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!


  • 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.
February 2004, Miami, Florida, USA Olympic Trials, Europe Dinghy Class, Krysia Pohl


  • 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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