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  • USCGA Cadet Blogs
    here and plan to continue making the most of my cadet experience As lot s of people here say Your experience is what you make it I stand by that I m going to do what I can to have the best Coast Guard Academy experience as I already have begun to do Until I post my April blog ciao More about Justin Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 11 AM Spirituality at CGA Extracurricular Activities and Faith Based Involvement Class of 2014 Permanent link Hidden among academics athletics military skills community service and other facets of the U S Coast Guard Academy the religious aspect is easily overshadowed However for many cadets religion is just as important as all of those The Coast Guard Academy does a great job of supporting those cadets who choose to practice religion at the Academy as well as supporting those who choose not to Twice a week the Academy has scheduled command religious time On Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings command religious time ensures that all cadets have the opportunity to practice their religions The center of religion is Coast Guard Memorial Chapel The highest point in New London the steeple of the Chapel flashes Morse Alfa the nautical signal for safe water During the academic year and especially during Swab Summer the Chapel serves as a refuge from the stress of the Academy lifestyle On Sundays the Chapel hosts both a Catholic mass and a Protestant service Cadets are not limited to the Chapel offerings however Many choose to go off base and attend services at local houses of worship On Wednesday evenings the Catholic and Protestant chaplains hold vespers The Catholic chaplain even offers daily mass at 1130 In addition to Cadet Memorial Chapel there is a small chapel inside of Chase Hall which includes a reading room with religious materials from all major faiths When not being used for vespers it is a great place to go for some quiet meditation There are also a wide variety of faith based extracurriculars available to cadets There are clubs for Catholics Protestants Jews and members of the Church of Latter Day Saints There is even a club for atheists In addition groups such as Officer s Christian Fellowship offer extra opportunities for religious involvement such as worship bands and Bible study For music lovers there are Catholic and Protestant choirs and a non denominational bell choir The great thing about religious programs at the Coast Guard Academy is that they are totally voluntary You will never be forced to attend a religious event The religious controversies that plague the Air Force Academy are unheard of at Coast Guard The Academy has three chaplains on staff made up of two Protestants and a Catholic These chaplains are not only leaders of their religious programs at the Academy but also counselors to cadets of all faiths With offices in Leamy Hall the chaplains are always available to listen to problems and provide friendly advice not related to religion If you are a religious person you will have no problem continuing the practice of your religion once you arrive at the Academy On the other hand if you are not you will certainly not be forced to More about Nick Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 11 AM Privileges Say What The Cadet Experience Class of 2015 Permanent link As a fourth class you learn to not take anything for granted Everything that you have or are allowed to do you have to earn Now as we enter the midterms of the spring semester us fourth class are finally getting a taste of privileges Last week we received the right to write on the whiteboards outside of our barracks rooms because of 2015 s exceptional score on our first indoctrination test The purpose of these whiteboards is to let others know where you are at all times past 1900 Prior to this privilege being granted we had to properly format notecards to our company commander and tape them to our whiteboards Although this seems like a small achievement it s one that none of the fourth class take lightly We have worked hard to get here and equally if not harder to stay here This is just one means of recognition for our endeavors In the weeks to come we have the opportunity to earn the privilege to play music out loud in our rooms and wardroom carry on i e looking at our food while we eat talking to each other ability to look around all leading up to full carry on This is all in preparation to becoming a 3 c As I write this I am sitting in O Hara Airport in Chicago waiting for my connecting flight home to Milwaukee Wisconsin I chose to come home for spring break because I was not entirely sure where my summer travels would lead me This is my second time home since reporting in and I am very excited to spend this much deserved time with my family and friends Realizing that the worst part of going home is having to say goodbye to my family I know I will be coming back to the Academy to all of these opportunities for privileges It definitely makes the trip a little sweeter More about Victoria Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 12 AM Helping Out the Community Extracurricular Activities and Faith Based Involvement The Cadet Experience Class of 2015 Permanent link On March 24th and 25th the class of 2015 went out into the community and made a difference Over two days 120 4 c cadets helped the community to restore the basketball court at the Thames River Federal Housing Complex When I say restore I mean made anew The court could not be seen from the street or even from the complex which is right next to it Vines bushes and even trees had grown up around the court through the fence and there was even a tree that was in the middle of the court It was no small feat but we spent two days working side by side with members of the community who really put in the time and cared In a matter of hours the hidden court was transformed and was no longer a forgotten jungle Through the hard work and coordination of our two 4 c Zackary Wells and Lloyd Diaz who spearheaded the project and our class advisor LCDR Ely the project came together and gave our class the opportunity to be a part of the community The next step in the process is completely repaving the courts which once the weather warms up will happen I believe projects like this make all the difference in people s lives especially with all the children who worked with the cadets and knew they were doing something great It also goes along with the humanitarian mission of our Service and is a good quality of being an ideal member of the community The project would not have been possible without support from the Academy Senior Chief Yoder The Salvation Army the Kiwanis Club and every single member of the community who came out to labor for a good cause More about Alex Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 12 AM Zat You Santa Claus Choosing the Coast Guard Academy Class of 2015 Permanent link Christmas is fast approaching and so are finals To say I have put 110 into this past semester would be an understatement In high school I earned a 3 89 GPA having taken 5 AP courses I received my diploma proudly sporting gold chords around my neck One of the greatest and hardest realizations I have had since coming here is that every one of your shipmates was equally as successful in high school as you were Given my calculations mind you math is my worst subject it appears that I will probably finishing this semester with over a full point lower GPA then I had in high school Like I said in my last blog this place is tough but well worth the struggles I feel that the most important lesson I learned thus far is learning how to fail This is one lesson that I firmly believe will make me a more successful officer someday As I said the holidays are finally upon us and the entire corps is itching at the opportunity to go home and celebrate with their families For me this is the first time home since June 27th I am really looking forward to snowmobiling with my brother decorating the tree with my family and attending Christmas Eve Mass in uniform I know my father will be beyond proud My mom and I had a good laugh the other day when she asked me what I wanted for Christmas I responded with a digital watch new combat boots and black socks This time last year I was asking for a new Dooney Bourke purse and Lucky jeans Obviously a lot has changed since then and I wouldn t trade this opportunity for anything More about Victoria Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 13 AM Oh the Things You Will Do Overcoming Challenges Class of 2013 Permanent link To those of you who read this blog know that there are only six school days left However there are still approximately 1 8 million things I need to do between now and the time I can ship off to my summer unit in Alaska in the beginning of May Fortunately for you one of those things is writing you another blog entry Unfortunately for you I don t have the time to write you another blog entry so instead I bequeath unto you my to do list so that you may perhaps see what the day in the life of a cadet really is all about 2 c Nolan s To Do List Write a 3 page government paper due Thursday Write a 5 page Spanish paper due Monday File a travel claim for conference trip Send paper on Helicon Plasma to DEPS Finish preparing Presentation on Helicon Plasma for Senior Symposium Day Write a 7 minute speech for Spanish Practice giving Helicon Plasma Speech Write the Biochem Lab Report for Thursday Help write a summer command philosophy Make a summer rooming chart Create the summer recall log Naut Sci take home test Waves and Tides test Spanish test Biochem Oceans test Organize room for the COSAS walkthrough Final T Boats lab practical Morning Drill Practice x 2 Afternoon Drill x 2 Prepare uniform for Ring Dance Meeting with Academic Advisor File and route OOD packet from yesterday Organize and schedule the 3 c Boards Create Boards Questions Administer Boards Complete group Naut Sci project and submit it Fill out the Arctic Conference AAR Finish un diario for Spanish Meet with photographers for the Day in the Life project Choir Practice Distribute summer OOD list Write a blog entry This is my short term list they are things that have to be completed within the next week Thankfully as of right now I can cross the last one off the list Hopefully with a couple of late nights I can slowly start whittling this list down so that I can start studying for finals packing and preparing to leave for my first half of the summer After that it s just a quick jaunt back here to the Academy where I can see my fourth R Day in a row this time as an XO Well now that I ve shared the things I have to do with you I think it s time that I actually go ahead and do them Have a great evening and if you have any questions at all feel free to email me at Stephen T Nolan uscga edu Semper P 2 c Stephen Nolan Summer 12 CXO More about Stephen Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 13 AM Finishing the Trip Choosing the Coast Guard Academy Class of 2012 Permanent link Time has been moving a mile a minute here at the Academy over the past few months It is surreal to believe that I will be done with classes in just three weeks and graduating as in officer in the world s best Coast Guard in a little over a month Just one month ago I was living up one of the best weeks of my life in the British Virgin Islands on my last spring break of college with several of my classmates We rented a 47 sailing yacht to adventure through the islands of the Caribbean Needless to say we did some incredible sailing and made some unforgettable memories More importantly I finally know where I will spend the next two years of my life flight school in Pensacola Florida On a night in the first week of March the Academy staff my classmates and I gathered together for our Billet Night one of the most memorable experiences of my life The Class of 2012 will be dispersing across the country from Alaska to Guam and Hawaii to New Hampshire I have kept busy nearly every weekend with other memorable events ranging from snowboarding to concerts to our class s final formal Castle Dance held in Newport Rhode Island Although loaded with school work and training as can be expected at a military academy this year has been awesome It is hard to believe my time here is nearly drawing to a close As I reflect back on my total experience over the last four years I can honestly say that have no regrets regardless of the challenges I faced I have made some lifelong memories and friends and CANNOT wait to enter the fleet to serve in America s Coast Guard as a future aviator To any graduating high school seniors out there and future members of the Class of 2016 I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors Semper Paratus More about Alex Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 13 AM Rainbows and Unicorns Choosing the Coast Guard Academy Class of 2015 Permanent link From the last time you heard from me we were waiting patiently for spring break to come Well now that it has quickly come and gone all we can do now is smile when we think of all the fun we had during that week I went with a group of friends from the Academy most of them preps from last year down to Hollywood Florida We stayed at a place a minute s walk from the beach It was so great I could wake up in the morning and go for a run and not be afraid of getting cold because it was already 70 degrees out Coming back from spring break was tough All we wanted was to stay in sunny Florida where all our worries of passing classes getting through boards and where we were being sent for our summer assignment was non existent This semester by far has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done I had a rocky start to classes which almost caused me to give up my passion of running and staying on the track team I luckily was able to work out a plan with my coach so I could still participate in track and get the help I needed with my classes Many times throughout this semester I have thought about leaving Not because I don t like it here but life would just be easier I hate the long nights of staying up late studying for a test that I only end up failing anyway or wanting to be home or anywhere but where you have people constantly telling you what to do and when to do it Many people keep telling us emotionally distraught 4 c that the summer is right around the corner More like over the cliff and in between that is boards preparation final exam studying and other random military obligations thrown in the mix Welcome to the life of a military cadet By no means do I hate it here The Academy gets the best of us that s for sure but I would not trade anything in the world for my spot here You learn to work through the many challenges you face everyday in order to survive and make it to the next one In the end you will be a better officer because you learned to work hard and not take anything for granted By focusing on the little joys in life the bigger ones just seem that much better Best of luck as you finish your senior year More about Cameo Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 14 AM Privileges Overcoming Challenges Class of 2015 Permanent link Privileges What a great word After ten months of squaring meals listening to music through headphones and writing notecards almost every time we leave our room the fourth class were granted wardroom carry on music out loud and whiteboards on Wednesday Wardroom carry on means that the fourth class are allowed to talk while they eat their food look around and not have to square Basically eat normally It seems simple but when you get that taken away for nearly ten months it is an amazing privilege to get back With these privileges motivating each and every one of us to push through the last two and a half weeks of school there is still much to accomplish This Saturday marks the date of the fourth class Boards which is a test set up by the upper class in which they test the fourth class knowledge of general Coast Guard information Each fourth class is asked the same set of ten question relating to Coast Guard history nautical flags ranks and rates distress signals and much more and are only allowed to get two out of the ten wrong to pass It is very nerve wracking but I feel that the upper class have been preparing us for this test ever since we reported in this summer and we will all do fine As I said earlier summer is just around the corner and the light at the end of the tunnel is in full view The fourth class have not found out what their summer assignments are for third class summer but hopefully we find out in the next couple of days I am really excited and nervous to know where I will be stationed for six weeks With the end of the year quickly approaching we still have a lot to complete and stay focused on so that we can show the corps we are ready to take on the role of third class For anyone with last minute questions on what to pack for Swab Summer or what to expect feel free to email me Sara E Cantrell uscga edu We will all be leaving at the beginning of May and it will be much harder to get a reply so I would recommend sending your questions sooner rather than later Finish the end of the school year strong More about Sara Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 14 AM Honduras 2012 Extracurricular Activities and Faith Based Involvement Class of 2012 Permanent link I am currently on my sixth volunteer service trip to Honduras My first visit was exactly two years ago It is amazing how much the village of Villa Soleada has changed and developed When I first started Students Helping Honduras SHH had already complete all 44 houses a full size soccer field and had begun construction of the education center Now two years and six trips later SHH has finished the education center and built an additional two children s homes three water towers four schools in nearby villages with the goal of 1000 schools by 2020 a large garden for self sustainability and income a volunteer house for volunteers to live in as opposed to staying at a nearby hotel and many more projects I love returning to Villa Soleada because I am part of a family here The children and the parents always remember me by name and I can see the excitement in their smile when I walk off the bus to greet them I have grown especially close to one of the kids Jorge who I have known since my first trip here I have not been to Villa Soleada in an entire year I saw Jorge on Sunday and he is almost as tall as me It is amazing coming back and seeing how the village and its people are growing It has been the hottest spring I have experienced here about 120 degrees Luckily yesterday and today it has been rainy and a lot cooler out Even though it is wet it definitely makes working outside in the sun better We spent Sunday mixing cement with shovels the most fun way to mix cement My body is still recovering from that hard day Our current project is building a three roomed biligual school that will be an addition to the education center and also building a wall around the perimiter of Villa to provide additional security to the villaje which is in a dangerous part of Honduras This extra security is needed especially since the childrens home has taken in kids from ophanages Honduras is plagued with issues surrounding the treatment and kidnapping of orphans The week ended on a very high note As a diverse group of college students from around the country we certainly bonded very closely We all share a unique experience that the vast majority of Americans have not and will not experience With our teamwork and help from the locals the bilingual school is now almost ready to have the roof put on and the village wall has expanded to protect even more of the village I cannot wait to return in June to see the progress of these projects More about George Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 15 AM So Close The Cadet Experience Class of 2015 Permanent link Today we picked up our 3 c shoulder boards from the Clothing Locker That may have been the greatest relief I have had yet at the Academy It s incredible how close we are to finishing Despite remaining busy the days continue to creep away one by one The big challenges facing ahead of us 4 c now are Boards coming up this Saturday the 14th and Challenge of the Guardsmen which will be the Saturday after Boards are simply a test of our knowledge of all things Coast Guard We get asked ten questions from our Running Light or Boards Supplemental Packet totaling for about 150 pages of stuff It will be quite stressful studying but it will probably be a great relief once it is over Challenge of the Guardsmen formerly known as Challenge of the Guardian is going to be a four and a half hour physical test with our new company mates for the next three years I ll get shotgunned out of Delta and into any of the other seven companies It s a mixed feeling to go out of Delta Company While I do want to meet and know more of my classmates these last nine or ten months have been nothing short of exceptional and my fellow 4 c Delta Dawgs are greatly responsible for that from Formal Room and Wings to Swab Summer to studying for tests and everything in between Granted there will be three or four of them with me in my new company but it certainly won t be the same Lacrosse goes well Idlers and Glee keep me busy and as the academic year winds down it is safe to say that these last two semesters have been by far the most challenging I ve ever had It s amazing how much I have been able to do this year despite the academics Still it s been quite the adventure as a 4 c I wouldn t trade it for anything 2016 you d best start getting ready for Swab Summer More about Samuel Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 15 AM Returning from Breaks The Cadet Experience Class of 2015 Permanent link Two of my good friends at the Academy 4 c Lutton and 4 c Slife came with me over spring break to visit my grandparents in Naples We had a great time in the sun and at the beach Spring break was the perfect time to relax and push off academics until returning Following break our spring volleyball season started We have been practicing three days each week and we have a tournament this coming Saturday in Boston Academically school has been going smoothly Every week has its ups and downs We are now studying for an oral indoctrination test that determines whether our class is granted official carry on Last week we earned the privileges of listening to music out loud writing on our whiteboards and wardroom carry on Wardroom carry on is a huge privilege because now we can look at our food and talk to other 4 c at our table Easter weekend I went home and saw my parents It was frustrating coming back to the Academy because going home was a tease I wanted to stay with my parents and sleep in my bed forever but I knew I had to do my homework and get ready for a long week ahead I do not look forward to the upcoming academic and military challenges but I know that 4 c year is almost over and hopefully we hear where our summer assignments are this week More about Christina Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 16 AM Spring Break and a Half Marathon Athletics Just for Fun Class of 2014 Permanent link This month went by so quickly I spent the first week this month on spring break with my three best friends We went on a road trip from Vegas to Cali and it was such a nice break The first day of leave we went to Hollywood where we randomly ran into a group of our classmates it was so weird to see them when we weren t expecting it Then we went to Sea World one day and shopping on another day and drove back to Vegas where we went horseback riding and ended our spring break trip with an amazing Cirque Du Soleil show After returning from break I had only two weeks to get back into shape for my half marathon in Sleepy Hollow New York It was a struggle because I did nothing but eat and have fun over spring break I finished the marathon in two hours and didn t come in last which were my two goals I felt so accomplished to have finished my first half marathon and now I really want to do another one in the fall I spent the rest of the month catching up on homework and studying More about Megan Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 16 AM Stress and Stress Relief Choosing the Coast Guard Academy The Cadet Experience Class of 2015 Permanent link Today Fourth Class cadets received wardroom carry on Now the great class of 2015 is allowed to look at their meal as they eat as well as being able to socialize with their classmates It is only the first step of privileges for us signaling the final stretch of an exhilarating year It s difficult to believe that exactly eight months ago we were finishing up Swab Summer with famous Sea Trials Boards are next weekend Boards the final indoctrination test for fourth class are meant to prepare us for service in the operational Coast Guard during the summer We still have not received word of our assignment for this summer but everyone is anxiously waiting With schoolwork and military obligations I find myself stressed I skip daily workouts sometimes in order to catch up on work For example I did not attend a pick up basketball game Monday because of extra Chemistry studying Luckily I did very well on the test Tuesday morning and I got right back on track that afternoon in working out At the Academy there are three stars that cadets can earn to place on their uniform with excellent grades outstanding military performance or strong athletic skills For the first semester I earned the gold star for my grades With the star a cadet earns a long weekend leave Friday evening and return Sunday night I visited friends from high school at Fairfield University in Fairfield Connecticut It was my first time visiting a civilian school since joining the Coast Guard last June While I enjoyed spending time with my friends and having fun I do not regret my decision at the Academy The open gyms open fields and plenty of things to do are equal I have the opportunity to be in a small class where my classmates are my best friends I can go to my instructors who know me by my first name and always want to help out in academics I plan on attending plenty of softball and baseball games this spring as the weather gets nicer I got to see the softball team beat Roger Williams University 12 5 in a forfeit game I also saw the men s baseball team lose a heartbreaker by one run to Wheaton College I will keep you all posted for upcoming games that I attend More about Kevin Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 17 AM 4c Boards The Cadet Experience Class of 2015 Permanent link 4 c Boards are coming up soon This means a few things For one we are going to start earning back privileges It won t be long before we can eat our food without squaring it get to play music out loud get Facebook back and eventually get full carry on The other thing it means is studying studying studying We essentially have to know all the indoc we learned over Swab Summer all the indoc we learned first semester and everything we learned this semester On top of that The Mission which we ve all had memorized from day one has to be recited with two upper class screaming in your ear The mission part doesn t sound that hard it s not like I don t have the mission permanently ingrained into my memory but it s surprisingly hard when you try it One person could be screaming at you in one ear which is actually easier to deal with and the other could be whispering in the other Sometimes somebody will say the mission with you but go at a different pace or say different words to try and mess you up As far as the indoc goes we ve had benchmark tests on everything we ve needed to know and for the most part our class has done pretty well on them It gives me hope that our class as a whole will do well when the official boards roll around I m pretty sure if 90 or more of our class passes boards we officially get fully carry on don t have to square and are basically 3 c at that point The craziest part of all of this is that fourth class year is coming to a close It honestly seems like yesterday that Swab Summer started So if you re a future swab reading this don t worry time flies More about James Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 17 AM Billet Night The Cadet Experience Class of 2012 Permanent link Billet Night was one of the best days I have had at the Academy I spent the entire day and really entire prior month being extremely nervous about where I was going I have always wanted to go to flight school and I was not sure if I would be selected for it or not Billet Night is a tradition when the graduating class is told what units they are being assigned to for the next two years The process takes about two hours and of course my name was not called until the very end There were four groups of six called for flight school and my group was called at the very end of the night The wait was very stressful but it was worth it when I heard my name called for flight school My excitement at the moment cannot be explained with words I could barely breathe I am excited to finally be able to start looking at places to live Although I first need to find a place to live near the Academy because I will be working in Admissions during the summer prior to reporting to flight training There are too many of us to go through flight training all at once so our admittance is staggered I am happy with my assignment because it will be nice to have some time away from schooling More about George Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 19 AM Sleeping The Cadet Experience Class of 2015 Permanent link At this point in the year the workload really starts to pile up With boards coming up a test of ALL our 4 c knowledge classes coming to a close and other obligations the amount spent each day just relaxing starts to decrease Don t get me wrong most days I don t mind being busy in fact usually if I m busy one day it means I ve done more than one day s work and I can relax the next day Unfortunately that only works if you manage your time well There are really two options to getting everything that needs to be done finished The first option would be to put everything off until the last minute rushing to get it done then I ve tried doing work this way and all it leads to is an irregular sleep pattern lower quality work and a need for caffeine By letting my workload and due dates dictate when and how I do my work it actually adds stress to my day and when I do this for multiple days the lack of sleep can really add up The second option would be to plan ahead and use your free time wisely Instead of totally relaxing every weekend and not doing any work setting aside even a couple hours on a Sunday to do work to get ahead for the week can make a major impact on the rest of your week One of my teachers put it this way Every weekend is a challenge You can choose to get ahead or let yourself get behind And this is true You would think that giving up your few liberty hours to do homework would be awful but in the long run you ll have more free time during the week That way you can enjoy both your weekends and your weekdays More about James Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 19 AM D C Extracurricular Activities and Faith Based Involvement Class of 2012 Permanent link I took a multi day trip to D C with a group of Government majors We sat in on many presentations and took several tours including the Capital Senate House original

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?blogmonth=4&blogyear=2012&blogid=139 (2016-02-14)
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  • USCGA Cadet Blogs
    a bunch of fast guys made the season a good one Plus the base I built for track helped a ton I sprint toward the finish raising my arm to pass the baton to my teammate James Martin I am no longer in the top 3 but I know our team is on pace for a great 4X800 meter relay time The field was incredible featuring many Division I schools and just making the meet was a feat in itself Now it was up to our last two legs James cruised through his 800 and as he passed the baton over to our anchor Ryan Hub I knew we were in position for a tremendous PR As Ryan crossed the line we glanced at the clock and I didn t believe what I saw 8 00 for the 4X8 We had run a 13 second PR I even ran a PR on my 800 split proving to myself that I had finally come back from my high school injuries and that this was the start of something incredible for our team With one sophomore and three freshmen the road ahead looks promising As I write this I m on the train back home from New York City where we just ran our 4X8 team at the ECAC championships at the New York Armory The Armory is perhaps the greatest track facility I ve ever been too the entire building is dedicated to track and field With the 8 flat we had run the previous week we had qualified for ECACS bettering the entry mark by 8 seconds At the beginning of the season if you had said I d be running in ECACS I would have probably laughed at you Even though we did not get a PR today we still ran a solid 8 05 and the overall experience was amazing I know our team will do great things in the near future I m excited to see how far the United States Coast Guard Academy Cross Country Distance Track Teams can go in the future Stay tuned More about Zachary Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 35 AM Spring Stream of Consciousness The Cadet Experience Class of 2015 Permanent link For once I didn t have something pre planned about which to write which is pretty shocking I ll start with this Spring break was last week I ll do a short stream of consciousness entry to for this blog I guess it kind of fits with the coming of spring spring rains filling the streams I don t know For break I went home but I got sick so I really didn t do anything super exciting it was nice to not have to do any schoolwork though I did get to meet with a family that contacted me through reading my blog I enjoyed telling them all about the Academy and answering their questions I also received several emails from prospective cadets with questions keep them coming please so while I wasn t on official recruiting leave R Leave I like to tell people that I did as much recruiting for the Academy as had I actually been on R Leave And now we re back racing to the end of the year It s been so nice lately I love it Spring is probably my favorite season I like the thawing feeling after winter even though this one wasn t that cold Nevertheless the time change has been really nice It stays bright out so much later to me it makes the day seem longer In literature we ve been doing a poetry study Spring reminds me of a poem I read for my Advanced Placement AP literature class It s called The Motive for Metaphor by Wallace Stevens You should definitely read the whole poem but I ll put the most applicable stanza 2nd stanza here In the same way you were happy in spring With the half colors of quarter things The slightly brighter sky the melting clouds The single bird the obscure moon I think part of my excitement is simply the fact that things are moving forward I can t believe that I m almost done 3 4 of the way there with my freshman year of college This is definitely an exciting time at the Academy everyone is looking forward to the summer that lies ahead The Thursday before Spring Break was Billet Night so all the 1 c cadets seniors found out where and what their first assignment is The 3 c cadets sophomores just found out their assignments for Swab Summer what type of cadre they are going to be Swab Summer AIM for example Soon we the 4 c cadets freshmen and the 2 c cadets juniors will find out where we will be in the fleet this summer As my final little blurb I ll share with you an excerpt from a short story I am working on for a creative writing contest here at the Academy This piece doesn t have a title yet and it s not that polished but I ll share it with you all anyway She had never considered the ocean before but then again neither had he Too long had both of them dreamed of climbing mountains and hiding away in forests for them to consider the vast salted waters Where would this take them She sat at her writing desk and the window of that corner room was open The apartment high enough up was spared the grungy noise of the street below A street not too particularly busy but well worn by buses garbage trucks police cars and minivans In the breeze that drifted through the window Anne thought she could smell the salt from the ocean but she had never been so close to the ocean so how could she know what a sea breeze smelled like She turned a critical eye to the pale blue beyond the window frame Now she wished she and Roger had picked an apartment with an ocean view She needed a better understanding of the ocean a reaction that was new to her But how could they have known such a view would be something they wanted at the time She stood up went to the kitchen and filled a glass of water There really had been nothing special about that evening The temperature average and cool typical of a northwest evening A few thin clouds slightly pink from the setting sun but the sky just a dull blue The gray of the twilight was calming The two of them Anne and Roger had been walking along the street that followed the shoreline Where it had curved back up toward the center of town they had continued walking straight through the tall sandy colored grass The feel of the grass sliding softly over her arms and past her ankles filled Anne with an excited tingling She had slowed ever so slightly expecting Roger to do the same as he usually did Instead he pushed on Anne watched him as he almost frantically moved the tall stalks aside Something was bothering him she knew By the time she reached the small sandy cove Roger was already standing at the edge of the water For another few moments Anne watched as the water moved up and covered Rogers feet before receding back His toes dug into the soft wet sand Anne followed his lead taking off her sandals She placed hers next to his The grainy sand certainly felt odd between her toes She was a bit uncomfortable Passing by Roger she put her hand on his shoulder squeezing it so that he would know that she was there The wet sand felt much different and was much colder Anne was hesitant about this new feeling she hadn t expected to find a texture like this among nature Even the soft silt of a riverbed didn t compare to the sliding feel of the wet sand She was certainly intrigued by this and curious to know more about the sensation walked along the boundary of land and water The water rushed to meet her bare ankles now and again The contact still shocked her It made her feel cold The wind was blowing pressing her skirt close to her legs It felt warmer that way She pulled the thin cardigan tighter to her body buttoned it and pulled down the sleeves so that they covered the back of her hands She was surprised when she came upon a tidal pool in a more rocky area of the small beach She recalled her days as a little girl at the zoo getting to touch the animals at the aquarium Those had been tide pool animals She thought she recognized some of them She smiled at the starfish She knew that one She gazed at the pool for a little longer but it was getting too dark Anne turned to face the street Some large rocks a few paces up the beach were the ideal place for her to sit and listen They stayed all night After listening to the area s story told by the sounds of the nature nearby Anne fell asleep She wasn t sure what time Roger had moved from standing in the water to sitting in the sand but that s where he was when she woke up They stayed there until noon She had been the one to get up and walk back to the road silently nudging him to leave to come home He grudgingly got up and walked silently to her She took his hand as they walked home As usual a CGA with an explanation I know that Swab Summer is fast approaching for the class of 2016 This is about the time when everyone starts to find out about acceptance so I know this can be an exciting and scary time Cadre Gushed Anger Pretty self explanatory Cadets Grasped Algebra Well technically we weren t cadets yet but nevertheless we did attend weekly Swab Summer Math classes to refresh on the Algebra we learned earlier in high school Calisthenics Good All Around Morning workouts This one s pretty self explanatory too More about Justin Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 36 AM Our 4c Formal Just for Fun The Cadet Experience Class of 2015 Permanent link This weekend on St Patrick s Day was the 4 c formal which turned out to be very fun It was less crowded compared to the whole Academy winter formal in December At the 4 c formal we got our class crest unveiled I have been anticipating the design of the crest for the past week I really like the 2015 class crest and how it will soon go up in the Leamy ballroom representing us alongside all the other classes The weekend was a stress reliever from a hard week coming back from spring break For one our class has been having trouble performing as 4 c and we actually got one of our privileges revoked It is the tough part of the semester where we are losing motivation and the end of the semester and the end of being 4 c seems so close yet so far away I feel myself impatiently waiting for the semester to end and for the huge sigh of relief that is waiting for me at the end of April The weather is also getting warmer and all anyone wants to do is go outside and enjoy it instead of staying in the barracks and studying I really hope the last seven weeks come and go and that we as 4 c get our summer assignments soon I am looking forward to having a hands on experience this summer being on the Barque Eagle and then the cutter or at station that will get assigned to us for the second half of our summer 3 c summer while some of you readers might be participating in Swab Summer consists of three parts one being five weeks aboard the Barque Eagle traveling up and down the east coast two being at a station or on a cutter and it can be anywhere from Hawaii to Alaska Florida Virginia you name it and third being the last three weeks of the summer is for our summer leave There is so much coming up that the end of the semester seems like such a long wait but at least we had our 4 c formal which was a fun and successful event I guess to make time go by a little quicker at the Academy you have to make short term goals and look forward to the little things that will keep you distracted as you inch closer to the summer More about Ellie Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 37 AM What You Get in Return Choosing the Coast Guard Academy Class of 2015 Permanent link Coming back home from spring leave has probably been one of the more difficult things I ve done during my times at the Academy Spring leave is totally different from winter leave because this time I actually went and visited my friends at college as opposed to just hearing stories Even though I only spend three days at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio being able to compare the life of a cadet versus the life of a regular college student was interesting and even a bit depressing Regular college students enjoy all kinds of freedoms being able to not go to class when they don t feel like it leaving campus whenever they feel like it among many other things This was a bit depressing because I could do very few of the things they were able to When coming to the Academy you have to be prepared to give up a lot However in return from giving up much of your social life now you can get a lot in return For example I went skydiving over spring leave this is not something that I would have done while attending a regular college because I would probably be focused on paying off loans rather than spending my money elsewhere In addition I won t have to be worried about finding a job after graduating here So attending this institution takes a lot from your life now however it will pay off in the end Any questions Email me at Spencer M Zwenger uscga edu More about Spencer Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 37 AM Finish the Trip The Cadet Experience Class of 2012 Permanent link Here it is 2248 on a Thursday night and I m sitting at the podium in my company wing area Each class of cadets has a different type of duty in addition to school work and sports I am standing as my Company Officer of the Deck This position is used so someone is always on deck during the day ready to respond to anything from a phone call to a fire These nights are usually pretty late but since I can t focus on anymore homework and all the cadets in my company have signed In For the Night I have a minute to write It s been too long On March 1st the Thursday before Spring Break the great class of 2012 gathered in the cadet wardroom at 1645 At that time we had a dinner and pumped each other up for what was about to happen The air was buzzing with excitement hope and a little bit of fear It was Billet Night Every year on the Thursday before Spring Break representatives from most of the units in the Coast Guard assemble at the Academy to welcome congratulate and very quickly brief the first class cadet who has been assigned to their particular unit After the dinner in the wardroom the senior class moves to Leamy Hall where they partake in a social hour Beverages are available to encourage casual conversations and some to calm the nerves and the class gets to discuss their last minute hopes and frets Next everyone assembles into the ballroom A stage is set up and the hall has been decorated like dressed ship All the firsties sit and wait nervously for their turn to be called to the podium where their duty assignment for the next two years will be revealed It is so exciting to see the groups and individuals called to see their reactions to join in their excitement but it s not so fun to pick them up after disappointments I was fortunate to get my first choice billet This summer I get to report in to the USCGC Waesche as an Engineering Officer in Training This ship is the second of the new National Security Cutters and is home ported in Alameda California I am beyond excited that one of my best friends at the Academy is also getting stationed there and that we ll get to experience the same fun and trials of underway life Now fast forward to real time Two Thursdays later I am sitting at this desk in the dark wing area The lights are secured and a few voices are heard down the passageway I have spent all day either working on homework or looking for apartments I m sure you can guess which activity I have spent more time and attention on tonight More about Katie Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 38 AM Academy Questions Part 2 Choosing the Coast Guard Academy The Cadet Experience Class of 2013 Permanent link Here are a few more questions and my responses 5 What do students do in their free time What free time But seriously I m an engineer and given how structured my day is I usually don t have all that much free time A lot of cadets have hobbies that they partake in for instance I row Varsity crew in the fall and spring play piano read books when I can am a part of a few clubs am taking two directed studies and I m definitely not as active as many other cadets So you are almost always doing something you just might really enjoy what you re doing As for quiet down time there isn t much At least not for engineers I know some other majors have very different lives 6 What do students like to do off campus We watch movies or hang out or go to sponsor parents Sponsor parents are people in the local community who adopt you for your duration at the Academy There are a lot of groups clubs here swing dance fencing boxing etc so there are always evening activities going on On weekends cadets can go to either Boston or New York City if they really want to get away a 2 hour train ride to either city Mostly we eat out hang out shop chill at sponsor parent s houses or partake in sporting events 7 What else I should know about the Academy It definitely changes you I am so different from I was when I reported in for better and worse Also I know most of my friends who went to civilian colleges don t have nearly as many fun experiences as I do When you look at the photos there are some really cool things I ve done But there are also things I am not able to do There are aspects of the college life I have to give up such as study abroad double major go home more have a car before senior year at least go out on weekdays etc It s all a trade off As I said earlier though if I had to do it again I would still come here Keep the questions coming Jessica T Ward uscga edu More about Jessica Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 38 AM All Good Things Must Come To An End Choosing the Coast Guard Academy The Cadet Experience Class of 2015 Permanent link As they say all good things must come to an end For the cadets at the Academy it is spring break Tomorrow starts the first day back and I am so not ready to snap back to reality For spring break I invited three of my friends to come home with me We all flew home Saturday morning and headed to the beach We were all pale due to the cold rainy Connecticut weather but after eight days in the Florida sun we are all heading back tan Over spring break we had a full house which my mom absolutely loved Fortunately my brother had the same spring break and brought two friends home It was a packed house for sure but it made it that much more fun Our days consisted of the beach boat kayaking and waterskiing It was definitely a well deserved week of fun with friends and family We have officially started the second half of spring semester which is exciting and overwhelming all at the same time We only have seven weeks of school left but boards are in the very near future I feel like there are so many obstacles to get through until 4 c are granted carry on and we leave for our summer assignments but I know I can get through all of them You always have to look ahead and realize why you are here and what you must do to stay here When I was home I got together with a few of my friends that go to universities and it is hard to hear them talk about their lives but at the same time I think about my life after graduation and know that in the end the Academy is worth it I would not want to be anywhere else but the Academy I know many prospective cadets have decided to be a part of the class of 2016 and if anyone has any questions about what to bring or anything about the summer I am more than happy to answer them for you It will be a busy and stressful next couple of weeks but I promise to get back to you soon We will all leave in early May for our summer assignments so if you have questions I would recommend asking them before May so that you get a response I hope everyone enjoys their spring break and is ready to make that final push to the summer Sara E Cantrell uscga edu More about Sara Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 40 AM What a Spring Break Athletics Just for Fun Class of 2015 Permanent link Hello again everyone We are slowly but surely coming into the home stretch of 4 c year and I am excited These last couple of days were Spring Break 2012 and what a great Spring Break The lacrosse team left a day early to head on down to West Palm Beach Florida to go to the Sailfish Shootout where we played four games in only five days Going up against big name teams like Palm Beach Atlantic Emory Elon and Grand Valley State the latter ranked 12 and 3 respectively we came out of the trip 2 2 We were able to spend one of the days to ourselves going to the beach playing golf and just relaxing with the other lax bros It was also a great chance to talk with the upper class on the team and establish connections there Before I knew it that was the end of the Shootout and I was whisked away to join the Idlers For those of you don t know the Idlers are the male A cappella group for the Coast Guard Academy We went down to Florida as well performing in Disney Sebastian West Palm Beach and Stuart We got to spend time in Disney where funny enough the seniors of my former high school were having their Senior Trip which was a nice surprise We again got some beach time and just had a great time overall The trip ended with a 23 hour drive back to Connecticut from West Palm Beach going through 11 states with only four of us driving Eventually we were able to make it back and thus ended Spring Break With our 4 c formal coming up Saturday the Easter long weekend as well as 4 c Boards and Challenge of the Guardsmen these next few weeks are going to be rough and busy But like everything else here it will be dealt with one step at a time and there will be some great results More about Samuel Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 40 AM Busy All the Time Academics The Cadet Experience Class of 2012 Permanent link Hey everyone it s been awhile since I have blogged but I had a decent amount of time this weekend so I figured I would do one I made it through last semester as Company Commander and I am glad I was able to go through the experience There were many times where I was stressed out felt like I was making no difference and buried in work But last semester really opened my eyes about what it is to be a leader and the sacrifices you must make for the people that you lead I know my grades could have been better I could have been in better shape and could have had more free time if I had not been Company Commander But I felt that I made a small difference in people s lives and made their time here a little better and that is a great feeling to have It was a relief to be relieved earlier this semester and I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders Echo Company was named Honor Company of last semester at our change of command and it was nice to have that feeling of accomplishment after those longs months There are now around ninety days until I graduate and I must say I have never had so many problems staying focused It is very hard to stay motivated in classes military obligations and overall Academy life I know this is close to the end and I do not understand why it is so hard to finish strong Our class rank that determines where we go after graduation has already been finalized so grades and military performance don t really determine my future anymore I find out where I will being going for the next few years in about two and a half weeks and after that I bet it will be nearly impossible to stay focused It s funny you would think that second semester senior year and everything would be incredibly relaxed for the class about to graduate The opposite is true I feel like no matter how many times I think a semester is going to be easy it never is Granted this semester is not the hardest one I have ever had but I still find myself busy all the time Whether it be working with 30 people to organize our upcoming Regimental Boxing Open you should come if you are in the area 24 Feb in Billard Hall trying to make the juniors and sophomores become qualified Officers of the Day or working out for three or four hours a day to get in shape for spring break I am always crunched for time I guess this is just the life of the Academy and a Coast Guard Officer you never have enough time I will be honest part of me really wants to leave this place and get on with my life The other part of me however realizes that only a few short months all the great friends I have made here will be thousands of miles away One thing is for sure graduation is going to be bittersweet This chapter of my life is slowly closing and even though it will be tough I am determined to finish strong and make the most of the time I have at CGA More about Chris Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 41 AM Spring Break Athletics Just for Fun Class of 2015 Permanent link Sunny weather here I come In only a few short days I will be headed to central Florida for a fun filled crazy week with the crew team I cannot wait it s going to be awesome Everyone here has mentally checked out already for spring break Lots of people are going to crazy places like the Caribbean Cabo San Lucas or even home Several teams are going to Florida as well But until then we have just three more days of school Billet Night for the firsties is on Thursday I really hope that all the firsties I know get the choice billets they want Then it s off to party and celebrate And for all the underclassmen it s SPRING BREAK Can you tell I m excited Yesterday was my first day out on the water for crew With a whole new group of novs our upcoming season will be so much fun I get a new boat as the other coxswains move up to Candy and our newest boat I am really excited for the season With all the changes on the team I will have a new group of rowers in my boat However I will get to cox a four four rowers and a cox with the more experienced novs With the new season fast approaching the team did a 2K test the other day Will Rimmler the 1V cox coxed me through my first one and it sucked I felt horrible it was miserable But I met my goal so I can work to improve Well I didn t really have anything else to say so I ll try to write a clean ha ha version of what happened in Florida when we get back Have a great Coast Guard day More about Peter Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 42 AM The Fun Parts Extracurricular Activities and Faith Based Involvement Just for Fun Class of 2015 Permanent link If you talk to most cadets they will tell you how much homework they have to do how little sleep they got last night and whine about taking duty Along with the drudgery there are some sparks of fun here and there that give some light and some excitement to our dark days of February There are many opportunities to get off base and into the world to see some cool things and meet some cool people that most people wouldn t get to do Over President s Day Officer s Christian Fellowship had their Weekend Retreat up to Barre Vermont where we got to frolic in the snow stay at host family s homes with real people and got to have some down time and watch a game or two on TV The main part of our time though was bible study with a retired Army General and his wife that were truly amazing people He had started Delta Force been chief of Army Corps of Engineers they had ran over 20 marathons combined and were down to earth honest people who took time out of their lives to come and share their experiences with us After that weekend the Jewish Club took a trip to Annapolis getting out of school on Friday and driving down We stayed at the Naval Academy which was very cool to see how amazing their campus was but to also meet our Navy brothers and sisters and to see how much better the Coast Guard was We went into D C the next day and visited the Holocaust Museum for three hours and then got to hear from and meet a Holocaust survivor Mr Greenbaum had survived everything from living in a ghetto a work camp Auschwitz to a 3 month long journey with nothing but a potato a day He survived the Holocaust but so did his faith his hope and his will He is a true hero who spreads his message of hope and peace today Next week I get to see the Sikorsky plant and see their helicopters being made and fly in their simulators We have so many things to do and so much to see but the problem is finding time to do it all More about Matt Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 42 AM Preparing for Cadre The Cadet Experience Class of 2014 Permanent link Like most of my classmates I still remember June 28 2010 very well Reporting In Day for the Class of 2014 a day filled with both excitement and anxiety I clearly recall waiting in line in Leamy Hall joining my company for the ride up to Chase Hall and of course getting off the bus Though it doesn t feel like it more than a year and a half has passed since Swab Summer commenced for the Class of 2014 Now we are preparing to be the cadre the larger than life individuals who were responsible for forging military academy cadets out of regular high school students And now in just a few short months we will be those individuals tasked with providing a disciplined Class of 2016 to learn the ways of a Coast Guard Officer Preparation for this awesome task has already begun During our Swab Summer we kept a journal of sorts called Thoughts of the Day Now we re getting to look at them While we didn t care for this at the time these notebooks now provide invaluable insight into our Swab Summer experiences We can read about what made our good days good and our bad days bad That s not all though During our professional development discussions with our company chiefs and company officers we frequently discuss the upcoming summer We talk about leadership styles motivation techniques and other relevant information The company officers and chiefs are great sources of guidance for any Academy issue not just Swab Summer They are not afraid to share their wealth of knowledge and experience with cadets In addition we are expanding our horizons by interacting with the Class of 2013 Because even class years are trained by even class years and odd class years are trained by odd class years some strategies differ between even and odd years By combining the best points of each we can create the best possible training environment for the Class of 2016 Congratulations to all of those appointed to the Coast Guard Academy Class of 2016 We ll be ready for you Semper Paratus Nicholas P Capuzzi uscga edu More about Nick Last Edited by Leann Strickland at 2 19 2015 9 43 AM Enjoying the Little Things Just for Fun Class of 2015 Permanent link As the 2nd semester of 4 c year rolls on I have learned one very important thing that it is essential to find the joy in the little things in life and not take yourself to seriously here First off I recently bought one of those tiny remote controlled helicopters and it was probably one of my best investments I ve made since I ve been here It s this little tiny helicopter that s only about six inches long but there s nothing I love more than taking a break from homework to fly it around my room and land it on

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?blogmonth=3&blogyear=2012&blogid=139 (2016-02-14)
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