Editor’s Note: Welcome back the Coast Guard Academy, the Bears have sent along a few more additions to the Fireside Chat series, highlighting the on and off the field accomplishments of their athletes.
Over Spring Break, we sat down Cadet 2/c Patrick Dreiss (Wantagh, NY/Holy Trinity) one of three 2014 Team Captains selected at the United States Coast Guard Academy.
Dreiss was a mainstay of Coast Guard’s midfield offense last season (18 g/17 a) and earned the rare honor of selection as a team captain as a junior. He was fifth on the team in scoring (35 p) and ground balls (34) and was also a key member of the Bears’ extra-man unit.
Dreiss spent a majority of his summer training period as Swab Summer Cadre for the newly arrived Class of 2017 – “Swab Summer” is the initial boot-camp style indoctrination period.
He started his summer with the Cadet Aviation Training Program and was exposed to Coast Guard aircraft and missions at the Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Ala. He also had the opportunity to sail around New England with classmates as part of the Coastal Sail Training Program. He is a Civil Engineering major and is serving as the Honor Department Master at Arms this semester.
Over Parent’s Weekend 2013, Dreiss won the RADM Thomas T. Davies (USN) Proficiency in Navigation Award presented to the second class cadet deemed most proficient in the art of navigation during their first two years at the Academy.
1. Why did you choose to come to the Coast Guard Academy?
Going through the college process, I knew that I wanted a job that would allow me to help other people and not have to sit behind a desk.
I didn’t know that there was a ‘Coast Guard Academy’ until my junior year of high school, but as soon as I began to look into it, I knew that it was a perfect combination of what I was looking for. I am not from a military family, nor did I ever anticipate joining the military when I was younger, so it took me a while to get past the fact that my life would radically change if I came here.
However, after a great deal of consideration and thinking, I knew that I could handle the change and that it was too good of an opportunity for me to pass up. And I’m glad I did – because it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
2. Plans after graduation?
Hopefully be assigned to a 110’ patrol boat or 154’ Fast Response Cutter on the East Coast. Going to a smaller cutter with fewer junior officers will give me more ship driving opportunities, as well as increased law enforcement boardings, which is an area I would like to pursue in my career.
A smaller unit also creates a tight knit crew, creating the family-like atmosphere that was a big reason why I chose the Coast Guard.
3. Favorite summer experience so far?
Coastal Sailing Training Program. I sailed on a 44-foot sailboat for a week, where I finally got to practice the many leadership and seamanship skills that I have learned over the first two years. Plus there’s not too much to dislike about sailing around New England with port calls at Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
4. What other Coast Guard Academy sports/activities are you involved in?
I’ve been a member of the Cross Country team here the last two years and I am a part of the St. Frances de Sales Club, the Catholic gathering of the command religious program here. I was also a Master at Arms for the fall semester, which is one of four second class cadets per company selected to continue the military training of the 4/c during the school year.
This includes room and uniform inspections, administering Coast Guard history quizzes, and overall just helping the 4/c get acclimated to life here at the Academy. I was also selected to serve as the Regimental Commander for the Summer semester, meaning I will be leading the team that will prepare for and oversee the Swab Summer training of the Class of 2018 arriving this June.
5. What keeps you motivated each day?
Knowing that there are people at home who believe in me and have sacrificed a lot to see me succeed. I could not have gotten to this point of my life without help, so knowing I have a whole support network behind lets me overcome my daily struggles and tough challenges. I also know that I will have a very demanding job as an officer, so I need to take every day seriously so I can be the best officer I can be.
6. What are your goals for the rest of the season?
Win the PCLL and go back to Nationals (MCLA National Tournament) in Southern California.
7. Personal high point in the Coast Guard Academy athletic program so far?
Beating Briarcliffe College for the first time in school history last season. It’s a great rivalry, which will unfortunately end when we go varsity NCAA D3 in 2015, because there is always tons of emotion and the games are usually close and physical. Finally getting the chance to come out on top was a great moment for our program and I was proud to be a part of it.
8. What is your favorite activity apart from sports?
Playing golf and reading.
9. Any Pregame Ritual?
I check and recheck my equipment every time I walk in and out of the locker room because I am notorious for forgetting pieces of my equipment.
10. Funniest Teammate?
Cadet 1/c Treston Taylor
11. Favorite Movie?
12. Favorite Song?
Roll With It by Easton Corbin
13. Favorite TV Show?
14. Favorite Food?
Any type of barbeque
15. Favorite Sports Team?
New York Jets
16. Favorite Athlete?
17. Place you want to travel someday?
18. Personal Hero?
19. Any Pets?
20. Advice that you would give to prospective cadets?
Don’t let someone else tell you that this is the right place for you. Make sure that joining the Coast Guard is something you are excited about when you come here because you will have much more success if you are happy here and not coming here for somebody else.
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For additional information check out the team’s website!
As the smallest of the five U.S. service academies, the Coast Guard Academy offers the elite higher education, rigorous professional development, and honor and tradition of a military academy but with a more personalized approach.
The Coast Guard Academy offers an integrated life experience which emphasizes academics, physical fitness, character and leadership, in order to graduate officers of the highest caliber. Graduates go directly to positions of leadership in “The Shield of Freedom,” one of the most admired organizations in the world. The Academy also features an impressive teacher-student ratio and picturesque waterfront campus that instills a traditional small college feel.
Cadets devote themselves to an honor concept and graduate to work at sea, on land, in the air, and even in space, in meaningful careers of selfless service to others.