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cadet blogs

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.

 

Adapt and Overcome

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Auzenbergs Photo It still hasn’t hit me yet that 4/c year is officially over. These 315 days since R-Day flew by in a whirlwind of emotions and experiences and, without wasting any time, we’re now being shipped out to every corner of the United States for our summer assignments! Two classmates and I are headed to Corpus Christi, Texas to work at Station Port Aransas for five weeks. We boarded the bus at 0330 on Saturday morning, excited to see the station, meet the people we will be working with, and for our full day of travel from Providence to Texas.

 

Unfortunately, it is now 1130 Sunday morning and we still haven’t gotten on our last flight connection from Dallas to Corpus Christi! Major thunderstorms and tornado warnings in Texas last night caused our flight to Dallas from Philadelphia to be delayed and standing in the window of the terminal B21, we watched our last connection from Dallas to Corpus Christi pull out onto the runway. After a few hours on standby for the next flight that was at 2230, we were told there was no more room, and that it was the last flight of the night. We booked new tickets for a 1030 flight the next morning and decided there was no way we were sleeping in the airport that we had just spent that last six hours in (especially in our trops because our bags with extra clothes were in limbo somewhere between Dallas and Corpus Christi), so we got a hotel room for the night and after being up for 20 hours and slept like babies. In the morning we woke up to thunder and lighting, and without much hope, headed back to the airport around 0800 for the 1030 flight. No surprise at all, we found out that it had been cancelled, so now here we sit, back in terminal B21, praying that the 1200 flight that we got seats on will bring us better luck!

 

To me, this whole situation is a sort of reminder of what we are doing here. Whether it be at the Academy, our summer assignments, or in the fleet as officers, this is a job, not a vacation, and it is not supposed to be easy! That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be plenty of fun and unique experiences, really cool port calls or incredible locations that we may be assigned to, because there will be! But it is all one massive learning experience, and I have no doubt it is going to be worth it in the end. The Coast Guard is all about reaction time, adjusting to changes on the fly, and overcoming any issues that may arise! So far, I think we’re doing alright.

 

More about Gabrielle.