Demonstrating exceptional qualities as a swab, one Coast Guard Academy cadet was chosen as the top-performer who most embodied the training values taught to him since reporting-in day.
“The thing about Swab Summer is about getting the whole picture. Even though you may be the fastest, the strongest, the smartest at indoc, you are just one person,” Johnson said. “You’re only as strong as your weakest link.”
The Class of 2019, the largest class in the last four years, continues to maintain recent gains made in diversity with 33 percent of the class from underrepresented minorities and 35 percent women. R-Day is the start of Swab Summer, an exciting and intense seven-week training period that forms the foundation of each cadet’s Academy experience and military career, preparing them for the stressful, high-profile missions they may encounter as commissioned officers in the U.S. Coast Guard.
The goal is for each cadet to leave the Eagle with their basic damage control qualification, a qualification that will follow them throughout their career, saving time and potentially saving lives. “Early in their careers they may have to coordinate and direct the efforts to fight a fire,” said Chief Petty Officer Max Hermes, and his crew is working hard to prepare all of the cadets for the future.
As 217 cadets in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Class of 2015 swore the oath of office in the presence of their commander in chief, they set their course to ensure their names would be etched in the annals of history.
“This place is really great for developing leaders,” said Giorgio. “Looking back now I can see all of the development and growth. Every single time it got hard, I got better as a person, I got stronger, I learned something every time and I’ve become a better leader and person over all. I dug deep and found it in me. I pushed past all of the other stuff and showed that it could be done.”
As the ground thaws and the trees begin to green, the memory of a long winter is fresh in New England. For graduating cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, this past winter was their last spent along the Connecticut coastline. They will soon receive their commissions and disperse across the nation to serve as the Coast Guard’s newest officers. Some are headed for much warmer shores, as is the case with First Class Cadet Taylor Tennyson, who is bound for Coast Guard Cutter Robert Yered in Miami.
It’s been nearly a century since Coast Guard service first found its way into the hearts of Marina Stevens’ family. – carrying on a tradition that began with her great-grandfather, Olin “Blackie” Emerson, in 1918.
The pace of life at a federal service academy can be a relentless uphill trek. The goal is to employ a steady effort, and those who do well will not allow many disruptions in their stride. Stephen Horvath, a first class cadet at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy about to graduate this month, is one of those rare individuals whose steady effort made the uphill trek look easy.
There is no denying the difficult ethical situations with which cadets will be presented as young junior officers. To build upon their developing experience, they must learn from the experience of those senior to them; those who have learned to face the odds and carry on the missions they vowed to perform and the people they promised to protect.