This episode features Gaby Cavins, a 2014 graduate from The United States Naval Academy  (USNA). You’ll get to hear all about her experiences rising above a variety of challenges both at the Academy and beyond – everything from struggling academically to leaving a lasting legacy by co-founding the school’s dance team to balancing life as a mother and military officer to eventually transitioning out of the Navy and becoming a breastfeeding advocate for working parents. Enjoy the show!


  • Rising above academic struggles at the Academy
  • Struggling to overcome perfectionism and eating issues
  • Balancing motherhood and military life
  • Colocation and deciding to leave the Navy


  • Can you tell everyone where you’re from? What school you went to and when you graduated?
  • Can you give everyone 1-2 lines about who you are?

2:00 PART I:

  • What made you choose a Service Academy – and what made you specifically choose the USNA?
  • Did you have plans to dance at the Academy?
  • When you arrived at the Academy, did you have a good sense about what you were getting into?
  • How did the first summer go for you?

12:06 PART II:

  • If you had to sum up your time at the Academy in one word, what would it be?
  • Struggling and feeling like a failure.
  • What were some of your high points and most memorable experiences at the Academy?
  • What were your goals?

23:00 PART III:

  • Struggling with disordered eating.
  • Starting a dance team that still exists today.
  • Any other low-lights from your time at the Academy?

31:37 PART IV:

  • What are some of the lessons learned and key takeaways from your time at the Academy?
  • How did things unfold as you approached graduation?
  • How did your parents view your trajectory post graduation?

39:04 PART V:

  • How was your first ship as a Surface Warfare Officer?
  • How long did you stay in the Navy?
  • Learning how to navigate being pregnant in the Navy.
  • Did you feel as though you made good connections with people during your time in the Navy?

44:13 PART VI:

  • What was the catalyst for you leaving the Navy?
  • How did your time at the Academy impact your life post Navy?
  • Navigating motherhood and breastfeeding while in the Navy.


  • What are you currently doing?
  • How do you currently feel about your decision to attend an Academy?
  • What’s next for you?
  • Do you have any parting words for listeners? Perhaps a key message to your fellow Service Academy sisters?
  • What’s one random fun fact about you?
  • Where can people reach you?


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