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  • Recommitment, Cadre Moving On and Memorial Day - May 2015
    catch I had a mini ceremony of my own Because of this I ended up being the first one in my class to be promoted to 2 c the first one to wear civvies in Chase Hall and the first one to go on leave for the summer You d think I would be really excited about this but I found myself unhappy I was disappointed that I could not stand with my class and renew the oath with them They say that in the military you sometimes have to sacrifice being at important events I didn t realize that it went both ways The Coast Guard family really watches out for you and will try to work with you in making plans especially when getting home to family Our Cadre Graduated Having the first three weeks of leave meant that I wasn t at the Academy for Commencement The great Class of 2015 graduated in May Graduation from an academy means so much more than graduating from any other college Each member of the Class of 2015 not only received a diploma but also a commission as an ensign in the Coast Guard and a handshake from President Obama It s a pretty big deal Why was this graduation so important to me The Class of 2015 is my cadre class They were responsible for training my class We followed them from the beginning of our experience and now we have to be the leaders that they were to us The Class of 2015 has left my class huge shoes to fill When we graduate we will continue to follow them by taking their places as they will move onto their next units It is a reminder that my class is halfway through our Academy experience and of the great responsibility we will have beginning this summer It poses the question Are we ready I think we are The Meaning of Memorial Day For Memorial Day weekend I took a road trip to Kansas with my dad There is a famous attraction in Wichita called the Keeper of the Plains If you walk over the bridge there you ll find a memorial park It was the perfect thing to run into on the day before Memorial Day Nowadays so many people celebrate Memorial Day by hosting backyard barbeques or going shopping People forget what Memorial Day is really about It is about remembering those who gave their lives in serving our country It is for those who made the ultimate sacrifice There is a great poem titled Freedom is not Free I challenge you to look it up That is what Memorial Day is about Memorial Day is not about the people who serve today though we may serve in honor of the true honorees It is not a day to praise veterans and survivors but to mourn with them over their shipmates lost It is a day to stand beside the families of those who have lost someone

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=65062 (2016-02-15)
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  • USCGA Cadet Blogs
    2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 November 2011 cadet blogs 2 c Summer Part 1 100th Week Overcoming Challenges Life as a Junior Officer Class of 2017 Permanent link All Posts When most college students finish their finals it is a relief The end of finals week means either going home to see family and friends or going on vacation Not for us 2 c summer begins with 100th Week which marks the halfway point in our time at the Academy 200 weeks There are some great videos on YouTube that explain it but basically the Company Commanders CCs from Cape May New Jersey where enlisted Coast Guard members go through basic training visit the Academy to train the 3 c for the cadre role that they will fulfill later in the summer On the Monday morning after finals I was woken up at 0500 to yelling and strangers banging on my door The voices screamed Get out on this bulkhead right now My roommate and I ran into the hallway and braced up into the position of attention against the nearest wall Girls were yelled at for hair and earrings that were not within regulations and guys were yelled at for not shaving It was like Swab Summer for the rest of the morning we were given objectives and punished with exercises when we didn t meet them It was a lot better than Swab Summer for me though because things were explained to us We didn t do anything without a reason They yelled at us to remind us how it feels They were harsh with uniform inspections to remind us to respect the uniform and get us out of just going through the motions Throughout the rest of the week it became more of

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=65029 (2016-02-15)
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  • Stress Comes in Waves - Ritchie April 2015
    2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 November 2011 cadet blogs Stress Comes in Waves Academics Overcoming Challenges Class of 2017 Permanent link All Posts At the Academy stress comes in waves Sometimes you have control as if you re perfectly balanced on a surfboard riding over the waves Other times it seems like everything is coming at you at once and you re drowning in work April put me in that drowning state It was a challenging month for me as I planned the 3 c formal worked on numerous end of semester projects took my last few tests and then prepared for finals It was that last push of the semester I knew that the summer would come soon and they say that 2 c summer is the best one at the Coast Guard Academy Still it was so hard to find the motivation to finish the semester strong At the beginning of April I was working on planning the 3 c formal I had signed up to be on the planning committee and although it ended up being a lot more work than I expected it was so rewarding to see my vision come together The week of the formal was really stressful because other events in Leamy Hall prevented my classmates and me from setting up decorations until the night before the dance It was a scramble to get everything set up but it was truly beautiful to see my class come together to get it all done and make Leamy look and sound amazing for the dance Throughout that week and the next few I had tons of group projects to finish Most of our professors assign

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=65008 (2016-02-15)
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  • Service Academies Exchange Program - Ritchie March 2015
    2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 November 2011 cadet blogs Service Academies Exchange Program The Cadet Experience Class of 2017 Permanent link All Posts Each fall semester the Coast Guard Academy participates in an exchange program with the Air Force Academy Naval Academy and West Point The Merchant Marine Academy is not able to participate due to their trimester as opposed to semester program Officers at each academy negotiate how many cadets to exchange it is usually two to five per academy The opportunity to participate in this semester long exchange program is provided to cadets going into their 2 c junior year It involves an application process during which you provide your GPA PFE score military score and a paragraph explaining why you re interested in being on exchange They look for people who are well rounded and can represent the Academy well The connections these students will make with other cadets and midshipmen could become vital in joint service operations in the future I have been interested in this exchange program since my first semester here One of my 2 c was an Army cadet on exchange here at the Coast Guard Academy In spring semester of 4 c year I started talking to Coast Guard cadets who had gone on exchange in the fall asking them what they thought of the program and what their experience was like They all said it was a great opportunity to see something different make new friends and enjoy a big school

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=6750 (2016-02-15)
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  • Pilot Shadow - March 2015
    March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 November 2011 cadet blogs Pilot Shadow The Cadet Experience Class of 2017 Permanent link All Posts This weekend I went on my first helicopter ride The Academy s Pilot Shadow Program provides cadets with the opportunity to travel to Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod in Massachusetts to experience the life of a pilot for the weekend Flight school is one of the many options we have upon graduation from the Academy and this program gives us an opportunity to see what life would be like if we choose that path Though flight school is highly competitive the Pilot Shadow Program is open to all cadets on a first come first served basis I did it last year and had a great time so as soon as I heard that the sign ups for this spring came out I added my name and my friend s names to the sheet Each weekend there are four slots so that two cadets can fly with the fixed wing crew and two can fly with the helicopter crew The cadets fly one platform on Saturday and switch on Sunday Last year my friend Katie and I decided to fly fixed wing in the CASA 144 on Saturday and the helo on Sunday We were really disappointed when the weather was too bad to fly on Sunday For

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=64962 (2016-02-15)
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  • What’s Coming Up - Ritchie February 2015
    2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 November 2011 cadet blogs What s Coming Up The Cadet Experience Class of 2017 Permanent link All Posts Second semester is an exciting time for cadets As the snow melts and days grow longer things start to come together in Chase Hall We find out what we will be doing for our summer training programs 1 c are given their billets 2 c get their class rings 3 c prepare to become cadre and 4 c earn carry on On April 6 we will switch to our short sleeve uniforms It is a sign that we are close to the end of the school year This winter has been long and cold so it is especially exciting to hear about our summer assignments Each year cadets have 11 weeks of training and three weeks of leave Whereas the other summers include only one or two five to seven week training experiences 2 c summer is composed of several one to three week training experiences The first week of my summer training I will be going through 100th week This marks my class being halfway through our time as cadets Chiefs come up to the Academy from Cape May to act as our cadre remind us of Swab Summer and train us to become cadre After that I ll have three weeks of leave to go home and see my family The next weeks are comprised

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=6757 (2016-02-15)
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  • Giving Thanks for Friends - Ritchie November 2014
    October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 November 2011 cadet blogs Giving Thanks for Friends Choosing the Coast Guard Academy The Cadet Experience Class of 2017 Permanent link All Posts As Thanksgiving Leave approaches it is the perfect time to reflect on what we are thankful for The other day I was asked to say the thing I was most thankful for this year There were many things I could have answered I could have said that I am thankful for the opportunities I ve had this past year including sailing to the Caribbean and working in the Coast Guard fleet for six weeks or for having job security and no college debt in the future or for being able to earn good grades this semester or for the endless support from my family or for everything I ve learned this past year The list goes on because there is so much to be thankful for each and every day Right now though I am most thankful for the new friends I ve made at the Academy It amazes me how close I have become with people I ve known for just over a year I feel like I ve known my three best Academy friends for my entire life I could trust them with anything Maybe it comes with living in the same building and happens at every college but I think it s a little different here At the Academy cadets all face the same challenges that people our age normally don t have to face It s the things like not having cars and having specific liberty hours that give us a different kind of bond Instead of being designated drivers for each other we walk

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=6253 (2016-02-15)
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  • Parents' Weekend: A Deeper Meaning - Ritchie October 2014
    July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 November 2011 cadet blogs Parents Weekend A Deeper Meaning Overcoming Challenges The Cadet Experience Class of 2017 Permanent link All Posts The atmosphere of the Academy changes immensely when everyone s families are here Cadets and their family members all wear ear to ear grins they re overjoyed to see each other We often talk about the strong support network that cadets have but it s really something to see it Families come from all over the country and some from other countries for Parents Weekend Cadets whose parents can t come are taken in by other families so they re not alone We become one big Coast Guard family instead of 1 000 individual ones This year I noticed a huge difference in myself from last Parent s Weekend As a 3 c I m more confident and comfortable here and less reliant on my parents support Every time my parents left after visiting last year I cried This year it s was a see you next time and no tears Don t get me wrong I still need and appreciate all the support my parents give me but I m also a lot more independent Also this year I spent as much time as I could enjoying my mom s company instead of worrying about homework and indoc all weekend I didn t even bring any homework with me to the hotel I had a lot to do

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=6288 (2016-02-15)
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