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cadet blogs

My Families

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Frost Photo Over the past year, I have realized how important family is. I know that I could not be successful in life if it wasn’t for my family. I never realized how much I had to be thankful for and how much my family really meant to me until I went away for school. It’s crazy how you realize how much someone means to you when you don’t see them every day. Going to school more than a thousand miles away from home makes me appreciate every moment I get to spend with my family.


I know a lot of my friends went away for school thinking, “Yes I’m free! My parents are not my boss and now I’m out on my own!” I can’t imagine this. My parents have only ever been supportive, and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my family. They are always there pushing me to get better, but helping me when I struggle. I have realized over the last year just how lucky I am to have parents and a big sister that I am so close to. I know whenever I am having a bad day, my family will be there to talk no matter what time it is. They help me get through everything. I have learned to cherish every opportunity I get to go home because it is only a few times a year. Being here has made me much more grateful for what I have.


My family doesn’t stop at my parents and my sister. The Academy is a place where you develop so many families, each there to support you. My best friend’s family has become my second family that I can go spend long weekends with. I even get a little brother when I visit them! Then, the sponsor family program gives me yet another family right in the New London area, where I can decompress and get off campus. It is amazing how families around the Academy take in cadets as if they are their own. I feel like I always have someone looking out for me.


Most importantly, the corps itself is a family. My teammates and classmates all form family-like bonds that cannot be broken. This kind of support you don’t get at a civilian college. It’s support I never realized was important before coming to the Academy, but it’s support that everyone needs to get through here. And this support is the same that I give to my friends. You have so many people looking out for you and trying to help you at the Academy. It’s these families that I could no longer imagine my life without.


As always, feel free to email me any questions about the Academy at!



More about Christi.


Update Since August

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Belanger Photo Hello everyone! My last blog was from August, so time to catch up! After I left summer school, I returned back to the amazing city of Jacksonville, Florida to enjoy my summer leave. Being the over-ambitious cadet that I was in May, I had asked the Cadet Training Department to have the opportunity to work at Station Mayport near my house. So the Monday after I got home, I reported at bright and early at 0700 in my operational uniform to get to work. The first few days were a little slow and awkward but then I was introduced to the Reserves Detachment located at the station and my training began hard! The third day I was at the station, I had the opportunity to “drive” the 25-foot patrol boat and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. After growing up by the St. Johns River and going fishing and boating on it, the rush of being on a Coast Guard small boat brought back many memories of my childhood. I had always remembered looking at the Station Mayport and thinking of how amazing it would be to work for the Coast Guard. Finally, part one of my dreams came true. I also had the (horrible) opportunity to get pepper-sprayed. Let me just say it was the worst hour of my life. I’ll let all of the YouTube videos out there show you pretty much what my experience was. While there, I did not work all the time, as it may seem, and I did enjoy quality time with my parents and friends! I cannot wait to see them when I return home in December.


After reporting back to the Academy on August 18 (my birthday; thank you CGA), it was amazing to look around and take in Chase Hall. It was also very strange being called sir…something I still have not become accustom to. After “set-up” week the academics struck, and let me say they struck hard. Having 21 credits is not fun…at all. I am usually working on homework into the wee hours of the night. I am struggling in some classes, but I have great friends and professors that are determined to see me succeed. I have now run my 2nd Tough Mudder and other than that have not really gotten away from the Academy. However, in the coming weeks I plan on going to New York City, I will be serving at the Red, White and Blue Mass being celebrated by the Archbishop of the Military Archdiocese and the Bishop of Norwich, and some other adventures that I will right about later to keep you in suspense. Until next time, fair winds and following seas, Go Bears and Go Great Class of 2016!


If you have any questions please do not hesitate! 



More about Nathan.


Subtle Impacts

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Racz Photo The government shut down had a profound impact on our nation. With our country still trying to put the pieces together, I feel as though it is a good time to reflect. While other academies felt the full force of the government shut down, like MMA, the impact on the Coast Guard Academy was more subtle. Though the Academy felt a little emptier because of grounds crews and other civilian faculty absent from work, daily operations went unhindered for the most part. Although, I will say the shut down may have affected the 4/c cadets the most. One of the many tasks that 4/c are responsible for is cleaning, especially involving taking out the trash. Due to the shutdown, trash bags became nonexistent in the gearheads of Chase Hall. It seemed that when the government shut down, so did the use of trash bags. This caused great disdain throughout the fourth class. This meant that instead of just taking out the trash bags to the dumpster, we as 4/c had to take the entire trash can out to the dumpster and then clean the now dirty trash can after we were finished. This caused a lot of extra work. So let’s just say I’m happy to see that trash bags have been restored to the wing areas around Chase Hall.


Crew continues to go well. Coach Regan’s “odd” words of wisdom are actually starting to grow on me. I say odd because some of his thoughts come out of nowhere and they all still find their way to the point he is trying to instill on us. The Head of the Fish – the big race for the novice rowers – is almost a week away. Our boat is finally starting to put it together. We were off to a very shaky start, but we have come together as a boat to work on the problems that we have had. I look forward to getting out on the water in New York and showing everyone what I and the other seven rowers in my boat can do.


More about Benjamin.


We Are Family!

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Hello blog readers,


I have been quite busy as of late, thanks to a full Marine and Environmental Science (MES) schedule, combined with the fun, but full, weekends of cheerleading, and on top of all of that, the typical stresses of Academy life. We have just come out of Homecoming Weekend that included multiple drill/marching related events, a football game, and more than usual evening trainings. It seems that I have had three tests a week for the past few weeks, and project due dates emerging slowly from the syllabi of most of my classes.


Despite my endeavors as a typical third class cadet, I can say that I am as happy as I can be. I have an immense support structure that can rival even the worst of my days, and can provide for me a family in Connecticut in addition to my family back home in Maryland.


Everywhere I look, I find friends and role models, and parental figures, all of whom live either at the Academy or work there. My friends are a huge reason for my happiness and success. I have found people at this school who will be honest with me, laugh with me and make me laugh. People who I can do homework with during the week, and then go out with on the weekends. They can tell when I am down, and they know me well enough to know how to make me smile. I love my friends at the Academy, and the group continues to grow as I spend more time in my new company and expand my interests. I know that many of these people I will remain close to for the rest of my life.


Whether I am with my friends or not, if I am looking for a running destination, or a hangout spot for a few hours, I was connected last year with a sponsor mom who has created for me a haven away from the Academy. She has opened her home to me and often times some of my friends. She has taken me apple picking, on a trip to the aquarium, to buy a pet plant, and she has supported me at my sporting events and will be my coach for lacrosse. I love her company and I enjoy cooking with her, and hanging out with her in a setting other than the Academy.


Another huge support of mine is the religious community at the Academy. I have been on multiple weekend retreats, attend Friday Night Fellowship whenever I can, and I love to go to church with my friends on Sundays. I am comforted to know that I am able to feed my spiritual self without even leaving the Academy campus.


I have to say that I feel very lucky to be this happy, and for the opportunities that I have been given. My family in Maryland has supported me and continues to do so, but a six-hour car ride has made me lean on my support system here, a system that has more than met my social, academic, and spiritual needs.


I hope that this wasn’t too long of an entry but when I get started on all of the people who support me, I have to say that the list isn’t short!




Pushing Through the Semester

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Kuntz Photo I can’t even begin to say how busy the past few weeks have been here. It seems like yesterday we were just starting the semester and now we’re already at midterms! I’ve been pretty busy with sailing. We are gone every weekend, which means that I don’t have a lot of time to do my homework or get ahead on projects. We go to a new venue almost every weekend for regattas and I’ve had a chance to see the East Coast way more than if I wasn’t a sailor. I’ll be the first person to admit that I didn’t think I was going to like the East Coast, but it is absolutely awesome. I grew up in a small, nautical community and that’s what all of these towns are; not to mention I’m a huge seafood fan and it doesn’t get any better than this!


Academically, it’s weird to think that I’m sort of used to having 3+ big assignments and projects due a week. The workload is a heavy but it’s manageable if you sit down and push through it. That’s my biggest thing, I get distracted really easily. I have to make a concerted effort to sit down and do my work, which makes for some entertaining, yet productive, studying sometimes.


Parents Weekend was kind of a bummer. I had a regatta in Boston so I was gone for the weekend and my mom just had surgery so she couldn’t travel up to Boston. It was kind of sad and made me really homesick when everyone was with their parents at classes, but this past weekend made up for it! My parents, grandparents, brother, and even my puppy came up for Columbus Day! That turned out to be a much better deal. For Parents Weekend, all of us cadets were required to go to a mandatory football game and so you couldn’t take a long weekend (unless you were in Boston sailing of course!). I had four days with my parents and it was so refreshing! Now there’s only 41 days until I leave for Thanksgiving (not that I’m counting or anything). It’s time to push through the rest of the semester and Christmas will be here before we know it!


As always, feel free to contact me with any questions!


More about Savannah.


My Dad

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Martin Photo The request: Take a few minutes to publicly thank those people who helped you reach your goal of attending the Academy and have been instrumental in making your way through life as a cadet.


The response: If I were to thank anyone for their influence to get me to the Academy, it would have to be my dad. I know that sounds cheesy because everyone always picks their dad! Yet, my dad is special (cheesy, too, I know). My dad grew up in South-Central Los Angeles, the biggest ghetto in the U.S. back in the 60s. He was one of the only Hispanics at an all black high school. He worked his way through college as a bag boy at the local supermarket. After working the night shift, he went to get some breakfast and picked the wrong diner. It was held up and during the robbery my dad was shot twice, millimeters away from his spine and jugular vein. He survived, by millimeters. When he married my mom, he moved his family to Arizona for a new job. Coming from dreary beginnings with nothing handed to him, my dad worked his way into a better environment for his family. Later on, he suffered a disease that took away 65 percent of his hearing overnight; no problem, he just saved the neighbors a cable TV bill since they could always hear ours. Two knee replacements and back surgery later, he was doing great (he could golf…what else could he ask for?). His son was applying to colleges, and the Academy was in the mix. With minimal prodding, his son picked the Academy. Seeing his son two or three times a year now, but talking on the phone almost every night, things were going smoothly. His son was surviving and time was flying (for him!). Two years went by in a flash, but then something had to come and put another obstacle in his way. While his son was home for summer leave, he got a report back from the doctor of blood cancer, multiple myeloma. It is just another hurdle for him to jump, and through all the past hurdles he hadn’t stumbled and we all know he won’t stumble on this one either. Currently, my pops is going through chemo and is awaiting a stem cell transplant.


What gets me through this place? My dad does. His nightly phone calls. His picture on my desk. If I ever think about complaining about how hard my life is, all I have to do is look at that picture on my desk or hear his voice on the phone. I know if he could do what he’s done with the odds stacked up against him, then I know this place ain’t nothing. If I ever complain about something at the Academy, rest-assured I’ll get the smart-aleck comment of “Try chemo!”



More about Matt.


Autumn at the Academy

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Beck Photo All of my fellow 4/c and I are in the swing of the Academy life I think. We’re kept busy with full schedules of academics, sports, and military trainings. We’re just coming back from Columbus Day weekend, one of our precious three-day weekends. After weeks of routine on campus, everyone takes advantage of the opportunity to spend a couple of nights away either with family or sponsor families or even just with a group of friends on a train trip to Boston or NYC. I usually choose to spend time with my amazing sponsor family, we get along great and days with them really allow me to unwind and remember what the “real” world is like.


This weekend we really embraced fall, cooking off a 40 lb. pumpkin and pureeing it into delicious pulp. It took hours and three pairs of hands to slice it, get the seeds and strings out, bake it in pieces, and then finally blend it up. So far we’ve only made cookies with it but there are plans for pie, muffins, pancakes, and more! We also took a trip to Mystic to see a Corvette show where on display you could find everything from a one day old model to models over 60 years old. We ran into a retired Coast Guard Captain from the class of 1974 who bought the ’74 Corvette he had on display as a senior at the Academy. It’s always great running into alumni because there’s an automatic connection and natural way to start a conversation about how the service changes and even get a few sea stories if you’re lucky


More about Laura.


Worth the Sacrifices

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Daniels Photo Hello again everyone!

The school year has definitely gotten a lot more hectic than it was last month, but we’re almost a quarter of the way through! There are only a few more months until all of these classes wrap up and we all head home for vacation. Life as a fourth class is much less stressful than I had expected. While we do have much more responsibility than before, we all seem to be able to get together and pull it off. We have all become a much more effective team than we had seen until now.


Over the last couple of months, I’ve been able to make several close friendships with others in my class. This has helped me get through some tough times, whether they are helping with my homework, or laughing at the things we’ve done to blow off some stress. It builds up quickly and it is important to relax once in a while, or else you go crazy.


I’ve recently been offered several opportunities to travel with the Windjammers, the Academy’s drum and bugle corps. There’s a trip to Canada planned, and the chance to play at a New York Jets game Thanksgiving weekend. These are things I never expected to be doing five months ago, and it almost seems unreal that I have the chance to now.


Even if we still have a very different college experience from the “average” freshman, life here at the Academy is definitely worth the sacrifices, especially if you can find ways to have fun.



More about Drew.


The Support of Family and Friends

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link
 Tress Salvatori Photo Hello again! It is almost unbelievable how fast time goes by here at the Academy. It is almost Columbus Day, which means that we are in the middle of the semester. Swab Summer was a challenging experience but the real challenge has just started. Being able to manage your time in order to accomplish academics, military training, sports and personal life in order to be successful is difficult.


The first months are rough because it is hard to manage your time efficiently to be productive. I tried to balance everything at the same time but things were getting a little bit messed up and I was not that productive. Then I made the decision to switch my plan. First, I balance my academics with the military obligations and from there figure out an efficient plan. After being comfortable with that, I start adding sports and personal life in to my previous plan. There are some days of the week that are pretty stressful but there is no better way to reduce stress than to just take a break, chill a little bit with my shipmates and then get back to business.


One the most important things to keep on going successfully at the Academy is family and friends’ support. For me being away from home is not a big deal, I have been away from home before, the big deal for me is being in a foreign country. There were some days when I couldn’t find someone to talk to about my feelings and thoughts. This may be caused by the language barrier. In those days what keeps me going is the communication with my mother and father. They are my great support and they provide me with a lot of energy. For Parents’ Weekend, they were here! That was so amazing. That was so far the best weekend of this semester. It was sad when they left but it was worth it. The following weeks my energy level and my enthusiasm have been all the way up. It is important to keep on producing at a maximum level and to keep up with the standards that are required here at the Coast Guard Academy.


Finally, the first pictures that you will find in my entry were my first contact with the Coast Guard. The Captain in the photograph (Captain Robert T. McCarthy with his wife and my mother) interviewed me before coming to the Academy and later on he visited my school for a very special ceremony. In the other photograph, you can see my mother and my father (the Admiral); they are my great role models. This was a very special moment in my life because I had my great support to encounter the beginning of a great journey.


More about Ruth.


I Was Meant to be Here

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Seaman Photo Choosing where to go to college is not easy. Everyone told me that I would know it when I found the college I was meant for. However, when visiting the esteemed universities that my family attended, that I grew up cheering for in football, and that my friends were planning to attend, I did not feel as though those were the places I was meant to be.


It was after those visits that I heard about the Coast Guard Academy. After I did a great deal of research on it, I knew that I wanted to come here. The rewarding career, the difference I would make in peoples’ lives, the countless new experiences, and the strong friendships I would make here fed my desire to be a Coast Guard cadet. Working in the fleet over the summers, getting to travel to new places and see how the Coast Guard works, were also big factors in my decision. I also wanted to come here because of the camaraderie among this tight knit community. Everyone is willing to help and support one another. One thing we learned over Swab Summer is that you cannot survive without one another. The Academy has given me the best friends imaginable.


Because many people had told me that the Academy isn’t for everyone, I needed to determine if it was for me. I made a few trips and participated in the overnight Academy Experience and an open house. The first question I asked the cadets I spoke with was, “are you happy here on a day to day basis?” I got many different answers from many different people, but I didn’t realize that I would be able to answer that question for myself before I even attended the Academy. Every time I left the Academy after a visit, I would be in the greatest mood. I could feel myself get more and more excited about the Academy as I told my parents everything I learned. I realized that when I was at the college I was meant to attend, I did know. I just had to travel a little bit farther than my friends back in Virginia.


More about Rachel.


Getting Involved

(Academics, Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Sandri Photo We are about a month into the school year and I am enjoying being part of the corps! This semester I'm enrolled in honors English, rowing/coxing for the crew team and participating in Catholic FOCUS and other various activities, so it’s been a pretty busy few weeks. Getting involved in lots of extracurricular and academic activities is not only a great way to challenge yourself, but also allows for chances to experience events not available during the regular school day. Whether it’s taking a trip to see an author speak after practice, attending a lunch excusal, or traveling to Mystic for a regatta, getting outside of Chase Hall even for just a little bit helps me to take a step back and see things in perspective. It is also a great way to get to know people in other companies better outside of the classroom atmosphere – people who are now good friends I met through sports and activities.


On the other hand, it is a challenge to find time in the day to devote to unscheduled activities that come up, such as a meeting with a teacher who is also on a tight schedule, or fun liberty plans. Taking part in the many activities CGA has to offer is definitely something I would recommend, as long as you can retain some control over your schedule!


More about Eva.


Having the Time of My Life

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Sakowicz Photo It’s almost the end of September and I can hardly believe it. I reported in three months ago, but it feels like R-Day was yesterday. CAP week provided a smooth transition from Swab Summer to the academic term. It’s like our cadre kept trying to tell us - you have to hit the ground running.


This semester I am taking Chemistry I, Calculus I, Composition and Speech, Leaders in U.S. History, Statics Engineering and Design, and Swimming. All my teachers are great and really help me out when I’m struggling. My time management has improved drastically over the past month alone.


My fellow fourth class and I have been having tons of fun running spirit missions and having an all-around great attitude. Being the smallest class in a very long time, our bonds are really strong and we can all depend on each other with anything, whether it be with homework, family issues, or just cleaning for Formal Room and Wing.


I cannot say enough how happy I am to be here. I decided to apply two years ago, accepted the opportunity to attend Marion Military Institute; a Coast Guard prep school, powered through Swab Summer, and now here I am having the time of my life even if I stay up a little too late studying for my tests.


'Til Next Time,
4/c Emily Rose Sakowicz


More about Emily.


Staying Afloat

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Roddy Photo During the chaos and rush of Swab Summer, I had come to view the academic year as a time of comparable rest and relaxation, but now that I’m in the thick of first semester I realize I could not have been more wrong!


Since the school year began, I’ve found my life is busier than I could ever imagine. The Academy is not meant to be easy, and as someone who was able to excel through the academics of high school without trying too hard, it has all been a bit of a shock. I often find myself up to my neck in homework, only to see more military obligations and sport commitments pile up on top of it. Like anything though, it’s always the first few weeks that are the hardest and I can already feel myself getting into a better routine. Things like ironing, shoe-shining and weekly evaluations that used to take me an eternity are now second-nature and I find myself able to set aside more and more time for academics.


No matter how hectic things get here, there’s never any doubt in my mind whether I made the right decision in choosing to attend the Academy. I’m surrounded by 200 other 4/c all taking the same classes, all with the same struggles, and I’ve found everyone is willing to reach out a hand and help a shipmate in need. The best motivator for me though is that this is military training, and at the end of it, no matter how bad it feels, I’ll be commissioned in ensign, and so as long as I keep my eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel, I can persevere through some hardships along the way!


More about John.


Finding My Motivation

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo I’ve just finished my third week of the school year. After a long seven weeks of Swab Summer, it was definitely a relief to start classes and not have to brace-up anymore except in Chase Hall and formations. (In academic and athletic buildings, 4/c cadets can now talk and walk normally). Swab Summer was full of tough challenges and high expectations. Though my dad went to an Academy, my household was by no means military. Because of this, I struggled at the beginning of the summer, but improved a lot as it went on. The cadre were hard on my shipmates and me because they wanted to make us the best followers we could be in order to later become the best leaders. We were reminded a few times this summer that once we’re all in the fleet, our class will be the one’s replacing our cadre’s class in stations, so they train us so they’re confident that we can maintain their work ethic, efforts, and leadership. All of the things we had to do this summer had a reason behind them. It was awful at the time, and there were plenty of times when I just wanted to give up, but remembering that there was a method to the madness helped me through.


After Swab Summer, there was CAP Week, a week of administrative meetings and planning. That week presented a new set of stressors for my fellow 4/c and me. Now, we faced challenges in getting organized and setting good foundations for the school year.


The actual school year was another shock to many of us. I am still adjusting to the workload and going to bed at midnight and waking up at 5:30. Again, I looked for a source of motivation. I found it on 9/11. I took some time to think about what it means to be at an Academy, and there’s no way to explain the pride I felt just thinking about it. Finding these motivations helps me keep a positive attitude each and every day.


More about Sarah.


Get the Enjoyment Out of Everything You Can

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Racz Photo It’s hard to believe that we’re already a quarter of a way through the semester. It seems like just yesterday I was stepping out of the car on R-Day, ready to start my cadet career. Life is fast paced at the Academy – nothing like high school. In high school, you could get away with taking it easy at times or even slacking off. Not the case at the Academy. They say the days are long and the weeks are short. Days full of back-to-back classes can be hectic at times and the homework just keeps coming and coming. In a way, however, it’s almost a good thing that we have so much to do. It keeps me busy and allows me to stay focused on the important things. I’ve quickly learned that I don’t have time for the childish things I used to find amusing. If I want to succeed here I need to be on top of my game.


After a long deliberation with myself, I made the decision to join the crew team. Having never rowed before, I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. To my surprise, I have come to love the sport of rowing. The guys on the team are awesome and the practices are actually kind of fun. Seriously, if you come to the Academy and you’re looking for something new to do, come down to the boat house. You won’t regret joining crew.


I guess my biggest word of advice that I’ve acquired during my time here so far is this: get the enjoyment out of everything you can. I’ve had some great laughs and some fun times during these past few weeks. It’s tough because 4th class year is almost designed to keep you down in a way, but there are definitely chances to have fun. Your time here will be so much more enjoyable if you just laugh when you have the opportunity.


More about Benjamin.


The Best Decision Ever

(Athletics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Pourmonir Photo So when you come to the Academy everyone warns you about the life of a fourth class cadet, or a freshman. You aren’t allowed to look at your food, you can’t look around when you walk, and you have to march to class in sections. While all of that is pretty good to know about, I wonder why I was never really warned about the people. This crazy place sounded a lot more like a prison than a college. No one told me how devoted the teachers are to their students. No one warned me of how the upperclassmen put so much work into helping you develop into a better cadet and someday a better officer. No one told me about how your class becomes unified as one.


This may not be the easiest decision but it is definitely the best one I have ever made. I have learned so much since I reported in. My faith in God grew stronger, my faith in my classmates grew deeper, and my faith in myself became impenetrable. Classes are in no way easy, but they are always manageable, which for me is the key to success. You have to prioritize and manage every aspect of your life very closely. I have a few free periods during the day, which I try to use to do my homework. Classes end at four o’clock, and then I have crew practice until six o’clock. Crew has become my time to relax. It isn’t always relaxing, but I try to make sure I take at least five minutes during crew to think about everything and calm down. After crew, I have dinner and homework.


To be honest I don’t finish all of my homework until around midnight or 1 a.m. The issue with this is that I have classmates in bed by ten. The difference you ask? I procrastinate, socialize, and eat. It takes up way more time than you might think. I’d like to say that it’s just that difficult and I’m doing my best, but that wouldn’t be true. I am getting better though! I am learning how to keep track of a million things at once and manage my time so they all get done. Hopefully next month I will figure out how to get to bed by ten, because I could seriously use the sleep! I’ll check back in soon and let you know if I figure it out.


More about Keemiya.


Everything I Expected and More

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Mills Photo My first month as a fourth class at the Academy has been a whirlwind. It is everything I expected and more. After waiting two years to be here I can honestly say that I made the right decision. Swab Summer was one of the more challenging experiences of my life. It will help you to discover how much more resilient and strong willed you can be. Even as the school year begun, my heart still raced hearing reveille over the loud speaker. The school year starting was like a breath of fresh air.


There are so many clubs offered here I just couldn’t decide which to join first. I am currently a member of the International Ballroom Dance Club, Cadet Activities Club, and the Cadet Blog Club! Swab Summer definitely taught me how to manage my time if nothing else and it has been essential this first month. I am now settling into the routine of our classes and the homework schedule, giving me an opportunity to enjoy the extracurricular activities the Academy has to offer.


The corps had its real first bonding event at the Coast Guard Academy Bears vs. Merchant Marine Academy football. It was a very exciting game full of a lot of morale and it really brought the corps closer. I was also given a chance to travel with the Coast Guard Academy’s marching band to the Big E agricultural fair hosted here in New England. It was so nice to get out into the real world and I was even allowed to wear civilian clothing! Everything is going very well.


More about Sydney.


Things Are Moving Quickly

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ledzian Photo Although Swab Summer was seven weeks long it felt very short. It’s hard to believe that I am already a cadet; it feels as if I will wake up one morning and it will only be week two of Swab Summer. Since the academic year began everything has moved very quickly. I am moving through my courses very quickly and it is easy to fall behind. As for sports, I find it very helpful to be a part of a sports team and know upper-class cadets. I have already run two races on the XC team, one of which was my first 5-mile race. With sports and academics it is hard to find free time, even the weekends are jam packed with racing and homework.


Though I am always busy, I enjoy the challenge presented by my academic course load. One of my favorite courses is Fundamentals of Navigation. This course involves nautical charts and I really like its practical applications. I have been able to separate myself from my academics and have fun visiting my sponsor family, where I have completed 30 and 50 mile bike rides; going to XC meets, and having team dinners. The atmosphere here is really energetic and helps a lot when I am having a bad day.


More about Patrick.


You Might as Well Make It a Party

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Kuntz Photo During Swab Summer, our cadre always told us that they were preparing us for the stresses of the school year and the fleet. The entire time they’d be saying that, I’d think “pssh, school… how different can it be from high school?” Classes have always been pretty easy for me. I was a varsity athlete and captain all through high school on top of being president of multiple councils and involved with numerous extracurricular activities. I thought I was used to stress and time management, but let’s just say that I underestimated the school year a lot.


So far, in just these four weeks of classes, I’ve had three tests, a paper, numerous group projects, nightly homework on top of varsity sports practice, and military obligations (and I can’t forget my favorite thing, weekly indoc tests!). Things aren’t getting easier, but I’m getting more used to day-to-day life here at the Academy. Now that everything is in full swing, I’ve developed a routine that I think will definitely be my saving grace for the rest of the semester and the school year!


4/c year isn’t supposed to be the best time on the planet, mostly because we still have a lot of work and training to do in order to be successful cadets. Throughout all of the stresses of the week and all of the work that has to get done, I think people forget that we’re in “college.” Granted, we’re not out partying like most of our friends back home, but we are partying in our own “Academy” way. I make it my goal every day to be positive and focus on the fun that we are having. Everything here is so much easier if you can have fun with it! My roommate is awesome and is one of my best friends here. We make everything a “party” and always try to have fun and get our work done. Shoe shining parties, chemistry parties, and fruit parties are some of our favorites. It’s definitely the little things, but life here is what you make of it, so you might as well make it a party!


More about Savannah.


Powering Through the First Semester

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Krause Photo The start of October marks the end of my first month as a cadet at the Academy. This past month has just flown by! 4/c life has been such an adjustment from Swab Summer. Unlike Swab Summer where your day is constantly dictated, during the school year time management is all on you. As 4/c, we have to handle all of our military obligations, on top of our school work and sports. The overwhelming amount of work can sometimes seem impossible to get done with the limited time we have. Now that we are moving through our second month of school, I am getting better at just taking each task one at a time, which helps reduce some stress.


Though academics, military obligations, and sports take up most of our time, we still manage to sneak in some fun (even as 4/c). The constant support of my classmates has helped me handle the pressures of the school year and I look forward to growing even closer as a class. I also love being a member of the cross country team. The opportunity to have such great teammates and leave campus on meets and off base practices has made the start of the academic year so much better. It is also really cool to represent the Academy through athletics, which motivates me to try for my best performance each race. So far we have been able to travel to several big meets that have all been incredible. I would definitely suggest getting involved in a sport or club because it’s great to have a bit of a break from the work. I’m excited to see how the rest of the cross country season goes and I look forward to powering through the first semester. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me at


More about Gretchen.


Loving Life

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Haley Photo Hey guys!


During the first week of classes, an upperclassman told me that the days here would be long but the weeks would go by fast and the months even faster. I’ll admit that at first I was skeptical. It was only the first day and I had so much work to do! Just making it to the end of the day seemed impossible—never mind making it through weeks and months. But as usual, this upperclassman was correct. Somehow, time has flown by and we’re already nearly half way through the semester!


This past month or so has been awesome! The schoolwork is definitely difficult and sometimes overwhelming, but as long as I just focus on the task at hand and not stress about the piles of work left to do, I keep myself sane. I’ve found that most cadets here really cherish sports period as a time to relax and recharge their batteries for a night of schoolwork. For me, cross country practices and meets have definitely been something to look forward to. The people on the team are awesome and getting to travel around to different schools around New England to run every weekend is pretty cool. And since I’m from the area, I’ve gotten to see a lot of my old teammates and running friends at meets, which is sweet. I’m also pretty lucky that since I live close I’ve been able to see my family and visit my friends at different colleges quite a bit. Aside from all that, it’s really the little things that happen at the Academy that make it so great. Whether it’s dying laughing with my roommate about the awkward things that happen as a braced up fourth class or coming back to the Academy covered in dirt and scratches from thorns after getting lost in the woods on a run (#fourthclassprobs), it’s the little, insignificant things that get me through the day.


There are definitely the ups and downs being here at the Academy, but, there’s always so much to look forward to…enjoying my favorite season—fall (a.k.a. eating everything pumpkin-flavored), Halloween, XC meets, seeing everyone at home for Thanksgiving…these next few weeks should be a lot of fun! So even though the Academy has proven to be pretty difficult, at the end of the day—even if the end of the day is at 0100 in the morning—I always climb into my rack thinking about how much I love my life.


#Lovinglife #Beingpositive #Bye


More about Jenn.


Life after Swab Summer

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo Swab Summer was definitely challenging and we all miss parts of it now that the academic year has started. I could go on forever about Swab Summer, but I would go way over my word count. It was the experience of a lifetime—challenging, fun, trying, and tiring.


The way of life here during the academic year is very different, and we’re all still adapting to the new routine. Having been to a traditional state university for a year, I can say firsthand that this education is entirely different—it’s very hands on, and professors really care about your success. Here, you’re not just a number. When you come here, you are “somebody” in Chase Hall, in the classroom, and on the sports field. If you want to be a part of a family who wants to see you succeed, this is the place for you. The academics are very demanding, and I’m not necessarily your top “math-guy” but that’s why I came here: to get the best education possible to develop as an officer in the finest seagoing service.


The culture here is very unique, and so is the way we have fun. The Merchant Marine Academy game last week was insane (for a variety of reasons), but it was a whole lot of fun. Spirit missions, or good natured pranks on the upper-class cadets ran rampant the week before, and the energy on campus was exhilarating. The energy here, whether it’s during Pass and Review (drill), sports events, or campus activities, is what keeps me going. Just about everyone here is on the same page, so we all know how to have a good time. That’s another thing—all nine hundred or so people here are all working toward a common goal. I think cohesion among cadets here can only be matched by a few other places on the planet.


More about William.


A Month of (Somewhat) Back to Normal Life…

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Fordham Photo …if you can consider being braced up and squaring ‘normal’. It is for me now!


After two strenuous months of Swab Summer, a hectic week of initiation trainings and then the start of school, my life has slowed slightly. Actually, it slowed exponentially after I was put on crutches for breaking my foot. (You never really think about how many hills are on this campus until you’re: a) running on them or, b) crutching up them.) Despite this, determination to be a good cadet drove me to learn how to crutch faster than some people walked normally. Of course, the stairs got me every time. But that’s beside the point.


Now: academics. Going into college, we all know, it’s going to be different. Speaking from my perspective, it’s really not that different apart from the sheer amount of homework. I’m proud to say that I’ve only stayed up past midnight twice to far... and both times were because I had to clean. Your shipmates will help you through a lot of your homework if you’re struggling, but if worse comes to worst you are entered into a mandatory CASP session (like me), which is actually awesome! (Kind of).


While the Coast Guard is still a huge change in my life, it’s slowly but surely becoming more natural to me. I can’t wait to see what else it will bring!


More about Savanna.


Hundreds of People Willing to Help

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Daniels Photo Hello to all who may read this,


It has been over a month since we graduated from Swab Summer, which turned out to be one of the toughest experiences of my life. It will change you in ways you don’t expect until you are free to do your own thing, and suddenly realize that you are thinking about doing something that was taught to you without thinking about it. Habits are definitely hard to break.


With the start of the academic year, the Class of 2017 faced a new set of challenges. The first and foremost among these was time management. We had all had our time managed for us during the summer, with specific time given for each activity, and if we went over, we were punished. Now we were given a bucket load of new responsibilities, and had to find ways to manage them.


So far, the academic year hasn’t proven too hard for me, but I know that it will escalate soon. The expectations of incoming forth class are very high, but there are hundreds of people within the Academy willing to help.


If you have any questions, feel free to email me at


Until next time!


More about Drew.


Top 10 Moments of Swab Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Dahill-Baue Photo Mention the words “Swab Summer” to anyone here at the Academy, and you will usually hear groans. Swab Summer is the seven-week indoctrination training that all incoming freshman must go through before they can officially call themselves “cadets” at the Academy. It’s basically just like all freshman orientations… except you exercise all day, get yelled at, and don’t even have time to think! Even though cadets look back on their experience during Swab Summer like it was the worst part of their lives, we all will secretly admit that there are a few fun moments or times that we got to do some pretty awesome things. So without further ado, the top 10 moments of Swab Summer……


1. Inter-Company Sports: a few times a week, companies (all swabs are broken into eight companies) will compete against each other in softball, volleyball, basketball, or soccer. This is a great time to relax a bit, talk to your shipmates, and maybe spot a cadre acting like a normal person. My company, Hotel, was absolutely horrible at these games. Our first softball game, we lost 4 to 26. However, at one of the last volleyball games, we were able to win by just 2 points. We were so excited, we started screaming and jumping up and down and hugging each other like we had just won the Olympics.


2. Creative Room Wreckage: If a swab’s room is not “properly stowed” – meaning everything put in the exact place it is supposed to be, bed made perfectly, and all clothes crisply folded – then the cadre will go in and wreak havoc in their room. Sometimes, they have some fun and get creative with it. Once, they moved around the mattresses in a room to make a fort. Another time, they made a little “camp fire” out of our flashlights and coat hangars, a “tent” out of our green sea-bags, and sang camp songs with a guitar while “roasting” marshmallows on sticks. As we walked by, they chanted “Yay! Just another fun day at Camp Coast Guard! What a lovely summer!”


3. Sunrise: Every morning, we would wake up at 5:30 to go do a morning workout. The sun would still be below the horizon as we ran, did push-ups/sit-ups, or completed ab circuits. Although it was tiring, it was always worth it when, around 6 a.m., as we headed back from our workout, the sun would rise over the hill, and the beautiful orange light would hit the glassy water of the Thames. Any sort of negativity that I may have felt at the moment would always be washed away by this beautiful sight.


4. Shooting Range: Before Swab Summer, I had never shot a rifle before. One day, we got to go to the shooting range on campus and shoot an M16. It was really cool because there is definitely a lot of responsibility in handling a rifle, and responsibility is not something you usually get during Swab Summer, as everything is planned out for you and you are told exactly what to do every minute of the day.


5. Music: Since you almost never get to listen to music as a swab, the few times where you might get to hear a bit of music are some of the sweetest moments. On Sundays when we cleaned the barracks, the cadre would occasionally play music from their laptops in order to boost morale. My shipmates and I would have a lot of fun getting to dance a little bit to the music in our rooms as we cleaned, and briefly feel like normal people.


I know that that is only 5, but this blog entry is starting to get very long (I guess I have a lot to say about the fun moments of Swab Summer!), so I will include the next top 5 moments in my next blog entry! Stay tuned!


If you have any questions, shoot me an email at


More about Clara.


Rivalry Known? Check!

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Corbett Photo Hello Everyone!


For my first post I want to talk about the Secretaries Cup weekend. As most of you reading may know, there is a slight, sort of, I guess you could call it a rivalry, between the Coast Guard Academy and Merchant Marine. The week leading up to the game is spirit week. The 4/c or some like me at least, go crazy. We yell “Go Bears,” “Bear Mania,” or “Da Bears,” to every upper class we see as to greet them and spread the morale. There are different morale activities throughout the week to keep everyone involved and 4/c are encouraged to do spirit mission, which are like little pranks on upper class.


The week definitely gave a lot of buildup of what was to come. We heard the rumors of it being crazy at points during the football game. Wait, though, come on…we are military schools, how crazy could a tiny little rivalry be? When the busses pull up some glares started to be thrown. The upper class warned us, the 4/c, to not be too rowdy. I just moseyed on along to my water polo match unaware of the potential of this– sorry, I have been understating–this incredibly serious rivalry! This was my first water polo match and the stands were full of Coasties. Only a few MMA’ers showed up. Well, we ended up winning, which showed the potential of the CG water polo team this season. The MMA team did do very well for a team of 12 against our team of 33, but the outcome was inevitable.


After the water polo game, I headed back to the stands. To my surprise the spirit of the corps was impeccable, everyone standing and cheering for our football team. Some shenanigans were had. To say the least my cover was taken from me by an MMA freshman. They also tried taking our cadet flag. They were never successful on that front. We however were! As 4/c we are in charge of the morale and spirit basically, if we are happy everyone else is happy! Our shenanigans were all in response to actions taken by the other side. We protected our corps and our belongings and maintained posture while also responding, and well, causing a little havoc of our own. I was never a fan of going to sporting events before this. After seeing what went on that weekend, trust me, the aura around the events puts a smile on your face and you are guaranteed a fun time!


More about Shane.


It’s Worth Every Minute!

(Athletics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Beck Photo Hey there! I’m Laura, (4/c Beck) and if you’re looking for maybe a different perspective on Academy life, I hope to give you that. Sorry if this post may not live up to that…but I promise it only gets better.


These first few weeks of the academic year are so overwhelming. Not only do we have a full course load but also tons of rules to acclimate to. This may seem discouraging, but knowing that the three classes above us all dealt with the same thing, and respecting how much knowledge, and professionalism they have, motivates us all to work hard every day.


Above all, the community here is really supportive. I attended civilian university for a while and the Academy is way closer to being a team (dare I say a family?) than the random grouping of people I experienced previously. The academic and moral support system makes us feel included and involved.


I started a sport here I’ve never tried: crew. As with my shipmates’ experiences on their teams, I’ve been overjoyed at the outstanding training and opportunities for anyone to do well if they work hard. The two hours a day set aside for athletics is my time to use a different part of my brain. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to crank out essays in just a couple hours. The physical work keeps me mentally focused when I need to be.


I feel like not much has happened yet but I’m sure there will be some good stories to share soon!


More about Laura.


With Great Power, Comes Endless Amounts of Homework

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Doctolero Photo Going into my third class year I was excited. I could swivel my head in the hallway, I could bring my food to my face in whatever angle I wanted, and I no longer yelled at an inanimate object for 10 minutes. The roles had switched and I was excited for the year to come. When classes started I realized this year wouldn’t be all fun and games. As an ORCA major my schedule was full of math classes. I have multivariable calculus right after my linear algebra class, talk about math overload. And physics in the morning is rough; the last thing I wanted to talk about in the morning was angular velocity and the conservation of momentum. On top of that, there were weekly physics tests and so much homework I couldn’t breathe. It was tough at first to get in the swing of things, but I worked hard, developed a schedule, and tried not to waste too much time.


It was also weird for me to have to be in charge of someone. Even though the division has a first and second class, it’s the third class’ responsibility to take the fourth class under their wing. I was constantly bombarded with questions and tried to answer to the best of my abilities. There was also deciding what kind of leader I should be. Should I be the overly nice third class, that seems like a friend or should I be the overly accountable third class that is strict and goes by the book. I eventually chose to be nice, because everyone deserves second chances, and my goal was not to be a tyrant, but a mentor. And I can’t mentor if my fourth class is scared to approach me.


Despite all the kinks and obstacles, I can honestly say I’m excited for the year to come. I look forward to watch my fourth class grow just as I did last year. I know I’m far from perfect and I also have some growing to do. But I’m ready to tackle any obstacle head on and make the best of this year.


More about Rheanastasia.


Our Service as Coast Guardsmen is About Servitude

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
 DePorto Photo It's a short week coming back from Labor Day weekend. As always, I am excited for the weekend. We have an away volleyball tournament and are leaving Friday at 1300 (1pm). I will get to sleep on the bus while my classmates are in school. Oh, the small perks of being on a varsity team.


My birthday is this month, and I am dreading turning 22. I remember being 17 and meeting someone that was 22. "You are so old," was all I could think. I am losing my youth. But I have to keep reminding myself that age is only a number. With every day that passes, I learn more and am able to take on more responsibilities.


I am the Regimental Workplace Climate Officer this semester. I get to deal with diversity affairs as well as sexual harassment and assault issues. The perks of taking on the extra responsibilities are that I get to keep my car in the upper parking lot, I live on the second floor, and I get to give the 4/c carry-on. I am working to make trainings better and be able to have more open discussions about where we all come from. I am a first generation college student, and much to my surprise so are many of my classmates. We all come from different backgrounds and have faced different challenges, so I believe that if we talk about them we can have a better appreciation for those around us as well as the wonderful lives we all live.


Again, my sister and I are the first in our family to attend college. I knew I would go to college since the 7th grade when my parents told me that I could get paid to go to school if I worked hard. Little did I know that I would eventually not only get paid to go to school, but straight out of college I will have no debt and the coolest job I can think of for a 22-year-old. I am living the American dream.


That is all I have for my first entry, but I want to leave this with the speech I addressed to the Corps on our first day of school. The weekend before got out of hand and too many people forgot how lucky they are to attend the Academy. It is a stressful place and we are young adults, but we cannot forget what a great opportunity we have been given by coming here.


Our Service as Coast Guardsmen is About Servitude (Continued) PDF  


More about Kelsey.


A Memorable Columbus Day Weekend

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges) Permanent link
Mason Photo Oh boy…. What a load! This semester is by far the hardest semester I’ve had as a Civil Engineer. My weeks are flooded with group projects that consist of designing retaining walls, concrete beams and slabs, with plenty more to come. This is the year that we take all of the information that has been crammed into our brains over the past three years, and actually apply it to large-scale problems. I believe next week we are actually going to be pouring concrete to build concrete beams that we have designed, and then we will load them until they fail. Should be pretty fun!


I spent the long Columbus Day weekend in Rhode Island with my friend Melissa who was 39 weeks pregnant. We have been friends since middle school, and I just simply could not take the chance of missing the birth of her child. Come Sunday night, she had not yet had the baby, but was still three days early. I started to become discouraged, thinking that there was absolutely no way that she was going to give birth before I had to go back to the Academy. Well, God answered my prayers and her water broke Sunday evening, and she went into labor by 1:30 in the morning on Monday. We (her mother, husband, mother-in-law, and I) arrived at the hospital around 0230, and she delivered her baby by 0530. It all happened so fast, and before I knew it I was holding a beautiful, tiny, perfect baby boy in my arms. His name is Mason Anthony Souza, and I really mean it when I say he is perfect. Even his CRY is beautiful. I still don’t think I have wrapped my brain around the idea that this woman, the little girl I used to sneak down the hallway with and into her fridge to steal ice cream in the middle of the night, is now a mother. And that tiny little bundle that I held in my arms is a person, who will someday grow up to be a man. It absolutely amazes me! And I feel so blessed to be named his “Auntie,” even though we are not truly related.


As beautiful and exciting as my weekend was, it all made Monday night a difficult one. I had only really slept for about an hour in the previous 24 hours, and had to work on a project that was due the next day. I didn’t go to bed until about 0300, and got 3 hours of sleep. My full morning of classes on Tuesday was probably the most difficult I’ve had all year. Staying awake was SO HARD!!! The exhaustion was worth it overall, but I’m definitely feeling it carry out into the rest of my week. Two more days and I will hopefully be able to get some much-needed rest.


Until next time,


More about Allyson.


A Successful Transition

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Schroeder Photo Hello all! Here I am, already a month into school and I cannot believe how fast it is flying by! It’s strange to think that already over a year has passed since I first arrived at this place, and that I have already made it through my fourth class year and third class summer.


This summer I got to see some amazing places; I was in Miami, Florida for five weeks working on a brand new fast response cutter, and then I went on Barque Eagle for six weeks where we got to travel to places such as Bermuda, France, and Canada. I had some unforgettable experiences that easily made for the best summer I’ve ever had. At first it was definitely tough to get back into school mode, but I’ve ended up making a great transition.


I am a Marine and Environmental Sciences major and I am taking some really cool classes! Meteorology and Marine Biology are among my favorites. As a fourth class I just took general classes, now it’s awesome to study subjects I am actually interested in! I’ve already got to learn and see some pretty neat things, for example in Marine Biology lab the other day we got to go to the beach and catch small critters like crabs and jellyfish.


School isn’t the only thing keeping me busy this year though. I joined the women’s rugby team a month ago and I love it! I’m playing loose-head prop for the A-side team, and we just had our first game last weekend and we won! I play hockey so I’m used to contact sports but rugby is definitely exciting and new. Hockey pre-season stuff has also been starting, and as team secretary I have a lot of new responsibilities that I did not have last year, and a lot of paperwork to get done!


School, sports, and military obligations have definitely been keeping me busy, but so far I’ve had a great time in this first month of school and can’t wait for autumn.


More about Jade.


It’s the Little Things in Life

(Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo Free-time: one aspect of Academy life I feel is severely underplayed. Now that I’m well into my 3rd semester here, I’m beginning to become quite familiar with its importance. Of course, you need to keep up on your grades and military obligations, but it’s equally essential to keep in touch with yourself and what you enjoy outside of Academy demands. For example, I love music. Singing it, writing it, playing it, discovering new and unusual instruments – I am passionate about anything and everything about music.


Something I forgot to do during my 4/c year was allotting myself the time to reconnect with who I am. It’s really easy to get caught up in what you’re doing here. I find I am most stressed when I am disconnected with the person I am outside of the military. Even just giving myself 15-30 minutes of strumming the guitar, drawing a new picture or just zoning out to some Beatles or Pearl Jam gives me the ability to tackle whatever homework or tasks I have for the rest of the day/night.


Basically what I’m trying to get at here is that no matter what or where you are (cadet, high school student, whatever!) you should always keep in touch with things that really make you happy. It alleviates any unnecessary stress you can place upon yourself and allows for you to focus and be a more positive person!



More about Allie.


Thoughts on a Quiet Evening

(Academics, Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo Dear Readers,
Please enjoy this stream of consciousness piece about my night


“Coach, if there is no food, we can’t stay down here and row. The wardroom closes at 1900, whether we’ve eaten or not.”
“Coach, we can’t stay. I’m going into the dock.”
“I’m hungry.”
“I’m really cold and wet.”


“Jake, stop. That crosses the line.”
“I should go get some cereal.”
“That was good. I should go get some chocolate soy milk.”
“I really hope they have whipped cream that I can put into my soy milk.”
“They do!”
“Oops…this is awkward. As if the crew team wasn’t a cult already, and now we are breaking stuff in the wardroom. Time to go.”


“What homework do I have?”
“I should check Facebook first.”
“Wow, that’s cool.”
“Whoa—it’s 2000 already?! I should really get my homework started.”
“Okay, I’m going to study. Wait, what am I supposed to study again? I should go ask someone.”
[This leads to me having a twenty-minute conversation in someone else’s room.]
“Okay, I’m bored with studying. I wonder how the last NCIS episode went.”  



“I wish the Internet would move faster…”
“Oh, look, Leann sent an email. I think I’ll write a blog entry in my spare time.”

“I’m hungry.”

A Typical Cadet


More about Peter.


Family Support

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo Here at the Academy, family is important. They are your rock and are ready to support you through all the challenges you face while here. For me personally, I don’t know what I would do with out my family. From the day I received my acceptance letter until now, they have supported my decision and helped me through the rigors of cadet life.


As a high school senior, my parents drove me up to the Academy and made me at least walk around the campus, even though I had told them, “There is no way I will go to an academy”. They pushed me to at least look, and this encouraged me and soon I fell in love with the idea of becoming a cadet. My parents helped me through the application process – painstakingly reading my essays to ensure they were perfect. And when the application was sent, we all longed to hear news. On that cold November night when I received the call that I had been accepted, I ran around the house screaming and who was right there with me – my family. They dealt with helping me find those ridiculous “motivated socks” and the “white/blue/grey shoes” and the week before R-Day, and then they helped me pack all of the items I would need for Swab Summer in one small backpack.


My family supported me all throughout Swab Summer; they constantly sent letters and care packages. If I thought I was having a rough day during the summer, I think my parents had it even worse. They had to deal with knowing that I could not see or talk to them for six weeks. They had to deal with the challenges of being “Academy Cadet Parents.”


And even after Swab Summer had ended, they continued to support what I was doing and me. Once sailing started, my parents drove up from New Jersey and visited me at regattas. They brought with them comfort food like Oreos and cheese doodles. To this day, my parents still drive up to watch a few of my regattas.


I could tell how much my parents cared about me just by their actions. I knew I could call them if I needed someone to complain to or if I was having a rough day. Every morning my mother still texts me “Good Morning” and at night “Good Night. Love you.” And it is these simple little things that keep me going. I know my parents love and support me and will continue to do so. I don’t know how I would get through the Academy without my family.



More about Kayla.


October Already?

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Duplessis Photo All upper class cadets can attest that at the Academy, the days and sometimes weeks go by slow, but the months absolutely fly by. I feel like I am fresh from my summer assignment, but my calendar tells me I’ve already been at school for more than a month and a half. Half of my soccer season is gone, and around 50 days to go until Thanksgiving break. Wow.


Academically, it has been a much better year for me since I’m enrolled in mostly major-specific classes. 2/c year is when most people really get into their majors, which is a huge relief for everyone. For Government majors like me, it is awesome to get into my own track, which is International Relations, as well. I personally enjoy studying the relationships between different countries and what kind of diplomacy the United States is involved in. Every major at the Academy can be equally important, but I think Government (which basically consists of the fields of military and civilian law, international relations, and intelligence), is definitely useful for a future in the Coast Guard. We have patrols in a variety of different countries, and it’s important to know their different regulations and laws as well as the overall feeling they have toward us.


Knowing what is going on, or rather not going on, in Congress is nice as well. The service academies are directly influenced by what is going on in the government, and instead of panicking because I have no idea what will happen to all of us, I can ask informed questions and plan accordingly. Fortunately for my shipmates and me, school has not closed down yet, but all athletic and military activities involving travel have been halted. The civilian teachers also are not being paid, which is extremely unfortunate because we have some of the best staff in the country. It is frustrating (and I’m sure all other military members feel like this as well) to know that a few people stand between you and protecting your country.


It is during times like this that I reflect what serving your country truly means, and I hope I continue to have the opportunity to do so.



More about Lindsay.


Family Inspired Flight

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Keith Photo Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to become a pilot. My father was a crew chief in the Air Force who worked on F-15s and A-10s as well as an aviation enthusiast. Whether it was going to museums, air shows, or simply watching The Great Waldo Pepper over and over, I was always exposed and enthralled by the magic of flight. While my father is the one who introduced me to aviation at a young age, it’s my mother’s influence that has inspired me to chase and accomplish my dream of taking to the air, in a way I never expected.


When I was seven years old my parents got divorced because my mother had cheated on my dad; she ended up getting custody of my older sister and me. Even though Mom was receiving large child support payments from Dad, my sister and I were always hungry. You see, Mom refused to work and thought that the child support was her personal paycheck. Instead of buying food or paying the rent, she would use that money for cigarettes, booze, and illicit drugs. Up until the fourth grade, when I moved in with Dad after Mom just didn’t pick me up, I was constantly on the move due to getting evicted from apartments; I never knew exactly where my next meal would be coming from or where I would be sleeping that night. Until that point of stability when I lived with Dad, I had attended a dozen different elementary schools.


My middle school years were filled with periodic difficulties with Mom, but I didn’t see her too much because she was busy running from child support people since Dad had custody of my sister and me at that point. However, my sister did eventually move back in with Mom when I was in the eighth grade because she wanted to “live her life” and didn’t want to put up with my Dad and step mom’s rules.


Two years later, as a sophomore, I was working at McDonald’s on a Sunday when an aunt of mine came in and gave me the worst news I had ever heard: my sister and her boyfriend who had gotten her pregnant found Mom dead on a couch. I would later find out that they had been trying to pilfer her purse for cigarettes, and that she had overdosed on drugs, but at that moment the world stood still. I couldn’t, no wouldn’t, believe it. Even though that day was exactly six years from tomorrow (I’m writing this on the 29th, and she died on the 30th of September), I can still remember the feeling like it was yesterday.


You see, despite all of the hardship that I had faced while growing up and disdain I had felt for my Mom, she was still my mother. I never got the chance to see if things could have been fixed. If things could have ended up better.


I was depressed for months afterward. Even though I was an excellent student in high school, my grades started slipping and I felt like I was drifting along, without a purpose or goal in life…until one day I was in my backyard thinking about Mom and saw a biplane fly overhead, it’s engine roaring above me. Suddenly, I remembered my childhood dream of flying. And I decided that whatever it took, I would achieve it.


Initially, I wanted to go into the Air Force because my father had been in it, but after doing some research I discovered the Coast Guard, a service that not only flew, but flew to save lives and stop drugs. Those missions really appealed to me especially because my mother had died from drug overdose.


Besides the fact that it was an avenue to flight school, the Academy also appealed to me because it was a place that espoused the belief in things like responsibility and honor and integrity, qualities that Mom never possessed. I wanted to distinguish myself from Mom as much as possible and I knew that the Academy would help accomplish that goal.


Whenever I have had hang-ups or tough times here, I think about my desire to fly, which is further fueled whenever I think about my mom. This sense of motivation, and the support of my classmates, who I consider family, has enabled me to get this far through the cadet experience and realize that my dream is closer than ever.



More about Jordan.


How My Parents Influenced Me While at the Academy

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Engelhardt Photo Outside of Leamy Hall there is a small statue that stands as a tribute to Coast Guard Cadets’ parents. I pass the statue daily, and rarely think of the meaning behind it. However, with Parents’ Weekend just around the corner, it’s hard not to think of my parents and what they did to make me the man I am today. My father, who is a 1978 graduate of the Naval Academy, influenced me early on with military lore. I grew up not far from Annapolis, Maryland, so I spent a lot of fall weekends on the grounds of the Naval Academy at football games. I grew fond of the military uniforms and tradition that seemed embedded in Annapolis. As I expressed more interest in the military my parents decided it would only be fair that I saw all the military academies. They decided that by seeing the Coast Guard Academy, we could knock out two birds with one stone, giving me the grand experience of visiting New England while seeing an academy. Being from Virginia, I had never really ventured north of New York City and New England seemed like a foreign nation to me. However, I remember after stepping foot on the campus the first time I had a feeling of purpose, passion, and pride; feelings similar to the ones I got when at the Naval Academy but somehow stronger. I knew that those who had come to the Academy were doing something with their lives, making a difference in the world that many others can’t ever say they did. In that instance I knew I wanted to go to the Coast Guard Academy. I think my dad was a little shocked when I told him I wanted to go to New London instead of his alma mater, but nonetheless he supported me thoroughly in the application process.


During Swab Summer I felt I was reliving all the horror stories he had told me about Annapolis, and now when we get together we laugh and joke about how life at the academies seems stopped in time, the same that it is today as it was almost 40 years ago. While my dad and I take all the horrors we experienced at are respective academies as badges of honor, I think my mom still thinks the Academy is trying to kill me, sending “care packages” almost weekly. Still I can honestly say that without my parents taking me up to the Academy five years ago this fall I would have never found out about this place. And now that I’m here, my parents’ encouragement and the pride they express in me is all the motivation I need to do my absolute best. It’s parents like mine that make that statue outside Leamy stand tall, and I thank God that I have them.


More about James.


Fall-ing into the Swing of Things

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Corcoran Photo Green leaves are changing to bright red and orange hues, the weather is getting cooler and more brisk, and the most important part of this season has finally arrived: pumpkin coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts. Fall has finally arrived in New England and I could not be any happier. However, I could definitely do without the copious amounts of papers, exams, and homework that all of my teachers decided to assign this month. Regardless of the workload, the autumn season at the United States Coast Guard Academy is a great time for all. Sporting events have taken up a lot of the corps of cadets’ time as there are soccer, volleyball, football, and rugby games, and of course, the most important sport – cross country races!


With about a month and a half into the school year, we have all started to finally settle into the swing of things at the Academy. I no longer cringe when I hear a fourth-class cadet greeting me as “Miss Corcoran, Ma’am” when I pass by them. However, I still find squaring movements awkward, but admit that sometimes it is humorous to watch the fourth class square around objects in the passageways.


Last weekend was Parents’ Weekend at the Coast Guard Academy, which provided a great deal of morale for the corps! I love whenever my parents visit me at school and I know all of the families enjoy being able to see what a day in the life of their cadet is like. My parents were really looking forward to seeing me in the regimental review on Saturday, but luckily for me, (I mean really really unlucky of course) I had a cross country race that morning and had to miss drill. My parents say I look, and I quote, “really legit” in the Parade Dress Blues we have to wear to regimental reviews.


Well, other than the normal operations at the Coast Guard Academy, Columbus Day weekend is coming up soon which means long weekend for the corps. :) I have a cross country race on Saturday, but am planning on making a trip to Boston afterward so I am really excited for that! Also, the weekend after that is Homecoming weekend, which should also be a fun, morale-filled weekend. And of course Halloween is at the end of the month with the Halloween dinner and trick-or-treat on the hill where the cadets get to dress up in their costumes and go trick-or-treating to Admiral Stosz’ s home.


As always, any questions – ask away!



More about Samantha.


Major-Specific Classes

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Zwenger Photo Once again, another blog entry, except this one is on time unlike my last few. So the school year has started up again. I’m actually really happy and excited about my classes this semester because they all pertain to my major, which is Civil Engineering if you haven’t heard yet. Finally, I don’t have a schedule filled with classes that don’t particularly interest me, and I don’t have any classes that the major assignments are to write. The classes I have are mostly doing applied math kind of stuff and learning about the different aspects of civil engineering. This is what my next three (including this one) semesters will look like so I’m stoked for the next year and a half in terms of school.


The one main problem that I have this year is that the Academy appears to think that there is somewhat of a correlation between the school year and cadre summer. During the summer a group of classmates and I were in charge of 25+ high school students. We taught them military things, told them how to eat, when to eat, where to go, how to get there, when to get up, how fast they have to get up, etc. During the school year it is completely different. I have a set of division work that I am supposed to complete, however, I am not responsible for close to 30 people’s lives. It is important to note that the amount of division work has increased from last year and that I do have a bit more responsibility but nothing compared to the summer. That is not to say that I didn’t learn anything last summer, because I learned things that other college students may not learn until they are well into their first job or even past that. The only downfall that I see is that I think some people that work here see a correlation between the summer and the school year, I have yet to see it however.


My parents are coming next week; I’m super excited to see them although it has only been like a month or so since I have seen them. They are coming to my classes for the first time since I’ve been here. I’ll be writing a blog soon about them.


Next semester I hope to be in a division where we are in charge of ‘Cadet for a Day’ so I can see if any of my AIMsters from the summer are coming. If you were my AIMster please email us and let us know you’re coming, we love seeing you all. Shoot the emails to , anyone can email me with questions.


This blog has been all over the place, sorry. Second class (junior) year is so much fun so far, and it’s the friends that make it worth it.


More about Spencer.


In Full Swing!

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Simon Photo It’s been a while since I posted a blog, but I’m back from a bit of a blogging hiatus…


A lot has happened since I last posted, so I’ll bring you all up to speed.


I just started my 2/c class year, after finishing up an amazing summer where I participated in many different training programs such as Coastal Sail Training, range qualification, and Rules of the Road. I was an AIM cadre, so I worked with the rising high school seniors who were accepted to the AIM Program. My cadre section and I gave them a basic indoctrination to the military and taught them about the Academy, so they could make an informed decision as to whether or not the USCGA is right for them.


School started in late August, and we’re almost to midterms. Thus far, I love my classes! This is my first semester at the Academy where all of the classes that I’m taking are in my major. I’m a Government major with a concentration in Public Policy and Law.


I’m really enjoying Spanish (this is a requirement for all Government majors). My instructor is patient, always has a positive attitude and a joke to share, and he truly knows his craft and how to teach topics in multiple ways to help his students understand the material. Above all, he creates an environment where it’s okay to fail or not fully understand what’s going on. He reinforces what we learn in assigned reading and homework through different types of in-class exercises ranging from written work to speaking with my peers and online quizzes that offer immediate feedback on where I’m struggling. I have this class four times a week, and I look forward to it.


I am also really enjoying National Security Policy. Aside from reading about national security policies and directives, this class is teaching me how to look at various historical and current events, as well as policies, more critically. Weekly we delve into various national security topics and determine what the larger impact is on American security and interests. It’s started to transform the way that I look at various domestic and foreign issues… It’s almost like I’m searching for a deeper meaning, as I try to understand the overall scope and impact that an issue may have on relations and security.


Crew season is in full swing—we’re halfway through the fall season. We had our first regatta in September and the Men’s and Women’s teams both did really well. I was the coxswain for the Women’s Varsity Open 4+, and we came in second place. Lately, the weather has been beautiful and the water has been great for afternoon practice. The women’s team will be competing at our second regatta this weekend in Hartford. After this race, we have one more race before we gear up to compete at Head of the Charles in Boston, Massachusetts later this month. Head of the Charles is one of the largest regattas in the world. It has more than 1,400 crews that come from all over the world to race. It’s a 5k row on the Charles River, and the entire racecourse is lined with spectators. I competed at Head of the Charles last year, and in my opinion, it is one of the most exhilarating and humbling races because the crews that compete are some of the best in the world. It’s just as much a coxswain’s race, as it is a rower’s race. The course is laced with turns that wind through bridges and boats are everywhere. I’m looking forward to steering down the Charles later this month.


With October here I’m looking forward to finishing up the crew season and midterms, and enjoying the beautiful fall weather here in New England. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me. Go Bears!



More about Lili.


Busy October

(Academics, Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo This month was another busy month with lots to do on the weekends and plenty of work to keep me entertained during the week. I experienced tests in most of my classes. They were difficult, but I studied pretty hard and did better then expected. I am a lot more interested in my classes this year because they are major-specific and I absolutely love being a Management major.


I started my diving season last week, which added some stress because we have practice from 1900-2100, which is right in the middle of dinner and homework. This is when my time management skills must be perfect.


The weeks are flying by and everyone looks forward to the weekends. The Secretaries Cup was a few weekends ago and the corps took buses to the Merchant Marine Academy to watch the football game. The volleyball, soccer, and water polo teams also had games on Saturday that the cadets could go watch. I watched the soccer team win against MMA for the second year in a row.


The weather up here is cooling down and everyone is beginning to think about winter. I like the fall weather, but I know it’s going to be a while before it gets warm again. This is when I start to miss Florida.


This month is another full month of homework, projects, quizzes, and tests. I am looking forward to Columbus Day weekend because the corps gets a long and I will be able to hang out with all of my friends. Halloween is also at the end of this month, which is exciting because we all get to dress up and go to dinner in the wardroom in our costumes.


More about Sara.


Everyday Failure

(Athletics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo Failure is not a climax of a cadet’s career at the Academy, it’s an everyday experience. I personally know that I have failed in almost every pillar of excellence the Academy has challenged me. From Calculus to rowing to keeping up a shoe shine, it is impossible to keep on top of everything and do it all well.


Recently I have been confronting my biggest failure yet; what a surgeon has described as shoulders only repairable by surgery. I had my dominant shoulder reconstructed in February followed by a painful six weeks wearing an immobilizer sling, and then an additional five months in physical therapy rehabilitating. Not only did this surgery temporarily take away my independence in simple tasks, like tying shoes or putting my hair up, but it forced me to learn to write left handed and doubled the time it took me to do anything. Worst parts of the experience included taking the boards indoctrination exam five days after surgery, attempting to square my meals in the wardroom without being able to talk or ask for help, and literally being trapped inside a t-shirt if my shoulder froze up in the middle of changing. To say the least, I was ecstatic to have almost all of my range of motion back and start building up my strength in August. I took on the responsibility of class vice president along with being a member of the color guard, a cox on the men’s crew team, and all of my other club involvement in the excitement to be physically fit for full once again.


The recovery from this failure has been short lived however, as I will be likely having my second reconstruction on the opposite shoulder soon. Sure, it will not be as difficult to write with a sling on the other arm or to eat dinner now that I can look around in the wardroom, but the mental hurdle of being broken yet again is something entirely different.


I knew coming into the Academy I would face tough situations, though I never expected to have the body of an elderly man before the age of twenty. Facing this everyday failure is part of it all though and in the end I know I will be a stronger officer, mentally and physically, because of overcoming these challenges.


More about Sarah.


Cruising on Through!

(Academics, Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Krakower Photo Wow. I haven’t written in a while. The last thing I wrote was from July, and normally I’m a month-by-month writer. It’s now almost October. It just shows you how busy I am!


The school year has been busy so far, but definitely the start I have been waiting for. Academically, I’m doing the best I’ve ever done to start off a semester. Being someone who has seen pretty average grades throughout my time here, this has been the boost I’ve been expecting. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep it up throughout the remainder of the semester.


For clubs, all remains well. Mock Trial is looking good, as we prepare for our first event in late October. I’m going to a Model UN Conference down in D.C. in October as well! Glee Club/Idlers already went to Cape Cod for a three-day long performance weekend. And I got another spot in this year’s play, Rumors! It won’t be the lead like it was last year (I need more time to myself with all these other clubs!) but it’s certainly a funny show with a lot going for it!


Lacrosse is shaping up for a great year. We’re finishing our final lacrosse fall practice tonight, and then it’s into the offseason for four months. We’re finally officially a varsity sport, so the practices have changed, and there’s certainly more pressure. I think we’ll be just fine.


I’m also a Master-At-Arms for Echo Company, which means I run a Department along with the Department Head, but mostly I’m there to help out the 4/c. It’s been great so far, making sure everything is up to par with the fourth class. There’s also a lot of work in being in the External Affairs Department, but it’s been rewarding.


How I’m able to do all this is simple – a positive outlook every day makes it easy and worthwhile for me to do as much as I can with my friends here. It’s definitely true – upperclassmen have it a lot better than the underclassmen do. I think working for those two years made this start to the year as sweet as it is!


More about Sam.


So Much Homework, So Little Time

(Academics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo So as I sit here just staring at my to-do list, I already feel another cup of coffee is on the menu–it will be a late night! Now that I am finally starting to get into my major’s courses, it is hard to balance the work I must focus on along with the work in classes that aren’t exactly my “major”. For example: Physics. Physics requires a ton of studying and homework, but isn’t a class that contributes to my major’s course of study. It is very frustrating since I want to excel in all of my classes, but I care significantly more about my Government classes. Ah well, welcome to the Academy! Sometimes (and by sometimes, I mean majority of the time) you just have to do things you may not really want to, but are required to. Looking at the glass half full, I really enjoy my Government classes and look forward to getting more involved within my major.



More about Allie.


Recap of Summer I hadn't Yet Blogged About...

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Zwenger Photo I haven’t blogged in quite a while, so I’ll just go over some of the programs from this past summer, a summer that I consider to be one of the best in my life. As you can see this is a huge turn around from a year and a half ago where I almost left; just thought I should mention that.


Range Week: This was a pretty decent week. The only goal was to the qualified in pistol and earn another ribbon, which I can say that I did. However the downside was that many people got to shoot more than once while the people who did well the first time only got to shoot one time. It would have been nice to try and get expert, but there’s nothing I can really do about it.


Marine Safety Training Program: So this week we stayed a week at Sector New York and accompanied some officers, warrant officers, and enlisted members during inspections. It was really interesting because it’s a side of the Coast Guard that not many people know very much about. I came out deciding I wanted to go to a sector and go down that career path but now I may be thinking otherwise. We did inspections on barges where we went down in the tanks and looked for cracks or other imperfections; smaller personal sailing boats that held around 50 people; and bulk carriers. This was definitely one of the highlights of my summer.


Rules of the Road: This is basically school in the middle of the summer to learn about the rules whenever you’re out on a boat. Not much I can say, school in the summer is not fun. I passed and that’s all that matters.


T-Boats: Not one of my favorite weeks. We learned ship handling on the big black boats sitting in the Academy’s backyard. The program was a bit slow, although I did learn some new things, which I guess this is what this is all about.


Coastal Sail!!!!: Hands down, up to this point, this was the best two weeks of my Academy career. I learned more about leadership and followership, had more fun, and went to more new places than I had the previous two years. Basically coastal sail is a program where you leave the Academy on a sailboat with 4 to 6 classmates and a safety officer and sail to different parts of New England. We made stops in Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Hyannis, Newport, and a couple of other different places. Anyway, we left for two weeks and only used the motor a handful of times so it was pretty cool to be able to get from place to place only using the wind. If you make it to this point, this is something to really get excited about.


Prep Week: We cleaned rooms in preparation for the AIMsters… that’s it.


Cadre: So I know I said that coastal sail was the best two weeks of my Academy career. This was true up until the point that I became AIM cadre. I thought sailing was fun but it was a lot of fun being cadre. I honestly can’t think of the words to describe the experience. I had some really good friends that I worked alongside, including a classmate that was in the same AIM company as me. The best way I could describe this would be to say that it is as fun as it looks, plus add some more and that’s what you have.


So, leave flew by as quickly as it always does, I spent time with family and friends and I’m looking forward to the next time I get to see everyone again. If you have any questions feel free to email me



More about Spencer.