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cadet blogs

Living in Paradise

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link
Ward Photo Sometimes I think I must live a blessed existence. This summer has only furthered that conviction. For the past 10 weeks, I have been living in paradise – San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Ask anyone stationed down here and they’ll give you a non-committal “yeah, I guess it’s alright”. Their enthusiasm leaves a little to be desired, but I suppose that’s the dual nature of living on an island. Then again, they’ll also say “Oh, it’s awesome for the first three months or so”; quite the co-inky-dink when you consider that I am attached to the unit for approximately three months.


In the time that I’ve been here, I’ve gotten (more than) a few beach days all around the island, I’ve explored the rainforest and climbed a mountain so high that I was walking among the clouds for a few hours. I’ve participated in local traditions and I’ve gone out in a catamaran to spend the day snorkeling and sunning myself on the most beautiful deserted island. From that measure alone I can say that this summer was a resounding success.


Then again, the whole point of my first class summer isn’t to spend time exploring paradise. In the periods that I have been underway with the USCGC Key Largo, I have learned more and participated in more than I had ever thought possible. In the span of a few weeks, I have experienced most of the Coast Guard missions. Throughout my summer, I have been presented with amazing opportunities – I’ve gone on inspections, flown in a helicopter, assisted in a salvage effort, and interdicted the first large sail freighter carrying migrants across the Mona Pass. From there, I have processed and helped repatriate illegal migrants, something I never in my wildest dreams thought I would do.


This summer has been phenomenal, and I’ll be quite sad when I bid the Key Largo and her crew a fond farewell – that is, until I see them again.


As always, I’m available at


More about Alexa.


A Very Busy Summer

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Townsend Photo I have not been bored at all this summer and I could not be any more thankful for that. My 2/c summer has brought me so many opportunities that I had never imagined I would have, and it’s not even over yet. I started off this summer in a classroom learning the Rules of the Road for boats, which was very informative. I then went on to spending two weeks on the brand new sailing yachts, the Leadership 44’s. I learned a lot about sailing and I got to visit some amazing places in New England with some of my classmates. After spending those two weeks learning about leadership, tacking, and different points of sail I went on to T-boats which is a week on an old black hull to learn basic ship handling. This week brought many new friendships and another chance to understand what I would be doing out in the fleet. The next week I experienced something I had never done before, I got to shoot a gun. At first it was pretty difficult for me, but by the end of the week I came out as a sharpshooter and that was a surprise to me.


At the conclusion of all of these new experiences, something from my past returned, Swab Summer. The only difference was that I was now cadre instead of a swab. This responsibility was huge and quite different than I had anticipated. I still have one more week left as cadre but I have found out many things about my leadership techniques and styles that I can improve upon and maintain.


As for right now I find myself sitting next to the pool reading a book because I am on leave for the next three weeks. I look forward to returning to the Academy for my last week of cadre and the rest of my trainings, but at this moment I am just going to relax for a while.


More about Brianna.