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cadet blogs

Eclipse Week 2017 at the Coast Guard Academy

(Just for Fun, Life as a Junior Officer) Permanent link
Andreasen Photo I recently did something that would have surprised my 4/c self, I jumped at the opportunity to spend an entire week back at the Coast Guard Academy. Why, you ask? Eclipse Week. Every year the Academy hosts an entire week of events aimed at inclusion and diversity and every year cadets are exposed to various topics, discussions, people and, in short, a world they may have never previously seen or known. In reality, cadets are not the only members invited to attend the festivities; Eclipse Week is open to faculty, staff, and officers from all over. I spent the week reconnecting with former cadets and friends as well as instructors and staff who have become friends. Of course, I also spent my time participating in events, while they are all special and important in their own right, three in particular stand out: the opening and closing keynote addresses (I’ll count them as one), the Take Back the Night Event, and…the Academy-wide talent show. As a cadet, I attended these events every year for four years, but as a returning officer, I had a unique perspective as essentially an outsider looking in. The key here is that I was once on the inside just a few years ago and I now had the ability to compare the differences a short time has made. The keynote addresses drew our attention to the significance and also the beauty of keeping an open mind in terms of how we treat others and consider their backgrounds. The value a person receives from taking the time to learn about someone, to help someone, to really work with someone is immeasurable. To be honest, the Take Back the Night Event shocked me. I walked in silence and solidarity with 250 cadets, officers, civilians, and friends to learn about and really reflect on sexual assault in the military. Finally, to end the discussion of my events on a lighter note, I will mention the talent show. The amount of talent possessed by the current corps of cadets and their instructors who performed is simply put: OUTSTANDING. The talent show exceeded expectation.

 

Each event of Eclipse Week is memorable, special, and vital in developing a cohesive workforce. Unfortunately, I fear some readers have dozed off and will begin snoring. I was fortunate to have attended 2017’s Eclipse Week and will carry the lessons I learned with me to my unit.

 

More about Brooklyn.

 

Travels

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chang Photo Well, we’re all back from spring break, the dark ages are fading away, and we’re only seven weeks away from the sweet taste of summer freedom. It’s always a bit saddening to come back to New London, especially since I was coming back from a week in the original London. Of course, I saw Big Ben, London Bridge, Camden Town, but my favorite spot was Leigh-On-Sea, a cozy town about an hour east of London. I met a friend there and had an amazing time, chilling in an old English pub and watching the tide come in. By the way, their low tide is so low that their boats rest on the bottom! Google it!

 

As for the summer, I was fortunate enough to be given an assignment onboard the Japanese Coast Guard Cutter, Kojima. It’s a great opportunity to experience the Japanese culture and get some unique underway experience. Not only that, but I’ll see my friends again! A few of their cadets came onboard the Eagle last summer, so now it’ll be their turn to teach me about their coast guard. A single cadet blog isn’t enough to express how excited I am for this summer, and I will definitely update you on what adventures come out of this opportunity.

 

More about Olivia.

 

March Madness!

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo March madness! Regardless of basketball that is how I would describe my life right now. Everything is happening so quickly and the end of the year draws closer and closer. What a fun semester it has been so far. I just returned from spring break. This year a few of my close friends and I planned a trip to Barcelona, Spain. My travel buddy phrased it perfectly, “I’ve never been in a city with a heartbeat before.” It was phenomenal. We visited la Sagrada Familia, Montserrat, and saw the Barcelona versus PSG soccer game. La Sagrada Familia was one of the most impressive cathedrals I have ever seen, and it is still in the process of being built! By the time it is finished it will have been worked on for over 160 years. I could have stared at its intricacies for days and not seen it all. Montserrat is a monastery/convent up in the mountains right outside of Barcelona. You have to take a long winding road to get up to the top and from it you see the most beautiful views. We heard the boys’ school choir sing inside the cathedral. They are known around the world for their voices. The architecture, history, and beauty behind Montserrat took my breath away.

 

The Barcelona versus PSG soccer game is hard to put into words. Barcelona needed to beat PSG by five goals in order to advance within the league. No one thought they could pull it off. They scored the sixth goal in the last two minutes, and I have never in my life seen fans with such love of the sport and team. The whole city was on fire. Fans cheered the whole hour and a half walk back to the house we stayed at. Horns blared to a Barcelona chant throughout the streets. I knew at the end of that game that I had just witnessed a great moment in soccer history, and while amazed I felt unworthy of being able to be at that game when there are such huge, dedicated Barcelona fans out there. Still, what an awesome experience.

 

Anyway, back at the Coast Guard Academy the seniors have their billets for next year, the sophomores have their cadre sections, and now we are waiting on our summer assignments. I can’t wait to see where I’ll be headed next. School is busy but not too overwhelming right now, and I feel like I have finally got a manageable schedule. I cannot believe that I am almost into my senior year here. I still feel like a freshman occasionally, but I am ready to take on the leadership role next fall and really figure out what I want to do when I graduate and where I want to go.

 

More about Hannah.

 

Winter Recap

(Academics, Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Silliman Photo So, I am currently in Annapolis training with the sailing team on our spring training trip. Seeing the immense size of the Naval Academy certainly makes us comprehend how different the Coast Guard Academy really is. Being in Annapolis for the first time and seeing the large, Greco-Roman buildings of the Naval Academy certainly was a culture shock for me in comparing it to the small New England Coast Guard Academy campus with its federal-style architecture. I still would not want to be anywhere else.

 

At the end of winter break after a trip to the U.K. with my family, I flew to San Antonio to attend a conference among other Catholic college students called SEEK. We were part of a group of over 13,000 students including some from other service academies. It was truly a life changing experience, and with the spring semester ready to meet me with the end of the conference, I wish the conference never ended.

 

With the season pass I had to Killington, I took to the slopes for Martin Luther King weekend with a group of 15 cadets, and it was a blast. After that I only managed to get in another three days on my pass, those times going to Sunapee with my family. It was a great season over all, and with the increased liberty of 2/c year, next year will be even better.

 

The sailing team hit the water for the first time last week and we are now well under way for the spring season. The team is a little smaller now, but hopefully we will all get some good racing in.

 

One of my favorite classes this semester has been Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Design. This has introduced me to all the crazy machines of the Academy’s power lab, which has enabled me to begin building a contraption known as a finger engine. I cannot wait to see the finished project.

 

The school year is slowly making its way toward the end. This summer will be a lot different from the last one, but it will be fun in its own ways. I just hope its gets warm a little faster this year.

 

More about Derek.

 

Liberty, Liberty, Liberty

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo A question I get very often from my friends outside the Academy as well as prospective cadets and parents is “when do they let you out?” Well, I decided to discuss this topic to break it down for prospective cadets. For starters, cadets have a summer break, Thanksgiving break, winter break, and spring break. Cadets (everyone except for the freshmen who are in Swab Summer) receive three weeks of leave during the summer following or sometime between training.

 

All cadets go home for almost a week for thanksgiving, and each cadet receives two weeks of leave for winter break. Cadets also receive one week or more for spring break in early March. Otherwise, if you ever need to go home for a family emergency, the Academy does an awesome job getting cadets this special leave when they need it.

 

For normal weekends, there is a graduated liberty system, and more privileges come with each successive year at the Academy. Freshmen, or 4/c cadets, can take off from Saturday at 12 p.m., or 1200, and need to return Sunday morning before midnight. Their liberty resumes on Sunday at 8a.m., or 0800 and they need to be back by 1800, or 6 p.m.

 

3/c cadets, or sophomores, have the same liberty as 4/c cadets, but they are granted liberty on Friday nights as well. They need to return by Friday night at midnight.

 

2/c cadets have Friday liberty as well, but are also allowed to take “short weekends.” This means they have an overnight pass from Saturday until Sunday night at 1900, or 7 p.m.

 

1/c cadets have the same privileges as 2/c cadets, but are also granted Thursday night liberty from 1600, or 4 p.m., until 2200, or 10 p.m. Cadets who have a command position, that is a significant military leadership position, are also allotted the same Thursday night liberty times but on Wednesday nights as well. When it has been determined that 1/c have met and exceeded the standard during the spring semester, 1/c cadets are granted gangway, when we can take off so long as we do not have a formation, class, or military obligation. 1/c cadets are also allowed to maintain and own cars on base.

 

So, I hope I was able shed some light on the leave and liberty process here at the Academy—don’t worry, they do let us out and there is a lot to do here in the area!

 

More about William.