Wheeler graduates to Coast Guard Academy

Tyler Gordon – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – LRHS Senior Lindsay Wheeler will attend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy this fall, starting her career in the Coast Guard.

“I chose the Coast Guard Academy because I felt like I really knew what I was getting my self into,” said Wheeler.

Wheeler attended Academy Introduction Mission (AIM) program where she spent a week simulating life of a “swab” (4th class cadet)

“Through that program, I developed a huge respect for the Coast Guard and I am honored to be attending there next year,” said Wheeler.

The Coast Guard academy is the smallest out of all of the military academies, with only about 250 students per graduating class. Wheeler will major in Marine and Environmental Science.

“I just love its mission to develop students morally, mentally, and physically, and am so excited to graduate as an officer,” explained Wheeler.

Unlike other colleges, the Coast Guard Academy has a 100% job placement, as every student is commissioned as an officer in the Coast Guard upon graduation. Every student must serve a minimum of five years.

Wheeler plans a career in the Coast Guard and hopes to work with agencies such as International Ice Patrol or National Data Buoy Center, an organization she will be given the opportunity to intern with at the academy.

“Although I will have to serve in the Coast Guard for a minimum of five years, I plan to stay in much longer,” said Wheeler.

At the academy Wheeler will be put through rigorous physical activity along while pursuing intense academic studies. Wheeler will leave June 30 to endure a 7-week military training known as “Swab Summer,” which will prepare her to join the Corps of Cadets at the academy in the fall.

As as 4th class cadet, Wheeler will serve as a follower, working to assimilate into the rigors of military life. By the time she is a 1st class cadet, she will be a leader, serving as a Company Commander or a Regimental Staff Officer. Wheeler will have a chance to sail on the US Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, America’s tallest ship, both this summer and next summer as part of her training.

“I chose the Coast Guard Academy because it was just the right ‘fit.’ I loved the size, location, mission, and honor concepts. It will be both academically and physically challenging, but graduating from the academy will be one of the most rewarding things I will ever do in my life. It will help me to achieve my dream job of serving in the US Armed Forces as an officer, and will be an experience I will never forget,” said Wheeler.