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cadet blogs

Station Ketchikan

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo As of May 20, I am finally a third class cadet! Fourth class year is over and the excitement of summer training has arrived. On May 9, I departed the Coast Guard Academy for Station Ketchikan in Alaska. It has been an absolutely fantastic experience thus far. I just passed my watch communications board, which means that I can stand radio watch here at the station and I am beginning to work on my boat crew qualification. I have gotten to experience helo operations with a helicopter that flew from the air station in Sitka, Alaska, and also tactical training with the 45-foot response boat - medium (RB-M) and the 25-foot response boat - small (RB-S), along with a variety of other things. The crew here has been incredibly helpful.

 

Outside of work, I have visited multiple hiking trails, including the 3,000-foot trail that goes to the top of Deer Mountain, right behind the Coast Guard barracks. The crew keeps telling me that the weather in Ketchikan is usually rainy but I have only witnessed sunshine since I arrived. I feel very lucky to have been here for the nicest weather all year! I have seen bald eagles, orca whales, and salmon and hope to see a black bear before I leave. Next stop for me is USCGC Eagle. I will be on Eagle for six weeks as we sail along the East Coast. I am excited to see my classmates again but sad to leave Alaska. These first five weeks are flying by, and I am thrilled to see what the rest of the summer brings.

 

More about Hannah.

 

Alaskan Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Schroeder Photo Hello from Kodiak, Alaska! I am spending my summer on the USCGC Munro, a 378-foot white hull cutter along with four of my friends from the Academy. So far it has been a pretty cold summer (40s-50s) but also a beautiful one. I have seen so much wildlife including otters, bald eagles and whales! And have been able to go on a bunch of hikes and trails as well. Currently, I am underway in the middle of the ocean somewhere and life aboard a ship is hard work but also very rewarding. I have learned a lot so far and have even had the chance to drive the ship, fish, and shoot some of the ship’s guns.

 

The Academy is a difficult institution to graduate from; classes are hard and the extracurricular activities including military obligations can be strenuous. Our summers at the Academy remind each cadet what the ultimate goal is: to commission as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. These summer experiences give us a glimpse of what we can look forward to. For me, I only have a year left, so this summer the officers and enlisted on my boat are treating me as if I was already a junior officer. They have given me many tasks to complete while still standing watch and maintaining the plan of the day. It has been busy but I also think this experience is going to teach me a lot (I have already learned so much in three weeks!) and prepare me to be the best ensign I can be.

 

More about Jade.