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  • Summer Training: Ship Handling - Stowes June 2014
    Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts Swab Summer is THREE weeks away It is crazy to think that in 21 days I will be training a new class of future officers I can wait to get started but in the meantime I have plenty of training myself This past week I participated in the summer ship handling program which trains cadets the basics of seamanship aboard a 40 foot tug boat So what do I mean by seamanship There is a lot that goes into it For example have you ever thought about starting a boat vs starting a car Unfortunately turning on large vessels isn t as easy as turning a key There is a long checklist that needs to be completed before turning a T boat on and getting underway Throughout the week we practiced other aspects of seamanship including getting underway from the pier docking line handling dropping anchor driving the ship on the helm controlling the throttle and giving the commands to drive the ship Most days we would get underway to get practical experience on the T boat Then in the afternoon we would learn the theory behind it all and then we would practice again on our simulators at the Academy The simulators are cool because you can set up almost any scenario getting underway docking and driving the ship to name a few The simulator was pretty cool and was very helpful practice That s the summary of the T boat program The coolest part of the week was Wednesday when my group spent all day underway We went down to the boat at about 0800 and we were able to start it all by ourselves Then our supervising safety officer arrived and we got underway I had the honor of getting

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5999 (2016-02-15)
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  • Summer Training: Rules of the Road - Stowes June 2014
    1a was at the Academy last week for Rules of the Road ROTR training To be honest ROTR is one of the more difficult things to explain to people outside of the Coast Guard I usually say that ROTR is kind of like drivers ed but for ship driving instead of cars The ROTR book which is what we were trained on all week is like a legal document which describes the proper action to be taken to avoid collisions at sea however there are many other parts of the book in addition to collision avoidance The purpose of the ROTR training is to pass a deck watch officer exam at the end of the week As officers we will all qualify as underway officer of the deck OOD at some point and it is the OOD s responsibility to ensure safe navigation of the ship The ROTR exam was a 50 question closed book test and we needed a 90 to pass The test covers over 200 pages of material including lights and day shapes on vessels conduct of vessels in sight of each other conduct of vessels in restricted visibility and much more To add to the challenge the rules differ internationally and inland As you can probably tell at this point the ROTR test is difficult I spent about three hours each night studying for ROTR in addition to the five hours in class each day After class I would clean swab rooms work out eat dinner study repeat It was certainly a challenging week but it paid off Thanks to great instructors and a lot of studying I passed my ROTR test Friday afternoon with a 100 I was very happy with that because I aspire to be a deck watch officer in the fleet and

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5988 (2016-02-15)
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  • Open Fire - Stowes May 2014
    the commencement ceremony for the graduating seniors Range week was very interesting Monday morning was spent in a classroom setting where we learned about the safety procedures for shooting at the range and we also learned about the 40 Sig Sauer pistol The Sig is the standard pistol used in the Coast Guard and it was very cool learning how to take it apart In the afternoon we were able to practice our aim at the pistol range with lasers that registered where our shots were landing on a computer that displayed the target Tuesday was our first day of shooting Many of my classmates had never shot before but many others including me had shot pistols before However I found that my shooting experience didn t really translate into higher scores The minimum score to qualify as a marksman in pistol is a 114 out of 150 and I only got a 79 Some of my classmates qualified on the first day but many returned on Wednesday After some additional coaching I felt much more comfortable shooting and I ended up qualifying with a score of 118 That isn t a really high score but I was happy to improve so much from the day before There are three levels of qualification marksman sharpshooter and expert these range from the minimum qualification score to the maximum I m not sure exactly what the ranges are but sharpshooters and experts get to add a pin to their pistol qualification ribbon Many of my classmates also qualified that day and by the end of the week everyone qualified The Academy range instructors pride themselves on a 100 qualification rate so if you re concerned about passing have no fear We have great teachers This blog only scratches the surface of my

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5981 (2016-02-15)
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  • Halfway There! - Stowes May 2014
    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 Halfway There Overcoming Challenges The Cadet Experience Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts Summer training is officially underway here at the Coast Guard Academy Fourth class and second class have headed off to their summer units or Eagle Third class just completed 100th week and first class cadets are eagerly awaiting graduation It is an exciting time for all As I just mentioned third class cadets finished up 100th week This is the midway point for cadets which means that after the week is over we have completed 100 weeks of our time here at the Academy and we have 100 more to go During 100th week the Cape May company commanders the CG s enlisted boot camp cadre come to the Academy to teach the third class about being cadre My 100th week was awesome On the first day the CCs woke us up at 0500 and the day was devoted to reminding us what it is like to be a swab We had to do a lot of physical fitness exercises and different remedials like remaking our racks and so on Also we relearned a variety of drill movements After the first day the mood was more relaxed During the second day of 100th week we focused on

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5962 (2016-02-15)
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  • What Makes It All Worthwhile - Stowes February 2014
    Academy Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts A few days ago I received an email from a reader about the Academy He had several standard questions but one question in particular stood out to me He asked What makes it all worthwhile I think this is a great question for everyone thinking about coming to the Academy The academics are tough The day to day life is called the grind around here because it can be so difficult We are held to higher standards of appearance conduct athleticism and performance than the vast majority of colleges Is the effort to deal with all of that really worth it The answer to me is absolutely yes It is up to each reader to determine the answer for themselves but I have a few ideas to put forth for you if you re not sure After graduating from the Academy you get the honor of serving as a commissioned officer in the Coast Guard which is a part of the U S military The work you put in at the Academy is aimed at preparing you to succeed as an officer If you want to be very successful at your job then putting up with everything at the Academy is well worth it The Academy is only four years whereas you have a payback tour of five in the real Coast Guard so you spend more time using the skills that you learned than you do at the Academy In the operational Coast Guard you could be saving people s lives or performing other jobs that are crucial to the protection and safety of this country I am biased toward serving in the Coast Guard as being the most worthwhile aspect of going to the Academy but another major benefit is

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5762 (2016-02-15)
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  • Respect for the Armed Services - Stowes January 2014
    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 Respect for the Armed Services Choosing the Coast Guard Academy The Cadet Experience Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts This weekend I went home to take advantage of the last long weekend I will have that won t be spent on homework playing a sport or catching up on sleep I got an Amtrak ticket to Boston which is pretty close to where I live and I got the ticket with a military discount While I was home I got to see the new Lone Survivor movie with a military discount And even riding the T Massachusetts commuter rail train I got a free ride for being in the military I was honestly humbled that all of these businesses have military discounts It shows that people still respect our military members and I greatly appreciate their support In the midst of our long conflict in the Middle East and the tensions in Congress some people have lost faith in our government However it is nice to see that the military members are still respected at least where I live in the Northeast It is an honor to be a part of the United States military Even though I

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5716 (2016-02-15)
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  • Settling In: Second Semester - Stowes January 2014
    2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 November 2011 cadet blogs Settling In Second Semester Just for Fun The Cadet Experience Class of 2016 Permanent link All Posts After two awesome weeks of leave it s that time of year again It s time to come back to the Academy and start preparing for the second semester I think I speak for most of the corps when I say that we all wish we had more time off but in reality leave was long enough I had a fun break I got to go home and see all my friends see my cousins in Arizona and I even got to celebrate my birthday and the New Year in Las Vegas Even though I m under 21 Las Vegas has awesome stuff to do for people underage I saw three different shows and visited the Hoover Dam Then New Year s Eve was awesome I heard that 330 000 people had flown into Las Vegas to celebrate the New Year On New Year s Eve the streets were totally packed It was a struggle to walk through the masses of people but just being there to take it all in was worth it At midnight I was standing in front of the prestigious Caesar s Palace Hotel and the Bellagio Then all of the hotels started launching fireworks It was amazing I could spin around and see fireworks in every direction On January 1st I heard about the massive winter storm headed for the East Coast so I had to leave Vegas a day early to get home ahead of the snow Luckily I was able to get back to my home in Massachusetts before many of the flights to the

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5645 (2016-02-15)
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  • CGA Athletics - Stowes November 2013
    the Academy However men s rugby has one more weekend left This weekend we will be traveling to Maryland to compete in the Division II men s rugby national tournament This is our second season in a row qualifying for nationals and we hope to win this weekend As I mentally prepare for this weekend s matches I have thought about how lucky we are as a club to be able to compete Here at the Academy club sports and varsity sports are not equal There are many differences and that is the message of this blog Let me begin by saying that there is a club or a sport here for everyone If you aren t interested in any of the established clubs or sports you can try to start your own and the Academy will help you with this A list of our sports teams and club sports can be found on the website As I have said sports teams and club sports are very different here at the Academy To begin varsity sports are funded by the CGA appropriated budget which means that they have a set amount of money that they can use each year During the government shutdown these funds were frozen and our varsity sports almost did not get to play Varsity sports teams are NCAA Division III teams They have athletic trainers high end training equipment a paid coaching staff and many more benefits Additionally varsity sports are subject to all different types of NCAA regulations which protect athletes These sports are highly competitive even with our strict weight and fitness standards which puts us at a disadvantage in some situations However varsity sports are great programs The cadets and coaches are dedicated to success but at the same time they understand the

    Original URL path: http://www.cga.edu/blog.aspx?id=5582 (2016-02-15)
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