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cadet blogs

On Returning from Spring Break

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo Spring break is unfortunately over and the daily grind of life here in New London is slowly starting to get to me. It was nice to go to Florida with the crew team and be a normal college kid—not having to say “sir” or “ma’am,” not squaring and bracing up, and just being myself. However, on the bright(ish) side, there are only six more weeks of school left before finals start!


Everyone on the crew team had been excited for weeks about spring training in Florida, and I understand why. Not having to row on the cold, choppy Thames was exciting enough, but DeLand had enough sun and warm water for all of us. For a week, all we did was eat, sleep, and row—practice twice a day drained people quite well. I learned a lot from the times I took the boat out, and I still have a lot to learn. I struggle holding a perfectly straight course; I need to fix that problem by our first race at the end of the month! Coming back to the Academy was a let-down after such an amazing week of “bro-ing out.”


Academically, the first week back was so bad. Militarily, it was awful. We had a major indoc exam—covering cutter and aircraft specifications, Coast Guard history from the founding of the Revenue Cutter Service to the War on Terror, and Coast Guard customs and traditions—on Friday morning for which 2015 spent all week (read: Thursday night) cramming. It did not go so well; one company has them all graded, and only one person out of a company of thirty passed. On top of this, 1/c Gonzales (the 1LT, the regimental staff officer in charge of training the fourth-class) revoked our whiteboard privileges we earned three weeks ago, because of poor performance. 2015 needs to get its act together—six more weeks, then carry-on!


Speaking of 2015, the 4/c Formal was on Saturday night. I’ve spent the past three weeks helping to prepare for it, by coordinating the seating arrangements and helping decorate Leamy Hall. I never knew when I signed up that it would be so hard to properly seat RADM Stosz, RDML Rendon, LCDR Ely (our class advisor), CDR McGrath (the ACoC), and about thirty other VIPs, along with 250 4/c and their guests! It was frustrating at times, but rewarding in the end. It was nice to see everything come together, seating and decoration-wise, on Friday night and Saturday morning. At the formal, the class council and LCDR Ely formally unveiled our class crest. IT LOOKS GREAT!! I’m honestly surprised how good it looks. I think that it is the best one in Leamy—it certainly beats 2013! I’ll attach some pictures so you can see.


Now that we are entering the final phase of the semester, we have boards and Challenge of the Guardian to look forward to! I cannot wait to finish out this year strong, find out where I am going for my 3/c summer (I’ll keep you posted!), and begin mentoring my 4/c next year! As always, email me if you have any questions:


More about Peter.


Spending Time with Family

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Min Photo Spring break was a time for me to re-energize and refocus before the last six weeks of the semester. I decided to go back home and spend time with my family in Hawaii. The weather was crazy, but it was nice to be home and relax with my family. I ate a lot of food, watched movies, and fished. The weather was not ideal; we had a lot of rain, thunder, and even a little hail, which rarely happens. The first day I was home I went out fishing on the boat with my uncle, unfortunately we did not catch anything. The next few days came with strong winds, gray skies, and a lot of rain. The best part of my break was the last two days spending time at a beach house with my Mom and Dad sitting around fishing and cooking great food. Returning home to Hawaii is always a blessing and as they say for locals who go away “you always have one foot in the sand,” which to me means you never can go too far away to call Hawaii your home.


More about Alex.


Like Wrestling a Bear, But Not Quite

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Chavarria-Aguilar Photo So they weren’t kidding when they said the “Dark Ages” occur during February. In all honesty, I can hardly recall another stressful timeframe to compare to this past month. Our workload grows at an inversely proportional rate to the amount of sleep we are getting, and its rough – like wrestling a grizzly bear, but not quite. Nonetheless, taking a look through my assignment book, I am astonished by the amount of things I have accomplished. On top of that, there is literally only nine weeks left to go before the conclusion of our first academic year. In the end, the strains of fourth-class life pale in comparison to what we have to look forward to.


I’ve learned so much about myself over the past nine months of our cadet experience. As each day progresses, I am presented with a variety of new challenges. Sometimes the pressure can really get you down, as I have been these past few weeks, but I am forced to remind myself how great of a deal I actually have. The Academy presents a once in a lifetime experience, some of the best friends I will ever have, as well as killer job opportunities.


If you are considering attending the Academy, or have questions about anything I have written thus far, feel free to email me.


More about Alexis.


Indoor Track and Beyond

(Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Kearney Photo I slap my legs a few times, bounce up and down, and brace myself for the baton. I watch as Jordan Lee flies past a few guys and is all of a sudden in the top 3. 1:53, 1:54, 1:55… I grab the baton and take off. It’s a surreal moment, flying on the banked track of Boston University, barely hearing my own breathing next to the roar of the crowd.


One year earlier, I had thought my track days were done; I had pushed my body too hard and my shins were in constant pain. The dreams of becoming a state champion had vanished, the hopes of running a school record gone. I could barely go on a 30 minute run without stopping to limp; the multitude of injuries had left me with bitter memories of a potential unfulfilled. I was tired.


I talked myself into doing cross country again at the Academy; my passion for the sport was far greater than the pain of my shins. I knew that with the lack of running I had done in the past few months, my season would not be very pretty, but it was worth it. Getting out of formal room and wing, traveling to different meets across Connecticut and Massachusetts, and running with a bunch of fast guys made the season a good one. Plus, the base I built for track helped a ton.


I sprint toward the finish, raising my arm to pass the baton to my teammate James Martin. I am no longer in the top 3, but I know our team is on pace for a great 4X800 meter relay time. The field was incredible, featuring many Division I schools, and just making the meet was a feat in itself. Now it was up to our last two legs.


James cruised through his 800, and as he passed the baton over to our anchor Ryan Hub, I knew we were in position for a tremendous PR. As Ryan crossed the line, we glanced at the clock and I didn’t believe what I saw.


8:00 for the 4X8. We had run a 13 second PR. I even ran a PR on my 800 split, proving to myself that I had finally come back from my high school injuries and that this was the start of something incredible for our team. With one sophomore and three freshmen, the road ahead looks promising.


As I write this, I’m on the train back home from New York City, where we just ran our 4X8 team at the ECAC championships at the New York Armory. The Armory is perhaps the greatest track facility I’ve ever been too; the entire building is dedicated to track and field. With the 8 flat we had run the previous week, we had qualified for ECACS, bettering the entry mark by 8 seconds. At the beginning of the season if you had said I’d be running in ECACS, I would have probably laughed at you. Even though we did not get a PR today, we still ran a solid 8:05 and the overall experience was amazing. I know our team will do great things in the near future. I’m excited to see how far the United States Coast Guard Academy Cross Country/Distance Track Teams can go in the future. Stay tuned.


More about Zachary.