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cadet blogs

Summer Update

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Belanger Photo Well, it has been a while since I wrote a blog! So much has happened since my last update. First and foremost, congratulations to the Class of 2014! They finally made it! The class that was my cadre graduated! It is entirely too strange to think that I am now only two years away from my commission. But something even stranger is the fact this summer I will take on the role as cadre for the incoming Class of 2018. Last year I wrote a blog as a 3/c on how to survive Swab Summer and now I’m going to give a few more tips from the cadre perspective.


1. Just follow instructions. Everything we tell you has a purpose. Whether it applies to safety, uniform standards, etc. We will not waste time giving you information that has no point in the matter.


2. Sound off. WE WANT YOU TO BE LOUD! We are going to be loud so please be loud also. You may start to lose your voice, (I did the first day of my Swab Summer) but this just means you are using your throat instead of your diaphragm. Make the adjustment and continue to be loud.


3. Don’t give up! You can do much more than you think. You can always run farther, you can always do those extra push ups. We have safety measures in place so you do not get hurt. If we see you pushing too hard we will stop you. Just try with all your might and never say “I can’t.”


4. Embrace the Coast Guard Core Values. You will learn them on the very first day. Do not lie to your cadre. Respect yourself, your shipmates, and your cadre. We all will work together one day in the fleet. You will end up disliking some of us throughout the summer; however just remember we only act this way for seven weeks throughout the entire 200 week program.


5. Memorize, memorize, memorize. There is a lot to learn. You will get frustrated, but you can do it. I struggled during CGAS learning indoc until I found a way that worked. When I came back for Swab Summer I applied the same technique and it made my summer much more enjoyable.


6. Remember this is only seven weeks long. You can do it. All of my class has faith in each and every one that enters through these doors. We will not hold grudges, single people out, or make your life difficult. We are training you to be members of the United States Coast Guard. It will be challenging. It is demanding. But there are a countless number of officers that have made it through the program. You have this, take a deep breath, reset and drive on. One quote that the Army has is “Drink water and drive on.”


7. The last note isn’t a tip but….just remember, we have been waiting for this moment for two years now…and we are ready for you.


You will be trained by the GREAT CLASS OF 2016, so good luck Class of 2018!


Got a question? Email me!


More about Nathan.


Welcome Class of 2018

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo To the Class of 2018,


Congratulations on being accepted to the Coast Guard Academy! This is just the start of the many challenges that you will face here. You will begin your journey in a few days and you will quickly learn what it is like to be pushed to your limits every day and how you need to adapt. Swab Summer will allow you to grow as a person, teach you to work as a team, and prepare you for life as a cadet and as a future officer in the United States Coast Guard. There will be days when you are tired and think you won’t be able to go on – but you can. Don’t give up; remember why you chose to come here. It could be because of the free education, or because your parents wanted you to, or because you want to become a leader, or because you want to become an officer. Whatever your reason is, use it to help you push through the hardships you will face.


If I could offer you just one piece of advice to get you through this summer, it is that Swab Summer is a mental game. Nothing will be too hard to accomplish, it will only be difficult in your mind. Everything that you will be tasked with will have been done before – by thousands of people before you. You can do it! The great Class of 2016 has been preparing to train you since we arrived as swabs two years ago – going through Swab Summer ourselves, passing boards, receiving demerits and learning our lessons, going out into the fleet, and surviving the academic year. We hope to help you become prepared for the academic and military lifestyle that comes with being a Coast Guard cadet. One last thing, GOOD LUCK and the Class of 2016 can’t wait for you to arrive!


More about Kayla.