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cadet blogs

Lightning Can Strike the Same Place Twice

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link   All Posts
Fenster Photo Or in this case, more times than I can count. And the place is the Coast Guard Academy. Because over the past two months, we have had so many unique individuals come and interact with the Corps of Cadets. Most recently, we had our Commandant, Admiral Paul Zukunft, come and challenge us to be leaders of the future in a stimulating corps-wide address. Prior to Admiral Zukunft, we had DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association. And the list goes on. Jeh C. Johnson, the Secretary of Homeland Security; Admiral (Retired) James Stavridis, a former high-ranking naval official who is now the Dean of the Fletcher School of Law at Tufts University; and Admiral (Retired) Thad Allen, former Coast Guard Commandant, all came to address the corps.


But the storm that is the U.S. Coast Guard Academy is not limited to talks from high-ranking officials; that is simply the tip of the iceberg. A few weeks ago, the entire corps was treated to a special pre-release showing of The Finest Hours, the new movie about one of the most daring Coast Guard rescues in history. I don’t think I have to go out on a limb to say that there are not many schools in the country—or the world—who have had that kind of experience. And the movie itself is indicative of not only our institution but also our service as a whole—we strive to not only be successful but also to be unique and passionate in our daily operations. I feel lucky to be a part of an organization that views its role in society with such a high regard.


However, my leadership development comes from more than just talks and movies. On the athletics side of things, the swim team just wrapped up a successful season with a third place finish at NEWMAC Conference Championships and a top-25 finish in the NCAA polls. This was one of the most fun years I have had as part of a swim team, which was due largely in part to our team camaraderie and the amazing support staff involved with the Athletics Department.


And perhaps most importantly, we have escaped the dark ages and are on the downhill to the end of the school year. It’s a good time here in New London. And as always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at


Semper Paratus and Go Bears,


More about Colin.