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cadet blogs

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

An Amazing 3/c Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Farlow Photo This summer was one for the books. The day after I finished my spring finals, I boarded USCGC Eagle for a five-week cruise with about 140 of my classmates. We started just down the street in downtown New London and had port calls in Hamilton, Bermuda; Port Canaveral, Florida; and Norfolk, Virginia. During the cruise, cadets stood watches and got qualified for Helm and Lookout and Auxiliary Engineer and after daily trainings we took a test to become Basic Damage Control qualified. Eagle was a unique experience that I will never forget and that I can share with all Academy graduates. I learned so much about being underway, but more importantly I grew closer to my classmates.

 

In Norfolk, I left the Eagle for a six-week stint at Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale with one other cadet. There I learned to stand communications watches from non-rates and petty officers and in about two weeks’ time I sat for a board and earned a qualification for Communications Watchstanding. This enabled me to be put in the watchstanding rotation thus enabling them to use their skills to participate in maintenance and trainings. In the process, I got real experience manning radios and interacting with Sector. I also completed the bulk of the boat crew member PQS and enjoyed time underway with the crew conducting helicopter operations and patrols. In the last few days at Station Fort Lauderdale (STAFTL), I had the opportunity to be pepper sprayed. Although it was not the highlight of my summer, I am glad to have completed it at an early stage in my Coast Guard career. With the help of STAFTL command, I had the opportunity to take part in a helicopter flight from Coast Guard Air Station Miami and participate in a dive boat inspection at Coast Guard Station Lake Worth. Both experiences allowed me to see possible career paths come graduation. My time at STAFTL was special because the command and crew took time to train me and to help me understand their missions.

 

After leaving Florida, I headed home to Dallas for three weeks of summer leave. I drove to Chattanooga with my younger sister to watch her play in nationals, visited my cousins in Colorado, and spent time with my family and friends at home. I will carry my experiences and lessons from Eagle and STAFTL for the rest of my career. I could not have asked for a better summer or better people to meet and work with. The Coast Guard is truly amazing.

 

More about Francesca.