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cadet blogs

Service Academies Exchange Program

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link   All Posts
Ritchie Photo Each fall semester, the Coast Guard Academy participates in an exchange program with the Air Force Academy, Naval Academy and West Point. (The Merchant Marine Academy is not able to participate due to their trimester (as opposed to semester) program.) Officers at each academy negotiate how many cadets to exchange; it is usually two to five per academy. The opportunity to participate in this semester-long exchange program is provided to cadets going into their 2/c (junior) year. It involves an application process during which you provide your GPA, PFE score, military score, and a paragraph explaining why you’re interested in being on exchange. They look for people who are well-rounded and can represent the Academy well. The connections these students will make with other cadets and midshipmen could become vital in joint service operations in the future.

 

I have been interested in this exchange program since my first semester here. One of my 2/c was an Army cadet on exchange here at the Coast Guard Academy. In spring semester of 4/c year, I started talking to Coast Guard cadets who had gone on exchange in the fall, asking them what they thought of the program and what their experience was like. They all said it was a great opportunity to see something different, make new friends and enjoy a big-school environment for a little bit. They all said, “Apply if you can,” so when the application came out at the beginning of the semester, I did. I should also mention that I was talking to one of my best friends about it and we decided to both put Navy as our top pick. Since her family lives about 20 minutes away from the Naval Academy, I’d have a sponsor family.

 

About a month and a half later, the list was released. Originally, I got West Point but I was also first alternate for the Naval Academy. At the time, the Air Force Academy and West Point were each taking five cadets and the Naval Academy was only taking two. Just last week, I found out that they decided to exchange one more with Navy, and I got it! I am so excited for this opportunity and can’t wait to share more about this experience with you next semester!

 

More about Sarah.