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cadet blogs

There’s More to New London Than the Academy??!

(Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Kimura Photo The school year could not have come any faster. I swear I was packing up my room’s contents into my trunk only yesterday, but that happened over three months ago. Although it can feel like I never left Chase Hall, I definitely am not the 4/c (freshman) that left for summer training. After being back at the Academy for a couple weeks, the experience on the faces and in the actions of my shipmates (and mine) shows. With the extensive time put in over the summer on Eagle and at stations, I appreciate the new sense of free time as a 3/c. This gives me the leisure to seek opportunities that I enjoy.

 

The other weekend, I finally got a glimpse of the sights, food, and activities around the New London area. First, I discovered that Rhode Island, only about 30 minutes away, has amazing beaches; one of which Taylor Swift has a beach house on. Second, there are various campsites around; 20 minutes south is Rocky Neck Park. Third, I love fruit and came upon a website that lists the local fruit that is in season, as well as the farms growing them. I actually got to “pick my own” blueberries, which tasted quite scrumptious. Also, I took advantage of 3/c rec gear by biking to Panera with a friend. It took the same amount of time as the Libo bus, but seeing the neighborhoods and enjoying the fresh air felt much more satisfying. I look forward to doing more exploring outside the Academy, especially since I should get familiar with the area since I’ll be here for another three years.

 

More about Amy.

 

Visiting the Japanese Coast Guard Academy

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Tousignant Photo This past summer I had the unique experience of traveling to the Japanese Coast Guard Academy located in Hiroshima with two of my shipmates in order to take part in an international conference. The main objective of the conference was to bring together the coast guards of the U.S., Canada, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, and Japan in order to exchange ideas about how coast guard academies as well as coast guards operate and carry out procedures. I stayed in the barracks with the Japanese cadets and was able to learn about their culture through their actions and regulations. There was a cultural experience day in which I had the opportunity to wear Japanese traditional dress, play instruments significant to Japanese culture, and observe the process of making green tea. Surprisingly, there is no initial boot camp when freshman enter the academy because the freshman are already so respectful and understand the hierarchical system that the military operates by.

 

As a Government major, I had studied Japan a little bit and learned about their form of government as well as problems facing their nation such as an aging population. However, being immersed into a culture is completely different than reading about it in a textbook. The Japanese cadets were the most selfless and genuinely welcoming people I have ever encountered. They wanted to share their culture with us and took interest in anything we had to say. We discussed commonalities between academies such as cadets learning effective time management, strong communication skills, the value of respect, and the development of lasting relationships.

 

Every day, we went out into the city with our fellow coasties and experienced four level arcades, numerous outdoor malls, karaoke bars, etc. The food was absolutely excellent: okonomiyaki, shabu-shabu, momiji manju, soba tempura, udon, and many more delicious dishes! On the weekend, we visited Miyajima, home of the giant Torri Gate, which marks the entrance of the famous Shinto shrine. 2/c Neubig and I also went to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, to see the Japan maritime self-defense submarines, and the Yamato Museum, which showcased World War II history. If I wasn’t a cadet at the Coast Guard Academy then I probably would have never had the opportunity to go to a foreign country like Japan, and even if I did, it would definitely cost a significant amount of money. The most noteworthy thing I took away from this experience was the importance of having an open mind and also body language when it comes to communication. Even though it was difficult to communicate verbally, the Japanese students tried very hard to talk to us in English but most of the time we used body language as the main form of communication. I am never going to forget the international friends I have made and the welcoming nature they embodied! It was truly the best experience of my life.

 

More about Jackie.