This episode features Krysia Pohl, a 1997 graduate from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. In this episode, you’ll hear how Krysia was initially drawn to the Academy as a way to fulfill a lifelong dream of going to the Olympics for dinghy sailing; how she balanced her career and training post graduation; and why she eventually left the Coast Guard only to ultimately recommission years later with a new desire to serve. Enjoy the show!
KEY TOPICS OF DISCUSSION:
- Going to an Academy as a launchpad for the Olympics.
- Being a first generation woman in the United States.
- Making it to the Olympic trials.
- Balancing her goal to become an Olympic athlete with her service in the Coast Guard.
- Leaving the Coast Guard and eventually recommissioning.
- 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?
1:37 PART I:
- What made you choose a Service Academy – and what made you specifically choose the U.S. Coast Guard Academy?
- Pursuing a school based on her goal to go to the Olympics for dinghy sailing.
- Applying to an Academy from a very liberal high school in California.
- Did you get in right away or was there a struggle?
11:30 PART II:
- Did you have any clarity about what you wanted to do post graduation?
- What was your first day of Swab Summer like for you?
- How did things go when you got out of Swab Summer?
- What were some of the highlights at the Academy?
21:45 PART III:
- How did you feel about that loss of a sense of freedom?
- Did your time at the Academy help you work towards your goal of becoming an Olympic athlete in sailing?
- Gaining confidence in herself, her culture, and her identity.
30:57 PART IV:
- Her time on the Eagle during her summer cruise.
- What were some of the lowlights of your time at the Academy?
- Struggling with relationships with other women in her class.
- Struggling at nationals.
39:00 PART V:
- What was the goal post graduation?
- Her first position in the Coast Guard.
- Balancing the Coast Guard and training for the Olympics.
- Going to the Olympic trials.
- Deciding to leave the Coast Guard.
49:00 CONCLUDING THOUGHTS:
- Getting her first “normal” job working for a government contractor.
- Hurricane Katrina and feeling a calling to go back into the Coast Guard.
- What’s next for you?
- How do you currently feel about your decision to attend an Academy?
- 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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