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cadet blogs

The Back Nine

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Rossi Photo Somehow, someway two years have passed since reporting in to the Academy and it sure does not feel like it. As a 2/c cadet, I look back on all my experiences and the ones that were the most memorable were from this summer. The two trainings that stuck out the most to me were the Costal Sailing Training Program, CSTP, and my cadre experience.


The whole point behind 2/c summer is developing your leadership role and method. CSTP is a program where four to eight cadets with one safety officer on sailboat get the opportunity to sail each day around New England from port to port for two weeks. While sailing between various ports such as the beautiful Martha’s Vineyard and historic Nantucket, we each get to take turns being watch captain, navigator, deck hand, or cook. The point is to expose us to each perspective of leadership and understand how to lead your peers, which most would argue is the most difficult.


During CSTP I learned probably one of the most important lessons for being a leader; that lesson was you must be technically competent before you can lead a group. If you have no clue what you are talking about then how can the crew respect you. For me, sailing was not exactly my strong point and therefore I faced challenges in expressing what I wanted of my crew. Using rational thinking, the only way to overcome this was to use the members of the crew as resources to help me and in fact this worked out allowing us to reach out port of call safely.


The other portion of my summer was the cadre experience; I had the privilege of participating in the AIM program which exposes rising high school seniors to life at the Academy. Not to boast, but my cadre section was by far the best. We worked in such a way that was enabled us to give the AIMsters the best experience possible. For the five us this is something we will never forget and we are all grateful for; it was very rewarding getting to share our stories and our lifestyles with those who aspire to have the same as ours.


And now here I am two weeks in to my junior year at school, waiting to finish up the back nine on my Academy career. Never thought that it would go this fast.


More about Michael.


The End to the Greatest Summer

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Bilodeau Photo The beginning of August was the end of cadre. Watching the cadet candidates finish the CGAS program was satisfying and I look forward to seeing each one of the cadet candidates back next year for Swab Summer. After cadre, my friend and shipmate Mary Hazen, and I went to Sector Long Island Sound for the Marine Safety Inspection Program. We gave up a week of our leave to experience life at sector. We saw both the response and prevention sides of sector. The first day we responded to a boat that came loose from its mooring. Then, throughout the week, we shadowed the crew while they conducted a facilities inspection and a ferry inspection. We were also granted the opportunity to go to the station and drive the small boats.


The weekend before CAP week, Mary and I went to New York City. We ate delicious food, visited the Central Park Zoo, went to the Today Show, and we even met Luke Bryan and took a picture with him. The trip was definitely a great way to end the summer.


Mid-August started CAP week, followed by the start of the academic year. My classes this semester as an Operations Research major includes: NautSci III, Computer Modeling Languages, Probability Theory, Morals and Ethics, and Network and Non-Linear Optimization. It has been a good start to the academic year; I am pleased with the material in my classes and I have great professors.


More about Christina.


In the Fleet

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Quintero Photo In a couple of weeks the spring semester will come to a close, and although the year has moved on quickly I still can’t wait for it to be over. Since I am a second class, a couple of weeks ago I got word via email about where I will be stationed this summer. All my classmates were anxious to hear where they would be stationed and were optimistic they would get their first pick. The Coast Guard allows you to pick where you would like to be stationed and on what kind of a cutter, then, depending on availability, they assign you. Luckily, most of my classmates and I got our first choice. I was assigned to a 110-foot patrol boat down in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The reason I picked that cutter is because I knew they got a lot of action down in the Caribbean with migrant and drug interdiction. For me that is a potential future job and this summer will be a test of whether that job is for me or not. It’s good they send us out into the fleet to test our skills as future officers so that you can learn from mistakes or discover what you need to work on. Since we go to school for two long semesters sometimes it is easy to forget that you are at the Academy to eventually drive boats or fly. Going out to the fleet is a reminder of what your purpose is at the Academy, because how you do in academics or athletics does not have much bearing in the fleet.


But before I go out into my firstie summer I have to focus on finals, which are coming up. The way my finals schedule is set up has my departure date for Puerto Rico the day after my last final. So I need to study and pack my things up all at the same time. If I do well on the finals, then I won’t need to worry about my grades while I’m on the cutter. From my past experience in 3/c summer, the Coast Guard fleet experience is much different and at times more enjoyable than the Academy itself. That is why I am so eager to get out there. 3/c summer I was assigned to a small boat station to work on 25-foot small boats so I haven’t gotten a chance to be on a large cutter that is operational, aside from Eagle.


More about Carlos.