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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Life on the Greens

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo This semester, I found a great way to spend my free time—through the Academy Golf Club. Relatively new to the game, I had only played a few times my 3/c year, but this year I really got into it. One of the best kept secrets of 1/c year is the PE class: Advanced Golf. During 3/c year, all cadets take a basic golf class, and during 1/c year you can elect to take Advanced Golf. For this course, you are responsible for playing 10 rounds of 9 holes. Cadets who take this course are free to leave whenever there is no class or military obligation, which was a great opportunity to get away for a few hours each week and enjoy the New England autumn. After playing for the class, I began to play during my own free time and golfed beyond the required amount for the PE class. I discovered that the Academy has many avid golfers, and that there is a special deal at a local country club for cadets.

 

I spent many hours at the country club this semester, and really enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the game with officers, chiefs, and fellow cadets. I have played many courses in the area over the semester. On Veterans’ Day, a few of my friends and I played a local country club for free! Golf has become my outlet for stress this semester, and I am glad that I stumbled upon it! Over this coming winter leave, I will be spending my time with family at a resort in the Dominican Republic, and I can’t wait to check out the courses down there.

 

More about William.

 

Saving Lives as a Cadet

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Tousignant Photo One of the main things that I often leave out when explaining my motivation for applying to the Academy was my high school desire to join the Peace Corps. This desire to help people is why I chose the Coast Guard over any other military service. I love the strict military schedule and lifestyle that meshes with my Type A personality. However, the Coast Guard is much more than a military branch. It is a lifesaving service. What recently brought this to my attention was the question of why I donate blood. I dislike waiting for hours while I could be doing homework and being poked and prodded with a needle, but I still keep going back. I realized my action to give blood was driven by the desire to save lives. Even though it is unpleasant, I believe that anyone that is able to donate blood should participate. Though cadets do not have the daily opportunity to conduct search and rescue operations, we can start saving lives without even leaving campus. The Academy is more than academics, military, and athletics. We learn how to be leaders and how to serve the people of the United States. We are required to do community and institutional service. However, cadets usually go way beyond these requirements. Taking a couple hours out of one’s day to help another makes the world a better place even though it is not always apparent.

 

More about Jackie.

 

Recruiting Leave Epiphany

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Mills Photo I had the opportunity to go on recruiting leave for the first time this past November the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Walking into a high school after being away from one for six years was to say the least very thought provoking. I began to think about myself in high school and what I valued most and how it compared to my values now. High school Sydney was uninterested about academics for the most part, concerned more about what I was going to wear than what I was going to learn in school. My passion was performing with the band as a member of color guard and spending crazy amounts of time after hours with the program. Seeing the high schoolers before me, I imagined many of them had similar values as I once had. Not focusing too much on academics or the future but enjoying extracurricular activities in the present.

 

Although I thoroughly enjoyed my high school experience and living in the present is so important, I am so glad I found the Academy, which has evolved my values. My interest in education has increased immensely and I have the best study habits I have ever had (not saying they are good now, but compared to before). I am more focused on my future, choosing my extracurricular activities based around those future goals. Being able to go back to a high school and promote the school I love so much was a great experience. I have so much pride in my school and I want everyone to know how valuable it has been to my growth as a person, a student, and a leader. I secretly implore all the young adults I saw in the high schools to focus on what really matters, filling their brains with the knowledge that they gain in class. Nothing will take you further. Knowledge is the key to growth in all aspects of life and the Coast Guard Academy has just opened the door for me to grow into the person I want to be. Go Bears!

 

More about Sydney.

 

Every Angle of the “College Experience”

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Mills Photo As I looked on at the excitement that the first class cadets had this past Billet Night when they received orders to their first unit, I began to examine my college experience while closing in on only a year left of my undergraduate degree. I have been fortunate enough to attend civilian college, preparatory school and the Academy. All three of these institutions offered different skills and lessons that have shaped me into the person I am today. My first college experience was at the University of South Florida. I knew that, being a shy person, I should join a small team to make friends at this huge college of over 48,000 students. I joined the crew team and a few clubs I found interesting around campus. I started by taking 15 credits and was in charge of my own schedule, which was pretty great since I had a job a Walgreens. This was my first taste of independence and it felt great. Being in control of my own schedule allowed me to make social plans and explore Florida’s vast array of theme parks and tourist traps at my leisure. As the semester progressed, I began to realize just how much independence I really had. Since I was paying for school, teachers did not really mind if I did not show up to the auditorium lectures of 500+ students and I was never forced to see the teacher if I did not understand a lesson and I mistakenly, in hindsight, did not have a study group of people from my classes. These conditions ultimately led to my grades not being the best reflection of my capabilities. I really did enjoy the beautiful lawns full of people playing ultimate Frisbee and enjoying the sun, climbing campus trees and being exposed to so many different types of people and ideas on a daily basis. However, I knew that if I wanted to make the most of my college experience and of my potential, I needed to find a place that I was invested in enough to want to do my best every day, both academically and morally.

 

I reapplied to the Coast Guard Academy and received an appointment to one of the Coast Guard Academy’s preparatory schools, Georgia Military College. This was such a great year! My best friend and I reminisce about that time frequently. I was able to learn about the Army and their missions and start creating good study habits with a prescribed course schedule. This experience forced me to be more accountable and think about my actions because now I was gaining an education off taxpayers’ dollars; I wanted to make them proud and show that the Academy had made a good choice in choosing me. This time in my life also allowed me to start deciding what was important for my future and allow me to better acquaint myself with what the Coast Guard actually does and how I could see myself fitting into this organization. One short year later, I made it to the Academy. What a challenge I faced! Some of the hardest things I have had to deal with professionally, emotionally, and mentally have occurred while I have been at the Academy. My time is no longer my own, as I have a short 200-week program to turn me into a service-ready ensign in the Coast Guard fleet. I have matured greatly in these past few years because I have learned to also consider others that I work with and affect, as well as understand the great opportunity I have been given, which I have been very fortunate to receive.

 

To sum it all up, USF allowed me the most autonomy and I was able to practice my independence. But, my successes and failures were my own and there wasn’t necessarily anyone there to back me up if and when I needed it. Preparatory school was a great way to get to know other services and affirm my decision in choosing the Coast Guard. The Academy is one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences I have had thus far. I am learning each day and it is a continual process. I am also a part of a community and we succeed and fail together; I do not have to do anything alone. And although the Academy owns most of my time, it really allows me to think of how I will use the time I do have to myself and to make better use of that time. I am so fortunate to have stumbled upon the Academy. It is a unique experience and it may not be for everyone, but I hope my insight to both civilian and military college gave you some food for thought!

 

More about Sydney.

 

Thanksgiving is for Family and Friends

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Sakowicz Photo The greatest thing about the Coast Guard Academy is not the beautiful river view, or the extremely devoted teachers, it is the family you get when you join. On R-Day you have 30 brothers and sisters in your company and a thousand cadets in the corps that have your back. With each cadet, teacher, officer, and sponsor parent, you gain their entire family as well, and are accepted as one of their own.

 

As a cadet that lives relatively close to the Academy, I have, on many occasions, told my parents that not only was I coming home, but my entire entourage would be joining me as well. No grunts or anger from my mother, just how many blankets and packages of Oreos was she going to need to buy. My home is no longer my home, but a home-away-from-home for all of my friends that live on the West Coast. My two closest friends no longer ask me when I am going home, but call my parents asking if they can crash for the weekend, even if I am not going to be there.

 

Thanksgiving is one of the better examples of cadet adoption. This year my wonderful parents are managing to fit in seven cadets from both the Coast Guard and the Air Force Academy into their home. Thanksgiving is one of the three holidays I get to see my entire extended family, which can be anywhere from 15 to 30 people at a table. Our family tradition starts with a turkey trot, which I am so excited to share with my friends. My cousin is a Division I runner at U- Albany and one of my Coasties is one of the fastest on our cross country team. My family has a small pool on who will take first. My brother and his Air Force friends will blast past the rest of us, saying something about the air being so much easier to breathe. All that matters is when the last of us cross the finish line, there will be a group of my friends and family in matching Flash t-shirts cheering as hard as they can. Dinner will be similar, with every member cooking something different, from the turkey, (and the backup turkey my Dad got before we left), to my aunt’s corn and saltine chowder, the cadets cleaning all the dishes and chasing the smaller kids around the yard. When we all fight over chairs and couches in my aunt’s living room, there is no difference between my friends and my biological family, they are all just my family.

 

More about Emily Rose.