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  • Medallions, Colors, and Perfect Water - Kukich September 2014
    Homecoming Weekend and the football game the following Saturday afternoon have always been mandatory for cadets this was the first Homecoming at the Academy that meant anything to me It seemed like everyone was excited to see their older brother or parent that weekend the alumni parked literally everywhere on campus Friday morning including outside of our windows in the quad Classes and trainings continued as scheduled with one modification for the Medallion Ceremony to be held in the late afternoon Every year the class celebrating their 50th reunion from the Academy is invited to return specially for participation in the Medallion Ceremony The Commandant of the Coast Guard is aided by three cadets from Delta Company the best company in honoring each alumni with a medallion around their neck as their name and highest rank attained is read off by a senior cadet in the gymnasium Surrounding the alumni who sit on the court in the bleachers as a Corps of Cadets is a powerful atmosphere in itself but not the most personal For me to feel connected to the events of Homecoming I needed more This year after assisting the Color Guard present the colors at the Regimental Review and Medallion Ceremony I headed down to the boathouse for crew practice Being a Friday and pretty late already around 5 p m I decided to go out on the water as soon as possible Without waiting for my teammates I paddled down to Jacob s Rock about 300 meters in my single rowing shell Not far from shore I could hear alumni joining the women s soccer team on the field saw the lights illuminating the football field and again found cars scattered in every possible place around campus Yet there I was alone on the water with

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=6237 (2016-02-15)
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  • But It Won’t Be Long, ‘Til I Get on Back Home - Kukich August 2014
    Swab Summer was rough the first time around but it was definitely even more difficult the second round as a cadre After many weeks of preparation I began my cadre experience on 20 July relieving my classmates who had been Cadre 1 or trainers for the first three weeks in this circumstance After just three days I had lost my voice from a combination of illness and loudly trying to direct the swabs and by the fourth day had to correct behaviors of some swabs with the voice of others A week of rest at another training program came and went while the newest members of Delta Company sailed aboard the Eagle When I made the trip up to Maine to meet the swabs for the return I felt just as drained as when they had left And somehow that feeling continued that exhaustion that fast pace that cyclic behavior that some people can only describe as insanity The cadre experience was not without purpose however I learned more about my personal leadership style in those three weeks than I have my entire cadet career As cadre like with my peers I discovered that I struggle with public speaking even with positional power I found out that even though I have different interests than my classmates most of us came to the Academy for the same reasons and have the same goals in mind And I learned that while I might not be able to form a perfect mentor mentee relationship with every one of the 32 swabs in Delta if they were willing to listen and I was a persistent teacher I could pass on the skills others had taught me There were dozens of rewarding experiences sprinkled throughout cadre summer to offset the challenges such as running to

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=6052 (2016-02-15)
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  • 100 Weeks - Kukich May 2014
    2014 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 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 100 Weeks Choosing the Coast Guard Academy The Cadet Experience Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts When my mom asked me how graduation and commissioning was my initial response was good But good doesn t exactly do the most monumental event of a cadet s career justice no one word really can Even if I could have an entire sentence worth of words I do not think I could adequately summarize graduation and commissioning at the U S Coast Guard Academy It is like absolutely nothing else At this point in my cadet career I am just over 100 weeks in with less than 100 weeks to go until I follow in the footsteps of the 2014 graduating ensigns across the stage I have completed four semesters of class and two years of military training then hundredth week the best week of my cadet career by far and finally received 2 c class shoulder boards But watching the graduation events on May 21st made those 100 weeks seem so insignificant and also made it clear just how much there is still to learn I was honored to give first salutes to ensigns and hope to carry

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5986 (2016-02-15)
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  • Pilgrim Prom - Kukich April 2014
    Overcoming Challenges The Cadet Experience Life as a Junior Officer Class of 2019 Class of 2018 Class of 2017 Class of 2016 Class of 2015 Class of 2014 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 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 Pilgrim Prom Just for Fun Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts In high school April was the month to go prom dress shopping order the corsage plan where pictures would be taken But in college April is a month crammed with projects and exams so much seems to come at once that as cadets we forget about the social life around us The Academy however remedies this problem ensuring each cadet attends a number of formal dances to practice their social skills Class of 2015 Cadet Blogger Peter Driscoll invited me to join him this year at the 2 c Ring Dance in the month of April As an underclass I saw this invitation as a great opportunity to experience another s Ring Dance before planning my own And obviously I knew it would be a great night to escape Chase Hall and spend time with friends While an odd class year will never be able to compete with an even I must admit 2015 and especially my date

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5964 (2016-02-15)
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  • The Best Word to Describe Cadets: Divergent - Kukich March 2014
    to be so captivated by its simple themes Like many popular reads I quickly saw the parallels between the values of the fictional futuristic society and that of the Academy intelligence selflessness honesty peace and bravery are all elements weighted in different ways in our world I wanted to give a brief humorous anecdote of how each has shaped me as a cadet and shown that living in that fictional world I could only be a misfit divergent 1 Intelligence is the fundamental aspect related to a cadet s development while at the Academy Sometimes asking dumb questions has been a reminder of this such as asking where my sample for material science left in the power lab was My professor quickly responded unless you moved it still in the power lab 2 Selflessness is in our service s name and apparent in many circumstances in Chase Hall For example switching other people s laundry in the laundry rooms is a common practice even if you do not know the cadet So clearly dropping my dirty crew clothes off before heading out to another regatta it was assumed I would come back later that day to cleaned spandex Instead I found a 4 c s clean laundry in my bag and my laundry gone missing Selfless service can lead to one pair of black socks 3 Honesty is one of the three core values we uphold at the Academy but being too direct can often lead me into awkward situations I accidentally played the song Turn Down for What instead of reveille the other morning so every cadet in Chase Hall woke to it The spirit mission was intentional but unfortunately I let in on the plan so the responsibility fell directly on me I could honestly admit that playing

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5885 (2016-02-15)
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  • One Coin Worth More than a Paycheck - Kukich February 2014
    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 One Coin Worth More than a Paycheck Overcoming Challenges The Cadet Experience Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts While the paycheck at the Academy is an incentive to some it turns out that some of the coins cadets receive aren t produced by the U S Treasury Many civilians ask me how I spend my paycheck to be brief it s broken up in the following way 1 The Basic Life Requirements Haircuts for gents laundry wardroom meals along with a number of other expenses are automatically taken out of biweekly paychecks 2 The Academy Necessities This includes all of the uniform issues and formal tickets that test our etiquette skills and ability to keep it classy 3 The College Wish List Every wish can t be fulfilled with our paycheck but we are extremely lucky to balance the cost of textbooks some sports equipment travel home and entertainment if we budget carefully Overall that steady paycheck can help to make the Academy a rewarding experience But even more gratifying are the experiences had here One of my favorite opportunities so far has been participating in the color guard specifically at the Major Cutters Commanding Officers Dining In event on base in February 2014 The yearly event is hosted at the Academy and in addition to all the major cutter CO s who attend the Commandant of the Coast Guard and many distinguished guests also come It was very nerve racking to present the colors in front of so much gold knowing in the back of

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5835 (2016-02-15)
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  • The Coldest of Times - Kukich January 2014
    wind around campus during the winter months there is no shortage of temperature dilemmas at the Coast Guard Academy But instead of fueling the pessimism I decided to list the ten warmest places on campus Hopefully if you re stopping by during these chilly Connecticut days you can drop by one of these locations 1 G William Miller Reading Room The library café is visited by cadets looking for a break from studying or to warm up with hot chocolate tea or coffee It is located on the main deck of Waesche Hall the library on top of the hill and is an essential stop before starting a research paper the night it is due 2 Coast Guard Memorial Chapel The chapel is always an inviting place if you have the strength to hike up to the highest point on campus It is kept warm enough to take your outerwear off yet still comfortable with a dress jacket on 3 Coast Guard Rowing Center Tank Room One of my favorite places at the Academy the tank room is used by the rowing team especially during the off season While it can be humid at times it is definitely warm enough to wear shorts working out in here 4 McAllister Restrooms Engineers flock to McAllister casually known as Mac on a nightly basis Oddly enough the bathrooms heads are one of the best heated spots on campus It s just one more reason to join the engineering community 5 Satterlee Management Lounge The lounge is tucked away in the basement of Satterlee Hall but provides space for reading writing and group discussions For some reason this room is noticeably warmer than others and because of this often tempts cadets to fall asleep 6 Dry Dock Café A common meeting place for

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5718 (2016-02-15)
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  • Bringing in 2014 Beneath Big Ben - Kukich December 2013
    of 2017 Class of 2016 Class of 2015 Class of 2014 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 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 Bringing in 2014 Beneath Big Ben Just for Fun The Cadet Experience Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts Back in April my best friend from home Erik asked if I would do something special over his last winter break before graduating It took a lot of convincing but we bought tickets to London England and left on December 26th for the six day trip The visit was my first out of the country and not being with my family or classmates was a big change In all it was more than I could have hoped for we visited Stonehenge Bath and Windsor Castle to name a few places outside of the city We saw the Crown Jewels and the inner mechanics of Tower Bridge We watched the New Year s Eve fireworks on the River Thames across from the London Eye and heard Big Ben strike midnight bringing in 2014 I could not have asked for a better first experience in Europe and was grateful for the opportunity to do so separate from work Of course separated from the service is only an illusion leave provides

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5673 (2016-02-15)
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