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  • James' 1/c Summer - Engelhardt July 2015
    than a month I will be reporting back to the Coast Guard Academy early to assume the duties of Regimental Communications Officer As I have stated in my earlier blogs the Academy summers are what I feel make it stand out from civilian colleges During the summer you gain practical and technical knowledge that you can capitalize on in your future career as a Coast Guard officer The summer also gives cadets a chance to utilize the theoretical knowledge they have learned in their courses and test it out in the fleet My summer started when another 1 c cadet four 3 c cadets and I reported aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant a 210 foot medium endurance cutter Although the Valiant was home ported out of Naval Base Mayport Florida I was never north of the Florida Straits during my time on her We picked up Valiant south of Key West on a law enforcement patrol in the Florida Straits Underway would be the operative word describing my time aboard the cutter as 37 of the 42 days I was attached to Valiant were spent out at sea first on patrols in the Florida Straits and later in the northern Caribbean primarily in the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti Although the copious amounts of sea time did mean a lack of reliable communication with family and friends it did give me a plethora of operational experience that I feel some of my other classmates might have missed out on and I still got some amazing port calls in Key West Guantanamo Bay and Grand Turk In the Coast Guard they say that District Seven the southeastern U S where I was serving aboard Valiant is the tip of the spear operationally and that was unquestionably true for my time on Valiant I certainly have to tip my hat to members of that crew who were chiefly responsible for the interdiction and repatriation of almost 300 illegal Cuban and Haitian migrants during my month and a half on board The hard work that went into performing at that high level certainly gave me a greater appreciation for all that the big white hull cutters do I was especially appreciative of the opportunities to participate in gun exercises flight operations with a Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Borinquen and migrant operations I also got valuable experience breaking in as both Conning Officer and Deck Officer the person responsible for the driving and operations on board a cutter which gave me a chance to utilize what I had learned in my Nautical Science courses at the Academy As much as I enjoyed the first half of my summer aboard Valiant I got a chance to experience a totally different side of the Coast Guard during the second half at Air Station Clearwater Florida As a cadet who hopes to go directly to flight school from the Academy keeping my fingers crossed it was an amazing opportunity to spend five weeks with

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=65087 (2016-02-15)
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  • Five Lessons for the Class of 2019 - Engelhardt May 2015
    link All Posts Wow This semester has really flown by My sincere apologies in not blogging earlier between lacrosse schoolwork and extracurricular activities blogging had been put on my proverbial back burner To the Class of 2019 arriving here for R Day I was hoping to impart five lessons I learned at the Academy that might prepare you for what you can expect in your undergraduate experience Hope you enjoy here we go 5 New England is cold For those readers hailing from southern states New England is cold And it s just not cold during those typical winter months it honestly doesn t get what I would consider warm consistent mid 60s until May That being said all the snow can be fun we missed a total of three days of classes two back to back and had a few late base openings and early closings due to the inclement weather that descended on New London this winter Just be prepared to bundle up in the wintertime 4 The CGA grounds are hilly The bluffs that the Academy are situated on offer spectacular scenic views of the Thames River However these views do come at a price so be prepared to feel like you re always walking uphill when on campus On the bright side the hills do work miracles for your calf muscles as do the staircases in Chase Hall don t even think about using an elevator 3 The Academy is kinda like Hogwarts Silly as it may sound CGA and the fictional wizardry school do have a lot of similarities When you arrive you are sorted into different companies i e Houses where you dine live and make the majority of your friends Although there is no Slytherin Company here there are rivalries that come out

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=64999 (2016-02-15)
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  • A Semester at Naval Academy - Engelhardt January 2015
    Academy The Cadet Experience Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts Greetings and Happy New Year I apologize for the large time gap between my blogs but I got tied up with school work extracurricular activities and general life at the Naval Academy As I begin my spring semester again back at my home Academy I thought that it was only fitting that I reflect on my time in Annapolis and offer some quick differences and similarities between the two academies that I have had the privilege to attend As mentioned in my August 2014 blog I can t state enough how welcoming the Brigade of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy was and especially 16th Company They accepted a new classmate with open arms and were quick to make me part of their daily lives which I am extremely grateful for I truly think that the connections that I made at USNA are as deep as the connections that I have made with some of my classmates here at CGA and I don t think that it is over exaggerated to say that I have made several lifelong friends It s amazing how similar life at the two academies is they truly are closer to being the same than they are different Both schools are obviously military so they have similar things that come with that formations mandatory trainings and classes inspections military drill and reviews etc They also have similar restrictions on your personal life such as limited times that you can leave the campus Both schools also put a strong emphasis on sports and physical fitness and emphasis that is rarely found at any civilian college They both also both foster strong friendships between classmates and are home to truly outstanding people However for all the things that the academies do have in common they also have several differences Most of the differences I feel are brought about because of the different sizes and locations of the schools The Naval Academy is approximately four times larger in size and with that size comes opportunities in academics and the community that I feel that the Coast Guard Academy cannot replicate As example it s hard for us to go directly to medical school out of CGA which is possible at Navy because we are needed immediately in the Coast Guard fleet The size also helps the Naval Academy have a larger presence in the surrounding community However a benefit of the Coast Guard Academy s smaller size is that it allows you to truly know all your classmates which is impossible at Navy I feel that having stronger bonds with your classmates is one of the things I truly like about the Coast Guard Academy as compared to Navy The Naval Academy s location in Annapolis located less than an hour away from our nation s capital creates an influx of visitors both civilian and military that is unheard of at the Coast Guard Academy There are multiple tourist

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=6500 (2016-02-15)
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  • Rest of 2/c Summer and USNA Beginning - Engelhardt August 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 Rest of 2 c Summer and USNA Beginning Overcoming Challenges The Cadet Experience Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts Greetings Hopefully as your summer draws to an end and you begin to return to school you can look back on the amazing things that you did this summer I know I certainly can After my first seven weeks of summer training at the Academy I came home for a deserved three weeks of leave It was great being home catching up with friends and family and relaxing before beginning the 2nd half of my summer training When I returned to the Academy in mid July Swab Summer was already in full effect It was definitely a new experience returning to Chase Hall and hearing swabs sounding off and running down the passage ways It was also quite the experience adapting to the challenge of having to avoid swabs during my prep week of cadre training as the swabs were not supposed to know who the Eagle cadre were As mentioned earlier I had opted to be an Eagle cadre for Swab Summer which meant that I would have the privilege to train the swabs on America s Tall Ship the USCGC Eagle introducing many of them to their first taste of underway life and to the operational Coast Guard fleet As an Eagle cadre my prep week was a little different than the majority of my classmates Instead of

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=6130 (2016-02-15)
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  • 2/c Summer – Best Summer at the Academy Yet - Engelhardt July 2014
    2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 November 2011 cadet blogs 2 c Summer Best Summer at the Academy Yet Overcoming Challenges The Cadet Experience Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts Wow A lot has happened since my last blog post in early March I finished my fourth academic semester at the Academy found out that I will be going on exchange to the Naval Academy for a semester of study in the fall and have completed the first half of my 2 c summer training at the Academy Time does fly Before beginning the summer term I was told by several upper classmen that 2 c summer was the best summer by far at the Academy and am happy to report that they were most defiantly right Because the rising 2 c cadets equivalent of a junior at a civilian college are the only students on campus for the first half of the summer we had to move rooms while the rest of the corps moves out of the barracks for their summer tour in the fleet It was strange moving out of my normal home in Hotel Company back to my old stomping grounds in Delta where I did my 4 c year for the summer but it was definitely nice to catch up with friends in that wing area that I don t see as often during the school year After the rest of the corps had left the Academy we began our first week of summer training 100th week Marking the midpoint of a cadet s career at the Academy during the week Cape May Company Commanders think Marine drill instructor but Coast Guard style come to the Academy to train the soon to be 2 c in becoming effective cadre that will

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=6021 (2016-02-15)
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  • Springtime at the Academy - March 2014
    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 Springtime at the Academy Athletics Just for Fun Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts The second week in March marks spring break for the Coast Guard Academy Like other college students cadets look forward to spring break as a time to relax and spend more time with family and friends before the second half of the spring semester begins Spring break festivities start a little early for 1 c cadets at the Academy as the Thursday night before break is Billet Night Billet Night is when 1 c cadets receive their billet or ensign assignment This assignment tells firsties where they will be living for the first year and a half of their Coast Guard career what type of work they will be doing and also lets them know which classmates will be going with them on their assignment The anticipation and excitement experienced by the firsties trickles down throughout the rest of the corps and puts everyone in high spirits before heading out on spring break Many of the spring sports teams travel during spring break As part of the Lacrosse team I left Chase Hall Thursday night right after the firsties received there billets en route to Palm Beach Florida We played two games the first weekend of the break and although the results weren t exactly what my teammates and I wanted I do believe that the time spent on the bus ride to Florida and the time spent together in Palm Beach did bring us closer together as

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5792 (2016-02-15)
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  • A Good Welcome Back - Engelhardt January 2014
    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 A Good Welcome Back The Cadet Experience Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts After two and a half weeks or so of leave early January marks the time when cadets return to the Academy Unlike normal colleges where classes start as soon as students return cadets have a week of Administration Processing dubbed CAP week at the start of the fall semester and MAP week at the start of the spring semester Although it is tough to come back to the Academy especially when New London has single digit temperatures in the winter burr the week serves as a nice period for cadets to transition back into the military lifestyle CAP and MAP weeks both have various trainings on topics from cyber awareness and professional conduct to meetings with the Superintendent and the Commandant of Cadets During the week the Change of the Command ceremony is also held where cadets who will assume leadership positions in the upcoming semester relieve the cadets who held leadership positions the previous semester The dreaded PFE which is performed twice annually is also administered during the week Additionally the week usually has a key speech which during MAP week is an annual address given by the Commandant of the Coast Guard This year Admiral Papp the 24th Commandant of the Coast Guard gave his final

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5672 (2016-02-15)
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  • How My Parents Influenced Me While at the Academy - Engelhardt October 2013
    May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 November 2011 cadet blogs How My Parents Influenced Me While at the Academy The Cadet Experience Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts Outside of Leamy Hall there is a small statue that stands as a tribute to Coast Guard Cadets parents I pass the statue daily and rarely think of the meaning behind it However with Parents Weekend just around the corner it s hard not to think of my parents and what they did to make me the man I am today My father who is a 1978 graduate of the Naval Academy influenced me early on with military lore I grew up not far from Annapolis Maryland so I spent a lot of fall weekends on the grounds of the Naval Academy at football games I grew fond of the military uniforms and tradition that seemed embedded in Annapolis As I expressed more interest in the military my parents decided it would only be fair that I saw all the military academies They decided that by seeing the Coast Guard Academy we could knock out two birds with one stone giving me the grand experience of visiting New England while seeing an academy Being from Virginia I had never really ventured north of New York City and New England seemed like a foreign nation to me However I remember after stepping foot on the campus the first time I had a feeling of purpose passion and pride feelings similar to the ones I got when at the Naval Academy but somehow stronger I knew that those who had come to the Academy were doing something with their lives making a difference in the world that many others can t ever say they did In that instance I knew I

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5332 (2016-02-15)
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