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cadet blogs

Summer 2017: Internship in Alaska

(Academics, Class of 2018, Civil Engineering) Permanent link
Kimura Photo Internships at the Academy are definitely possible and so rewarding. Every major offers summer internships to cadets entering their senior year. These range from working at the NSA,

 

I spent my summer internship at the Base Kodiak, Alaska working with the facilities engineering (FE) department. I am a civil major, which is a highly needed field in the Coast Guard. At FE, the floor is composed of a CDR, LCDR, LT, an information technician, mechanical technicians, electrical technician, environmental technicians, and various other contracting officer representatives. The five-week experience allowed me to see and contribute to actual Coast Guard projects. For example, the flight decks were being repaved and we regularly inspected the hangars to prioritize upcoming projects. On the other hand, Base Kodiak has a water treatment facility on site, so monitoring the water quality to the houses fell on the environmental department. In addition, there were building projects being planned, such as replacing WWII era houses or remodeling the Child Development Center’s playground.

 

I was always busy doing something, whether it was FE work, shadowing other technicians there, exploring Kodiak Island, or meeting the junior officers (recent Academy graduates) nearby. While at the internship, I stayed at the barracks on base and borrowed my LT’s truck to get around. Firstie summer has by far been my favorite summer training experience because of the independence I was given to drive to work on my own, cook for myself, plan hikes after work or camp on the weekends.

 

More about Amy.

 

From USCGC Legare Until Now

(The Cadet Experience, Life as a Junior Officer, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chang PhotoA snippet from the beginning:

 

Well, it’s been a week since I’ve arrived on the USCGC Legare and I’ve learned some things about what life will be like as a brand-new ensign. First, you’re pretty much as lost as the new non-rate on board and the learning curve is a straight shot upward. You need to get your bearings quickly, but apparently being underway is a lot better than being in port. (I think I can attest to that, since there’s not much to do after the workday is done.) There are also a bunch of Academy grads in the area, including a few of my former cadre. It just goes to show that you never fully escape it. But all that aside, I’m excited to see what I can do here and what will come.

 

A snippet from the end:

 

I had my doubts about coming aboard the Legare. I was a bit skeptical about going on any platform smaller than a 378’ and was depressed by the thought of being in Portsmouth, Virginia. Upon arriving, my skepticism died down a little, but not by much (we were still in Virginia and suffered some technical difficulties). However, by the end of six weeks, I can say that I wouldn’t have traded my experience on Legare for anything else in the fleet.

 

I’ve learned so much from the Legare crew. It always amazes me how a short time underway can really make you bond with the people around you, and it was bittersweet leaving the boat. I think the reason why I took away so much from this assignment is because the lessons weren’t always about being a good officer. It comes from the little things, such as checking on the lookouts outside or telling someone they’re appreciated. Everywhere you go, there are so many different personalities, and when all those characters are put on a confined platform for an entire patrol, it gets interesting. Basically, you don’t need to remember every little detail of being a good officer; just be a good person and the rest will follow.

 

More about Olivia.

 

My San Francisco Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018, Civil Engineering) Permanent link
Kokomoor Photo My all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco for 11 weeks this summer had me designing civil engineering solutions, exploring Alcatraz Island, jumping into Damage Control Drills onboard a National Security Cutter, and flying a helicopter around the Bay Bridge. And best of all, I did it all for the Coast Guard.

 

My summer was a phenomenal experience. I started at a civil engineering internship in California designing drainage solutions for the Coast Guard Training Center Petaluma by day and exploring northern California by night! After five weeks of hard, yet rewarding, work I co-presented design solutions that are now being submitted for the 2018 fiscal year plan! I also made visits to a number of Coast Guard Units including the Civil Engineering Unit in Oakland, team members from which took me and my cadet counterpart to climb the Alcatraz lighthouse on official business. We next traveled to the CGC Waesche in Alameda, California where we quickly assimilated to shipboard life. We took part in the everyday routines and had the unique opportunity to visit Air Station San Francisco, Station San Francisco, Sector San Francisco, and Maritime Intelligence Fusion Center Pacific (MIFC PAC). My summer encompassed a large portion of the Coast Guard, both operationally and within the support realm, allowing me to better understand the organization and the hard career decisions I will have before me as a junior officer.

 

As a native New Englander, the West Coast really caught me off guard, but it was amazing to immerse myself in the culture and attitude of the area and observe how the Coast Guard is able to expertly assimilate into an environment and thrive with outstanding community support. My San Francisco summer taught me so much about the Coast Guard, but most importantly, it taught me that there is so much more to learn. This service has so much to offer and I have not yet scratched the surface!

 

More about Jacklyn.

 

Singing at the Academy

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo I love the fall. I love the excitement of going back to school, the leaves changing color in Connecticut, and the transition into colder weather. My favorite thing about autumn though, is getting back into singing after being away from the group for the summer. As my profile says, I am involved in multiple singing groups at the Coast Guard Academy. One of these is called Fairwinds, which is a group of 12 girls that practice weekly and do acapella songs. Each year we strive to learn new music. We vary from Michael Jackson to doo wop to Johnny Cash. We then get to perform at various local restaurants, ceremonies, banquets, and more. Traveling with a small group of people (we also commonly perform with the guys’ group the Idlers as well) really creates a close-knit circle. This niche I have found at CGA has made the school feel like home. It gives me something to look forward to every week when we get to sing for an hour or two. It takes my mind off any anxieties I may be having about tests, military inspections, etc., AND the best part is that you get to travel. What young person doesn’t want that? This year is my last year in Fairwinds before graduating, and I intend to make it as great of a time as possible.

 

More about Hannah.

 

Back to School and After-School Activities

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Hosley Photo I can’t believe this is my first blog back at school for my last year at the Academy! It’s crazy how time flies! So here we are back at school for another exciting and challenging year at the CGA. I had heard that some people were interested in some of my other extracurricular activities here at school (which are a blast!), so here is a little bit about what the CGA has to offer outside of everyday cadet life.

 

This semester, I happen to be the Executive Officer of Golf Company. It is an honor to be in charge (along with my Company Commander) of leading and guiding a company of 124 other cadets. On top of being XO, I am also captain of the varsity women’s lacrosse team. As a lacrosse player and a captain, I am very busy organizing team events, practices, and team bonding time. As a varsity athlete much of my time is spent at practice every afternoon and at away games on the weekends. Some of our games are around two hours away but the time spent with my team on the bus is priceless. It is an amazing and humbling opportunity to be able to test out my leadership skills while playing the sport that I love.

 

When I’m not playing lacrosse or working on company logistics, you can find me at Yoga Club, Women’s Leadership Council, with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization (FCA), or Asian Pacific American Council (APAC). I know it probably seems like it is impossible for me to do all of these things, and sometimes it seems like it is, but the beauty of being here at the CGA is that everyone understands the limits on our time and thus clubs are very flexible with scheduled events (unlike varsity sports obligations which are mandatory). When the clubs are hosting big events, club members can sign up to attend if their schedule allows. For Yoga Club, we have the unique opportunity to travel off-base to Mystic Yoga Shala for hot yoga once a week. If I’m too busy with homework I’ll skip out on yoga, but otherwise the classes are a great stress reliever and a hard workout. For Women’s Leadership Council, we do a mentoring program and have other fun events that I choose to attend based on whether or not my schedule allows. FCA is great also because we have lunch excusals every couple of weeks, so it doesn’t take any time out of my day, but instead I get to eat lunch with my fellow classmates and athletes. It is a great time to relax, reflect, and discuss our faith. Lastly, being a part of APAC is really fun as well! The council usually does big events with delicious food, like Dim Sum Sundays at a local restaurant. Overall, the Academy has a ton of unique and fun extracurricular activities to offer and I only do just a few. If you have any other specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Cecelia.K.Hosley@uscga.edu

 

More about Cece.