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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

ORCA, Not the Whale

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Friedman Photo Time flies when you’re having fun…or really busy. I always forget how that saying goes. The school year has quickly ramped up and I can’t believe we’re at midterms and selecting classes for next semester. I’m an Operations Research and Computer Analysis (ORCA) major, which is applied math. I just started my in major classes, Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra, and so far I love the major. The focus of the major is using math and logic to solve problems. I was that kid in high school that was asking the teacher when we would ever need to know this in ‘real life.’ Thankfully, I don’t have that question anymore because the teachers relate what we’re learning in class to what we’ll do in the fleet as officers or civilians once we transition out of the Coast Guard. I look forward to getting even more in depth with ORCA next semester when I take Differential Equations, Linear Optimization, and Discrete Mathematics.

 

Outside of the classroom, rugby season is in full swing. As I write this, the women’s team is four games into the season, 4-0, have four consecutive shut outs, and are 14th in the nation. We may only be a club sport but beyond our sport we’re tight knit and take care of each other on and off the pitch. I mention rugby because while cadets are required to play sports two of the three seasons each year and can fulfill this obligation through playing intercompany sports. Many play varsity or club sports because they supply an oasis from the monotony and grind of Chase Hall. Teammates provide an additional outlet and support system inside Chases Hall. When considering the Academy, I recommend looking into a sport, club or varsity, whether you’ve played the sport before or not, it offers a support system, break from the day, and a another family.

 

If you have any questions feel free to email me Jill.M.Friedman@uscga.edu.

 

More about Jill.

 

[MES]sing Around

(Academics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Hosley Photo Hello everyone and happy fall! I wanted to take this opportunity to blog about my major (the best major) here at the Academy and that is MES or Marine and Environmental Sciences. Within my major, I focus on two of the three intended tracks which are biology, physical oceanography and chemistry (I study biology and physical oceanography). I may be a little bit biased but I promise I am not exaggerating when I say that MES majors have the most fun at the Academy. We are constantly in the labs doing hands-on dissections, or out trawling for fish on the Thames River. Any other major will admit that they are jealous of the countless field trips we have to the beach, the Inner Space Center at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, or the Mystic Aquarium. I also find that learning about the environment that we will be operating in and around as officers is not only beneficial, but absolutely essential to our futures.

 

The one thing about being an MES major that makes me a little bit different is my directed study program, which goes on outside of class. My directed study is focused on stress physiology in marine mammals. More specifically I am working with Mystic Aquarium to determine if saliva samples collected from the exhale of whales will be indicative of stress levels present in hormones like cortisol and aldosterone that are present in blood samples. Every Thursday afternoon I head over to the aquarium’s labs located on the UCONN Avery Point Campus in Groton, Connecticut. At the labs, I work on a variety of tasks for the project including the analysis of samples (from 9 different Beluga whales captured and released in Bristol Bay, Alaska) in the flow cytometer; as well as archiving blood samples from past veterinary records for the Belugas at the aquarium along with stranded animals that the aquarium has rehabilitated or blood samples received for other studies. Along with my lab work, I also get to travel over to the aquarium to collect the actual samples as well, which involves working with the whales, always an absolute dream come true!!

 

Along with my work with the Aquarium, I also work with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) out on Cape Cod. WHOI currently has a buoy deployed off of Martha’s Vineyard that contains a hydrophone and satellite system to record and transmit noise picked up in the vicinity. The noise we are looking for is whale calls. Based on the songs the buoy hears, we can identify the species of the whale in the area, which is especially important for the conservation efforts of the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. The website designed and created by WHOI is in the process of being turned over to me and a couple cadets for constant analysis and publication regarding the resulting species in the area

 

Another thing I was lucky enough to participate in this past summer, which was associated with my major, was the discovery of the S.S. Coast Trader, a shipwreck off the coast of Vancouver, along with the team at the University of Rhode Island (URI) and on the Nautilus (a research vessel operated by the graduate school at URI). There is so much more I could say about my major, but I know no one has the time to read all that. Anyway, in conclusion, I could not be any happier with my major and the incredible opportunities I’ve had thus far here at the Academy. I will continue to happily [MES]s around here at school with my fish, my whales, and of course my homework and I hope to keep you all updated! Don’t hesitate to email me with any and all questions.

 

More about Cece.

 

Perseverant Cadet

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Taking a look at the past week, I thought it was important to share with you a time that has been harder for me to cope with than anything yet at this school. In the past few weeks I have learned what it means to be a leader amongst my shipmates, what it really means to be strong for shipmates and to support them through the roughest of waters.

 

It all started a week and a half ago when I went to a soccer game against Connecticut College to support my friends, called the Whale Cup. The game was introduced to the Corps of the Cadets with freshmen making whale noises into the microphone, and all were encouraged to attend the game wearing spirit gear. I donned my spirit T-shirt and a pair of black leggings, and headed down to the game. I sat with some friends and cheered the whole time, the game was highly attended and a lot of our senior leadership was in the stands.

 

The next day my company chief came to my room and informed me that I needed to go down with him to meet with the Assistant Commandant of Cadets. I found myself at the Commandant of Cadets conference table and there he sat in front of me due to the fact that I wore black leggings to the soccer game, and they had not been technically authorized for game attendance (they were allowed to be worn while working out). I was sentenced to two weeks of restriction and two marching tours and four work hours. All for wearing leggings. As a side note, I want you to know that I love being in the Coast Guard (see previous blogs) and I am super excited to graduate BUT this is not the end of my story.

 

Okay so I am restricted for two weeks, which means that I am not allowed to leave school at all or be out of uniform during the workday. Then I found out that my classmate Ricky Davies passed away this weekend. I had had every class with Ricky all through my time at the Academy, we were the same major and he was a dear friend. Dealing with this kind of tragedy was and is crazy for me. As an always very positive person, I have never really had to cope with such negativity and while I could come closer to the men’s soccer team to find comfort and support, the Academy never stops.

 

It actually hit me this week that being an officer or even being an adult in real life means that you can’t shut down once you are hit with even the worst news. Life doesn’t stop. In fact, the day after Ricky died, I had to help a teammate with a very serious issue, and after that, my company had an inspection that went poorly and we were punished for that further.

 

I hate to write such a negative blog (sorry again) but I just want you all to know that as much fun as I have here, it definitely takes a strong person, or a person who can learn to be strong to go through a place like this. The rewards are worth the effort, but none of it is easy. And it will never be the same for you as it is for someone else. Some people struggle with grades here, others with not being able to live like their friends at normal college, others with being so busy that you lose time for yourself. Just know that the friends you make and the lessons you learn are irreplaceable and that it really does challenge you to become bigger than yourself.

 

More about Lucy.

 

Management Major Life

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo Here at CGA, I am a proud Management major. Here’s what it’s all about!

 

The Academics
Our major is probably the most diverse major in terms of different types of major classes and electives. This year, electives include Psychology, Intermediate Accounting, Personal Finance, and Negotiations, among others. Management is the only department that offers applied math courses such as Accounting, Finance, and Economics, while simultaneously offering qualitative classes such as Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Psychology, Organizational Development, and Diversity Management. Our major is also fulfilling the Commandant’s call to beef up our cyber capabilities, now offering electives in Programming and Cyber Security.

The major is applicable to junior officer life in the Coast Guard, as our graduates know both what makes people tick, and can also manage the financial books of their unit. This summer, I discovered that the junior officers aboard afloat units play a large role in their unit’s budgeting and auditing process. They allocate the funding given to their unit from the larger Coast Guard using real accounting principles and organizational skills learned in our major. Each year, every senior is administered the Educational Testing Service exam for business. Our major is an AACSB accredited business school, which means that we are on the score board with other top American business schools. Our major has offered field trips to Washington D.C. to visit the President’s Situation Room, the Pentagon, and other places of high national security. Management majors have also attended regional information technology summits that discuss cutting edge issues and solutions in the cyber realm.

 

Our Core Group
Academics are important for Management majors, but the real thing that “makes” our major is the people. We have a great core group of curious students, but we are still social creatures. At least twice a semester, we organize get-togethers in the Officers’ Club and mingle with our instructors. The Investment Club also organizes events educating other members of the corps about the cadet career starter loan and how to use that money wisely. People in my major are tight knit and enjoy working together, hanging out together, and take leadership positions among the Corps of Cadets on Regimental and Company staff.

 

Future Potential
Management majors are eligible to study for the Coast Guard Certified Financial Manager Exam. 1/c cadets can study for this exam and pass it at the end of their 1/c year, making them certified to handle and evaluate Coast Guard finances. We also have attended excellent internships at CG Headquarters for human resources, acquisitions, financial management, and other internships abroad, often interacting with senior leaders such as captains and admirals, presenting their findings at the end of their internship. Our instructors have attended top flite schools such as MIT, William and Mary, Harvard, and Boston University. Management majors are also eligible to apply for the CG law school program and can potentially become Coast Guard Judge Advocates, or attorneys.

 

More about William.

 

This Summer I Learned ______ About Myself

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chang Photo I always forget how many people read these blogs, so it comes as a surprise when people say they read my last entry. (If you’re reading this, hi, Cuzza and Doyle!)

 

One of the main Academy missions is the professional and leadership development of cadets. This is typically done through corps-wide lectures, discussions with company officers and chiefs, and the examples set by the upper-class. We also have leadership journals, usually done once or twice a semester. Our journals are due soon and I haven’t started a blog entry yet, so, to kill two birds with one stone, here’s a part of my leadership journal with the topic, “This Summer I Learned _____ About Myself.”

 

Every Academy summer has taught me new things about myself, but I’ve found that I’m also learning the same lessons every summer, just from a different angle. The importance of patience and perseverance are recurring lessons that I’m grateful to have had. As a swab, being patient helped me stay calm, which made it easier to accomplish a task. Likewise, as a cadre I found that being patient and encouraging was a more suitable leadership style for me. The swabs saw me as an approachable figure, were less afraid of asking questions, and therefore were able to effectively learn seamanship in a safe environment.

 

While I’ve learned a lot about myself this summer, I’ve also learned what I need to work on: public speaking skills. I’ve never been the most assertive person, and while I’ve become more apt to speak up, the navigation briefs I gave this summer were kind of rough. At the Academy, there are plenty of opportunities for me to work on this skill via cadet panels, classroom speeches, or simple practice.

 

More about Olivia.