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cadet blogs

“Lead Me to the Rock That is Higher Than I”

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Culp Photo My Christian faith has been an integral element of my experience at the Academy. It’s what gets me through the hard times, when I am frustrated or perhaps questioning why I chose to come here. But, more importantly, in the good times it helps me understand how blessed I am and how loved by Christ, and humbles me when I remember that all my joys come from His might. This summer, I got the chance to learn more about how to use my faith to become a stronger leader and officer by attending the Rocky Mountain High program in Buena Vista, Colorado. This is an adventure camp open to 2/c and 1/c cadets at the Coast Guard Academy, and unites us with cadets from West Point, Navy, Air Force, and ROTC programs as well as with a mentor who has served or is still serving as an active duty officer. For my week, we had a Marine Corps pilot who shared some incredible (and some sad) experiences from his active duty career, and how God was present in all of them.


While I was there, we did some pretty cool things, namely whitewater rafting, rappelling down a cliff face first, and scaling a 14,420 foot mountain…but I am fully convinced that doing fun activities is not why God placed me at that camp. Being there gave me a sense of reassurance about my career and my future. Heading into firstie year has been a bit nerve-racking. I’m already actively engaged in applying for flight school, busy with division work, and trying to motivate myself to remain a diligent student with graduation so close. I’m anxious about Billet Night, anxious about my performance here in my last year, anxious about preparing to commission… but, I realized from Rocky Mountain High that I am not alone in those concerns. The neatest thing I got from RMH was hearing about the struggles and excitement that all the other cadets from across the country were facing and, to my surprise, those were awfully similar to what I felt in my heart. Not only that, it’s always good to get a reminder of God’s presence in my life and in the events awaiting me this coming year. From what else can I draw my strength and courage, other than the feeling of God’s love?


The motto of Rocky Mountain High comes from Psalm 61:2 – “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Literally, we’re talking Mount Harvard…but even that mountain is smaller than the rock on which my faith stands, that is the rock of God’s love. I’m so grateful to have been blessed with this week in Colorado, getting to know my classmates better, meeting new friends, and coming closer to my Savior. And to think I grew so much in one week! I wonder what God has in store for me over the next 41?


More about Abby.


Halfway There...

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Williamson Photo The summer went by really fast, but it was filled with many great experiences. I learned a lot and I also learned there is so much that I do not know. Second class summer is centered around the idea of practicing leadership in many forms, from being cadre to being watch captain on coastal sail. You need to be well informed on different topics, as well as have good people skills, which is a lot easier said than done. As I move from an underclassman to an upperclassman, I will have to constantly deal with these issues. I am excited for the challenge!


Also worth noting this summer, I participated in an internship at the Army Research Labs in Aberdeen, Maryland. I was there continuing my corrosion research through the Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office in the Department of Defense. While I was there I got to meet a lot of very smart and very kind people there who shared an incredible amount of knowledge in a short duration of time. I learned all about electroplating and new electrochemical methods to evaluate metals. For a nerd like me, that was awesome! Through our collaboration, future officers at the Academy will be better informed about corrosion and the effect it has on our service. If anyone has questions about research here, please email me.


But enough of that, let’s talk about second class year so far! I am having a great time. I already love my classes (almost all science-based), my rugby team is really fun, and I have a great group of friends. My first two years were filled with hard work and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, but I am glad to move on. I am looking forward to the back half of my cadet career! As a 2/c cadet, I can now wear civilian clothing on liberty and have “shorts” (which means I get Saturday night to Sunday off). Also, at this point, I have paid off my initial clothing allowance, so I am seeing a lot more in my paychecks. Needless to say, when you mix civilian clothes, shorts, and more money together, you have a lot of fun. It’s going to be a great year!


More about Cody.