Ask a Fourth Class.

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by zachogden, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. zachogden

    zachogden Member

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    Hello everyone,

    As you may or may not know, I am currently a fourth class (freshman) cadet at the CGA. When I was applying and all the way up through R-day I got a lot of good bits of advice from cadets (past and present) and I think I should continue that. So here's the deal... if you have a question about anything that a cadet's perspective might provide some insight into, ask away. Obviously my answers are technically opinions as I don't think we've been given the hour long 0700 training in Leamy on facts :biggrin: .

    Topics I can probably discuss with confidence:
    - My application experience (there are people on here who know WAY more about this than me, so I can only speak to what I went through)

    - R-day/swab summer. Things to bring that they don't list on the packing list, what to expect, pre Rday workouts that might be useful, etc. It wasn't that long ago so it's still fairly fresh in my mind.

    - Fourth class year. We're almost done with first semester so I can speak to what has happened thus far and to a certain extent what comes 2nd semester (4/c boards, etc). I can talk about rules/regs that 4/c specifically have to abide by and things like bracing, squaring, etc. This is about the only thing I'm "qualified" to talk about at this point :thumb: .

    - Life at the Academy, sports/clubs offered, day to day routine of a cadet, AIM (which I did), other extracurricular activities, etc.


    So, like I said, my answers are strictly my opinion for legalistic reasons, but if you have any questions at all feel free to ask. If I don't know I can try and find out too.

    If I'm not mistaken a couple of other 4/c, at least one 3/c, and an officer that graduated fairly recently peruse around here as well so they can speak with respect to their experience as well as the parents that have been around the system for a while as well.

    Ready..... go.
     
  2. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    That, coupled with the 3 or 4 Academy Admissions Partners that hang out here, should be enough help any USCGA applicant get through the process with confidence and success!

    My only advice to you is to remember that you are not anonymous, be careful about what you post, don't post anything that may come back to hurt or harm you in any way.
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    <-----is an Academy Admissions Partner and Alum. In a very short time, many things have changed. I am probably better talking about life after CGA than what 4/C are going through now.

    I also post in an unofficial capacity.
     
  4. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

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    ^
    i
    i
    i
    3/c
     
  5. mwbluebeard

    mwbluebeard Member

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    Zachogden -- what does every mother of a 4/C need to know?

    And what does every sweetheart of a 4/C need to know?

    What is the WORSE mistake mothers and sweethearts each make?
     
  6. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    not sending enough money :biggrin: or cookies :biggrin: but mainly not enough money :biggrin:

    (zachogden, you can pay me for that later :wink: )
     
  7. jt0819

    jt0819 Member

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    zach,

    what are some good pre rday work outs. also do you still live in cleveland? i live in a tiny town named huron right next sandusky.
     
  8. zachogden

    zachogden Member

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    mwbluebeard: the biggest thing that a "sweetheart" (and probably a mother as well, but I haven't really had this problem with my parents) needs to understand in my opinion is that when 4/c Doe tells you he can only call you once every couple days, or once every other day, or every day but only for a couple minutes, he/she's not trying to blow you off. This is mainly pertaining to the school year but getting adjusted to life here and finding time to do little things like call people can be overwhelming sometimes at first. This is a real relationship tester and where the "2% club" starts to earn its name. Swabs and 4/c (swabs particularly) need/want seemingly unconditional support, because until you start to bond with your shipmates as the summer progresses the only meaningful support is what you're getting from home and what you're getting from within. Little things like notes and letters from my girlfriend, mom, dad, and brother are what brought me through the lowest point of swab summer. My two cents, everyone's experiences are different.

    jt0819: Yes but my parents might be moving this summer so we'll see. I'm from Avon, which is right off I-90 just on the outskirts of Cleveland. Over the summer you'll be doing a lot of calisthenics (assuming things don't change), which typically entail holding certain positions for painful amounts of time. Here's a short list of what we did:

    Holding pushup positions in various stages for 30-60 seconds (down, up, on one hand rotated to the side looking up to the sky, etc)
    Planks for however long
    Prisoner squats
    Squat jumps
    Wall sits (lots)
    Running in general all day, all the time (extends into 4/c year)
    Leg lifts, etc

    Going to the gym and getting huge may help, but I would recommend working on core strength with things like rowers/leg lifts/situps, as that's what they seemed to focus on and it's what people have the most trouble with typically.

    So... I hope that helps. The first part might be a little vague and for that I apologize.
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    For the mothers and sweethearts...letting them know you're proud of them is nice. Acting interested in the things that are going on there with them, that's nice. I will admit that there are very small, minor details that cadets get a kick out of or get excited about that the rest of the world thinks is pretty stupid, just listen to them and act interested, even if it's boring or stupid.

    For sweethearts, try not to get overly protective as the cadet meets his classmates, although I can say that sometimes there is reason to. It will be VERY hard to maintain a relationship with a cadet, so while you don't have to accept that at this point, understand that for some people, they will grow apart.

    For mothers. unconditional love is nice for your cadets. Letting them know your proud of them helps and encouragement is great but make sure it doesn't get to the point that you're your cadet's driving force, they have to want to get through it.

    For mothers especially, you need to stay strong too. You will get scary little phone calls from your desperate cadet. Sometimes it will sound like the whole world is coming down on them. They may tell you they hate every second of it, they may use a lot a four letter words...listen to them. Don't try to tell them you understand and reason with them, because you most likely have no idea what they are going through.

    Sometimes the sky will fall. Your cadet will make it if they want to. They need your support, love and pride. Buy Coast Guard stuff. Do not deck out their room in all CGA stuff as a surprise when they first visit home; they will see plenty of the Coast Guard Academy, and they probably won't want to see more when they go home.

    After awhile, the place won't look so bad, the skies will clear up, and that day will come when it's time for them to return to the Academy after some kind of break, and they will actually look forward to seeing their good friends again.


    For work outs: RUN! RUN and RUN! As the temps get higher, run outside, hydrate and run and run. You need to get acclimated to the heat, and running in that heat. Chase Hall can get hot, New London can get very hot, and you will be in it, sweating and all greasy with bad skin from a summer of just working hard...try to prepare for that heart and cardiovascular workout early.

    Hope that helps!
     
  10. kilovictorhotel

    kilovictorhotel Member

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    Good thread folks :thumb:

    LITS....did you mean not to buy CG stuff?
     
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I probably wasn't very clear...


    Buy Coast Guard stuff for yourself...don't buy it for them (unless it's some kind of historic item).

    On second thought, I think I gave Coast Guard gifts for years, so maybe you should just let them get you that stuff for Christmas or your birthday.
     
  12. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

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    ^^^^^^ white card christmas lol
     
  13. bossf51

    bossf51 Parent

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    I was always kind of superstitious so I didn't go on a "big shopping spree" of CGA items until 1/c year. :biggrin:
     
  14. mwbluebeard

    mwbluebeard Member

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    I told darling husband that 4/c needs money and cookies,

    especially money.

    He asked, "What is the money for?"

    I said, "Dunno, I'll ask."

    So, what is it for? Laundry, pencil lead, off-campus food/beverages ????

    And, of course, how much money?

    And, when do cadets start to earn a salary? What happens to it? Are they allowed to spend some of that?
     
  15. rjcuga

    rjcuga Member

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    well, lets see
    (btw, another 4/c here.... hey zack)

    in response about cell phones and never calling....
    I never get cell phone service... been thinking of buying a giant antenna for my room to fix that.... haven't used it in about 2 months... keep in touch by email.

    the money is for a bit

    during swab summer you never use it, cept when you go to eagle
    then you just go out and eat a lot, and just have fun

    as a 4/c, i think a good deal of my money goes to energy drinks.... probably too much and stuff like poptarts and breakfast...
    you usually have trainings at 7am, and I just buy a bit to make my day a little easier than running down to the wardroom and back to eat... I just do it because I'm one of the farthest rooms from the wardroom.

    other days I spend it on little things, stuff to help clean my room etc (formal room and wing tonight..... yay)
    if I look at my account, I would say that the majority is food
    sure there is all you can eat for meals, but it seems that you are always hungry in your room

    other things money is good for
    -computer stuff.... i'm looking to buy a nice monitor so i can use a dual monitor system... makes doing papers easier... games for the weekends
    -train tickets (for me at least) it cost a good 200 round trip for me to go home and back on breaks

    off to go eat dinner and study for e-pme test....

    GO BEARS!
     
  16. bossf51

    bossf51 Parent

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    They get a salary starting R-day; most of it goes into a "white card" account from which they can purchase uniforms, books, etc. They do get about $100 cash per month during 4/c year...each year it jumps up until 1c's get $600 or so(woo hoo). But basically money is only for little things, like personal items, food,etc. Don't worry much about that part of it.:thumb:
     
  17. bossf51

    bossf51 Parent

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    As far as "clothes" there are some stuff he needs to bring but the CGA will let him know. During the school year(4c) he will mostly be in uniform...except when home on leave or in NYC or something like that(100 mile rule). Good luck to him.:cool:
     
  18. mwbluebeard

    mwbluebeard Member

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    So, basically, Pop-Tart money? What about laundry?

    Do the students do their own uniforms, towels and bed linens or is there a service?

    Thanks!
     
  19. zachogden

    zachogden Member

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    Laundry is free, dry cleaning can be white-carded. You just have to buy your own soap at some point (they issue you some over the summer).
     
  20. zfam

    zfam Member

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    We never expected any phone calls, took the approach that "no news was good news"...but still, it's nice to hear his voice occasionally.
    Zach, what's the 2% club?
     

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