomplish this year.


My vacations were pretty special because I had the opportunity to gather with all my family, my best friend from the Mexican naval academy, my other friends from the Mexican naval academy and to visit Mexico City, Puebla, Cordoba, Orizaba and Veracruz. I enjoyed the company of my best friend, Luz del Carmen Urista Mendoza. She and I have been friends since we started the selection process to attend the Mexican naval academy. We have been partners during the good and bad times. We grew up together achieving our goals day by day. At the same time, I enjoyed really good times with my parents and my brother. They were really happy of being with me but they got even happier with all the Coast Guard presents I bought for them. I shared my experiences with my friends from the Mexican Naval Academy while I joined them in their way back to my old academy. On the other hand, I enjoyed a lot the Christmas Holiday’s parties surrounded by my cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents. It was a unique experience learning how to cook the Christmas dinner with my Grandmother from my mother’s side.


It was really sad to have to leave my country once again and make my way to a new semester at the Academy but it was worth it. These vacations reminded me of all the people for who I am here now and for whom I wake up every day and give the best of myself. My goals, my family and my friends are the fuel that encourages me to succeed. That is something we should never forget, because when hard times occur it is really easy to stop trying and quit. I thank God for bringing me back to my faith and for giving me the solution to minimize my difficulties and to keep on going.



More about Ruth.


Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cardoza Photo Once I came back from winter break, I was prepared to hit the ground running when it came to MAP week and schoolwork. MAP week is comprised of different trainings and military tests that we need to attend and pass before the semester begins. This MAP week, I finally reached my goal of receiving a blue star for the spring semester Physical Fitness Exam! In order to receive a blue star, you need to get at least a 270 on the PFE and I passed with a 272.


After that, the first school week of the semester passed by with no problems at all! I really think that I am going to enjoy my classes this semester and hopefully I can increase my GPA even more than it has been in the past couple of semesters. One of my teachers made it a point to tell us to open our eyes this semester and see how good we have it. We could be unemployed and thousands of dollars in debt if we were attending a different university. I have always appreciated what I have at the Academy. Being surrounded by so many amazing friends and mentors, I am extremely grateful and honored to be here, and I can’t wait for this semester to truly get started in the next few weeks!


More about Samantha.


The Last Christmas Break as a Cadet

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Mason Photo Well, it’s back to the grind here at the Academy. We all just arrived back from Christmas break and thanks to a snowstorm a lot of people haven’t quite made it back on time. There are some people who won’t arrive for another four days. I almost think they are the lucky ones! I don’t feel ready to get back into the swing of things. I had such a relaxing and wonderful Christmas break, and I think I could have used a couple extra weeks. I was reunited with my group of friends from high school, which was so wonderful, especially since we haven’t all been home together at the same time in about four years. I hadn’t seen my best friend Julie in two years, so we were pretty much attached at the hip from the moment she got home until the moment I had to leave. I forgot how easy it was to be her friend. We never had to try. I definitely have missed that over the years. I also got to hang out with her two-year-old niece who is one of the most adorable children you could ever see. It’s amazing how easily I can play with little kids and be totally entertained for hours.


I worked on a lot of artistic projects over my break. I painted wooden letters for Nicko’s younger sisters, matching their favorite things (an A with Disney characters on it for Alysia, and a G with a mermaid on it for Gabby). I sent them to their house as a Christmas present and they loved them! I also drew a portrait of Nicko’s entire family. Boy, was that a job… The most involved portrait I’d ever done before this only had two people in it. Drawing six was quite the challenge. It took me about three days to finally finish it and each day consisted of at least four hours of drawing. I wanted it to be perfect! It turned out pretty close to the photo I used. The other project I worked on was with my dad. I saw a great video online about how to turn wine bottles into cups, so we tried it. It worked pretty well, except my glasscutter was pretty dull, so the glass kept cracking at the end. So we bought a new glasscutter, but unfortunately I did not have time to continue the project before I had to leave. This has now become my task to finish next time I’m home.


I also had some sad times over the break. I found out that my grandfather on my biological mother’s side passed away. A couple years ago I went to Puerto Rico for spring break, which is where my mother’s side of the family is from. I hadn’t seen my grandpa since I was a very little girl, and he had a picture of me in his wallet for almost 20 years! It was amazing to see that photo when we were finally reunited. So when I found out he passed away, I was so sad because I knew that I could never visit him again. But a part of me was so happy that I got to see him that one last time.


January marks the start of my last semester as a cadet. I’m excited to see what it holds for me, and I will be sure to let all of you know.


More about Allyson.


Second Semester: A New Beginning

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo Yesterday was my first day of school for the second semester. I and the rest of the Corps of Cadets have been back from winter leave for just over a week now. Over leave, we had about two-and-a-half weeks to go home and spend time with our families. It was a much needed break after a long first semester of college, and it was great to get to sleep in my own bed for a few days. I spent the last week of leave on my training trip with the swim team in Sarasota, Florida. It was a wonderful experience, and though the training was tough, it helped me significantly to prepare for the PFE that I had to take when I got back to the Academy. Last week was MAP week, which is a week that gives us a chance to make schedule changes, meet with advisors, attend presentations, and readjust to Academy life.


With the start of second semester comes a lot of changes here at the Academy. Everyone begins new classes and switches rooms and roommates. Regimental Staff and Company Staff, 1/c cadets who lead the corps, change as well, and 4/c have to memorize all the new names. As 4/c, we are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have worked hard these past few months to get through Swab Summer, pass classes, and keep up with military obligations. Now, we are looking forward to getting carry-on sometime between February and March when we earn it through boards. Boards are one of the final tests for the 4/c, and passing them is a huge step militarily at the Academy. Boards consist of reciting the mission of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a uniform inspection, and answering 10 indoctrination questions. The 4/c has to earn eight points on the questions to pass the board, and then he or she begins to be rewarded with privileges.


This semester will again be full of studying and hard work, but I’m looking forward to reaching my goals in academics, military, and swimming.


More about Sarah.