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cadet blogs

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Friedman Photo The semester is flying by; midterms have come and gone and women’s rugby is undefeated conference champions getting ready for the postseason. With things moving so quickly, a seemingly never-ending discussion of next steps has started. While this makes me excited for the future, I also took time to reflect on some of the places I have been able to go while at the Academy.

 

During my 3/c summer I spent five weeks at Station Cape Disappointment on the Washington/Oregon line. I got to explore Astoria and Portland, Oregon, which is a stark difference from the hustle and bustle of the northeast. I then flew halfway across the world and got on USCGC Eagle in London, sailing it to Madeira, trans-Atlantic to Bermuda, and disembarking in Norfolk, Virginia. I never would have gone to Madeira if it had not been for the Academy and I am so thankful I was able to go; it was an amazing port call and I would love to go back if I could. Also, that year the rugby team made it to the final four so I went to South Carolina for the tournament and was able to take in the Charleston Christmas parade with some of my teammates in between games.

 

I spent a week at Sector Baltimore during my 2/c summer working with their marine inspectors. I took my time off of work to explore Annapolis, Baltimore, and went to my first MLB game. I spent two weeks that summer sailing around the best ports in New England from Martha’s Vineyard, Hyannis, to Block Island. I used some of my leave during the summer to go to Madrid and explore Spanish culture. Recently, I was able to go on a tour of the National Security Agency and learn about the interdependence of their mission, the military’s mission, and the Coast Guard’s strategic goals. I’m also scheduled to go to conference in New Orleans next semester to help create an inclusion and diversity action plan for the Academy.

 

These are just some of the places I have been able to visit and be afforded distinct experiences. My point with this is if you asked me my senior year of high school where I would go in the next three years, I never would have produced this list or come anywhere close. When you make the choice to come to the Academy, yes you are signing up for a different life with some hardships and sacrifices, but your time at the Academy and in the Coast Guard is what you make of it. If you stick out your 4/c year, the opportunities you have will continue to build, giving you experiences and adventures you cannot imagine now and with some of your best friends.

 

If you have any questions feel free to email me at Jill.M.Friedman@uscga.edu.

 

More about Jill.

 

Escaping (For an Hour a Day)

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chang Photo I’m starting to realize that the longer I’m here, the harder it is to find things to write about and the more I want to write about something other than the Academy. It’s funny because you would think that, with all the firstie responsibilities, my Capstone project, and upcoming billets, I wouldn’t be able to stop talking about these things but they all kind of meld together into a giant mass of “stuff that needs to be done.” So, I’m going to leave the Academy and enroll in classes at Connecticut College across the street.

 

However, leaving the Academy at this point would’ve made AIM, CGAS, and the past three years all for naught (and put me in a serious amount of debt.) So, instead of leaving for good, I trek over to Conn College for about an hour a day to take a class in Mandarin Chinese. It’s pretty nice, really. I am lucky to have an awesome academic advisor and a good enough memo to convince the Academy to let me to take Chinese for my language requirement as a Government major. I grew up speaking Chinese, so this is a great opportunity for me to build up on my skills, especially reading and writing. I can even see my improvement every time I call home or listen to Chinese music. The class itself is a lot of fun—my professor and classmates are all very welcoming, and it’s a very relaxed environment. Not only that, but I get to wear civilian clothes and experience a bit of traditional college, even if it’s only for an hour a day.

 

More about Olivia.

 

New Year, New Outlook

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Hill PhotoSo, this summer was rewarding – I had the chance to experience my favorite things: sun, shipmates, and the South! I learned SO much on USCGC Eagle and how to deal with challenges and time stresses (even more). And I didn’t get seasick—yay! I also made so many new friends in the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2018. After Eagle, I ventured down to Station Charleston, South Carolina for six weeks where I made connections with fellow Coast Guardsmen and learned about the enlisted side of things.

 

Currently, I am trying to adjust to my new role as a 3/c by learning how to be a mentor/leader for my 4/c cadets who, I am proud to say, are very exceptional young men and women. I am excited for these extra responsibilities and no more 0800 classes!! Things were stressful during Cadet Administrative Processing (CAP) week just because we were all adjusting and preparing for the Formal Room and Wing inspection but, like they somehow always do, all our resources came together and we ended up having a beautiful, super-clean Golf Company wing area.

 

Gotta teach those 4/c how to get to bed on time though!

 

Ready to use my new privilege of wearing khakis and letting my hair down on liberty.

 

I really love my great girlfriends on the cheer team and in my Bible study! My confidence has skyrocketed since last year and knowing all the teachers and the different study/organization methods that work for me have improved my quality of life here at the CGA (not to mention the fact that I don’t have to square anymore).

 

I genuinely have a home-away-from-home and love my new family here.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Be the reason someone smiles today :)

 

3/c Kelly Hill

 

More about Kelly.

 

Rolling on the River

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Farlow Photo The academic year is rolling along here on the Thames in New London and I could not be more excited to be a third class cadet. It was great to return to the Academy from leave and see my friends and teammates, some of whom I had not seen in over three months. Last time my class walked the halls together we wore green shields on our uniforms and bore no stripe on our shoulder boards. Now we have returned wearing red shields and having earned a single diagonal stripe. This year will bring so many new adventures, new lessons, new friends, and perhaps most importantly the privilege to look at my food again. Third class year is a transition out of followership and into role-modeling. For my class, we will be setting an example for fourth class, holding ourselves accountable, and finishing out our core classes.

 

At the end of fourth class year, cadets are shuffled and moved to new companies where they will remain for the duration of the next three years. I was an Alfa fourth class and was placed in Charlie for the next three. I am interested to learn about Charlie’s role in the corps and what I can do to be a part of it as a third class. I am also eager to help fourth class get through this year because although it is tough, it is worth it, but that can be difficult to see while you’re experiencing it.

 

I am also excited to start taking major-specific classes and really begin to understand the Operations Research major. This semester I am taking two math classes, a computer language class, American Government, Rescue Swimming, Organizational Behavior and Leadership, and Spanish. I am really looking forward to the computer language and math classes. Outside of class I am part of the women’s rugby team this season as well as Cadets Against Sexual Assault, Spectrum Council and Women’s Leadership Council.

 

Go 3/c year and Go Bears!

 

More about Francesca.

 

100 Days of Summer

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Silliman Photo Fun fact! The 14 weeks that are set aside for summer training here at the Academy works out to be exactly 100 days.

 

The first two weeks of the summer went by in no time. We started with 100th Week when they brought up the Cape May Company Commanders who run the enlisted boot camp to teach us basically how to be cadre. It started out with them just treating us like enlisted recruits, but became more and more about us assimilating into the role of cadre. The rest of the week included classroom leadership training and a trip to Stones Ranch where we did team-building exercises on their challenge course. The next week was largely helping out with graduation and getting to see the Commander-in-Chief give a speech at commencement right in front of me. After the Class of 2017 left, the campus fell dead silent and I had two days to practice navigation skills out on the T-boats.

 

Then I had three weeks of leave, the bulk of which was spent at home helping my dad fix up our sailboat. I also went hiking in New Hampshire for two days with a friend from home. Additionally, I went to Vail, Colorado to hang out with a friend working at a golf course and we had four days of just straight hiking and playing golf.

 

Returning to the Academy, I had a week of shooting to qualify in pistol, where I just barely passed by getting the necessary target score on the last day. Then we had prep week before the swabs arrived when we set up their rooms and prepared down at Jacob’s Rock for waterfront cadre.

 

The next three weeks I was entrusted with the awesome responsibility of training 36 new members of the Coast Guard and one member of Georgia’s armed forces as well as interacting with every member of the Class of 2021 down on the waterfront. I had to work with my classmates in ways different from any way I had worked with them before. It started out a lot of fun, but it got pretty tiring by the end, and we really had to work to keep up the intensity of the training for the swabs.

 

After cadre, I went down to Mobile, Alabama for a week of training called the Cadet Aviation Training Program. I got to go up in a Jayhawk and even got hoisted by a rescue swimmer.

 

I probably went home for five different weekends during the summer since I live so close to hang out with friends, go sailing, and even take another hiking trip up to New Hampshire.

 

Having grown up on Cape Cod, the Coastal Sail Training Program was a really cool way to see home. Venturing all over New England like that was awesome, and I was even able to host 26 of my friends at my house for dinner. The summer ended back in the classroom with the Rules of the Road exam.

 

So, there it is. 100 days of summer, which is one more for the books and I am looking now to starting the school year strong.

 

More about Derek.