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Cadet Profile
alt name  Melissa Keeley
West Hartford, CT ‐ Class of 2016
Major: Mechanical Engineering  

My name is Melissa Keeley and I am a fourth class here at the Academy. I came here as a mechanical engineer but am not fully decided. From West Hartford, Connecticut, I am a local with a beach house in Charlestown, Rhode Island as well. Living close, I get to see my parents almost every weekend. I lucked out in this aspect.

I guess the next topic should be why I decided to come to the Academy. For me this is extremely difficult to explain because I am still trying to put my thoughts together. I cannot even remember when I first found out about the Coast Guard Academy. My parents definitely had a role in introducing me to it and urging me to go here. However, I have no doubt in my mind that the final decision was mine. I know many cadets who have admirable reasons that they can state within a few sentences. My favorite so far has been that of my cadre from Swab Summer. This 2/c said he came here to save at least one life. Whenever he becomes stressed or frustrated with this institution, he thinks of that one life.

I cannot articulate my reason in a sentence or even a paragraph. I would say I enjoy the structured and disciplined environment but I don’t want you to think that this place is always locked on and rigid. It has its ups and downs. I believe that the fewer privileges we have, the more we enjoy and appreciate those we do have. I cannot wait until we are finally allowed to walk around Chase Hall in flip flops or listen to music out loud or even simply walk on the sidewalk during the day. I have come to appreciate what I have both in physical assets and freedom.

Overall, I believed that the Coast Guard Academy was the right choice for me. I knew I was willing to put forth the effort and I know that it will give me many rare opportunities that will help me decide what I want to do in life, even if I do not know now. Email me at