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cadet blogs

Prep Program Cadre...Worth Waiting For

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Mills Photo This summer by far has been the most impactful experience I have had at the Coast Guard Academy so far. The two most rewarding programs I was able to be a part of were, first, the training of the incoming cadet candidates for the Coast Guard Academy Scholars (CGAS) program and then the Marine Safety Training Program. The CGAS program sends students with high potential to preparatory school in either Georgia Military College or Marion Military Institute. I myself went through the prep program and can say it was one of the best years of my life. I met great people and got pumped to join the United States Coast Guard. Speaking of great people, I actually met one of my best friends through the prep program. Ivonne Lassalle from Puerto Rico prepped with me in 2012. We became roommates and soon thereafter best friends. We have been planning our quad speeches since August 9, 2012 for when we would one day be CGAS cadre. Our silly dreams turned into an incredible reality when this summer we were able to stand side by side as cadre. Going through the journey from cadet candidate to 2/c cadet and training the future of our Coast Guard was amazing to me. I also could not have even begun this journey without the various mentors I had through all these years. I will never forget my cadre experience.


The Marine Safety Training Program was interesting in a different way because I was able to see a lesser-known side of the Coast Guard that undertakes important missions. As an MES major, I really appreciated the work that the sector’s Prevention Department did to ensure that vessels met all the requirements of the Coast Guard in order to operate with minimal environmental impact. The Response Team at sector also had just the most interesting and friendly people who were passionate about what they did. I feel better prepared to enter the fleet knowing another component of our operational Coast Guard.


This new school year also has so much to offer! Ivonne will be away at West Point doing an exchange program the service academies all offer, and I will be guiding the new freshman (4/c) to be members of our corps. I have also decided to do a directed study where I get to work with professors to solve real-world problems in our aquatic ecosystems! The Academy provides us with so many opportunities to learn and explore. I definitely made the right decision sticking through prep school and coming to the Academy.


More about Sydney.