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cadet blogs

Moving On Up

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link   All Posts
 Stephen Nolan That time of the year is once again upon us; when firsties become Ensigns, fourth class move up from the bottom of the totem pole and a new batch of firsties take the helm. It’s an exciting time for everyone, but the class of 2013 in particular has something to look forward to: our cadre are graduating. It’s an odd feeling knowing that the people who trained you are now heading off into the “real” Coast Guard. In some sense it’s like knowing that the people who were always watching your back are no longer there. It’s a necessary development to be sure, they want to graduate just as much as we want to be cadre, yet it’s odd because it seems as if they’ve always been there.

It’s like any story of old, in order to take your place at the top, you must displace the ones who are currently there, and for us that’s the class of 2011. We can’t really come into our own as upperclassmen until such time as they are no longer in the picture. They knew us as swabs, so until they leave, we can’t really be in charge of our own class, our own swabs. Once they depart, it’s going to be like they’re taking the training wheels off of the Academy… we’ll become the senior odd number class.

It’s going to be a defining summer. The unique nature of the Academy’s summer training program: 2/c training the swabs means that for the rest of your time on this great earth, you will be associated with three classes: your own class, the class who trained you, and the class you train. That means this summer will be important forever, because we will be eternally known as the class that trained 2015. It’s something that we’re taking seriously, and something we’re looking forward to. It’s a chance to stretch our wings a bit, and learn what type of leaders we really are.

I’m looking forward to the summer, and to any incoming members of the class of 2015, I hope you’re looking forward to it as well. It’s going to be tough, and it’s going to be miserable, but I can guarantee you that it will be the best worst time of your life. As always if you have any questions, feel free to email me at

More about Stephen.