CHP’s “CADETS”: Episode 3 Recap


Laura Reed | February 1, 2024

Episode 3, Perseverance, is all about how the Cadets of CTC 1-22 are acclimating to Academy life. Cadet Mendoza explains, “You have to hope for the best, and prepare for the worst”. We see glimpses of Cadets doing PT at night, holding flashlights while running, sweating profusely in the gym, attending class in a lecture hall, and settling into the daily grind of the Academy.

Cadet Illescas jokes that she never drank energy drinks until she was at the Academy and now has one one every day or every other day “and that’s when you know the struggle is real.” We get a peek into the academic side of the Academy in this episode as the cadets share that it’s a challenge to retain all of the information, penal codes, and laws that they are taught. Early mornings and late nights are the name of the game. Cadet Perez sums up the curriculum as “two to three years of college in six months.”

For Cadets like Roberson who finds the physical training more natural than the academics, he spends the weekends studying and has to try harder to keep up. Cadet Takenouchi shares, “All of the instructors have been incredible and bring something to the table. As long as you pay attention, they give you everything you need…as long as you study.”

You can feel the camaraderie among cadets and roommates start to blossom and build strength with each week passing. As they finally get to know each other and understand the flow and routines of the Academy, and the expectations from their training officers, it appears this is when cadets start to either gain momentum and focus inward on the end goal of becoming an officer, or the weight of it all just becomes too much and they drop out of the Academy altogether. Within one week, three cadets dropped out. Cadet Martin phrases it as “the Academy prepares those for the road who are meant to be there and weeds out those who shouldn’t be”.

With cadets from all backgrounds working together towards one goal, wearing the same uniform, you feel the bonds between cadets deepening as they hold each other accountable and lift each other’s spirits. Cadet Perez reflects honestly on his experience thus far describing the Academy as one of the most challenging things someone could go through. “It’ll test you mentally, physically, and maybe even spiritually.” Episode 4 airs next Wednesday, 2/7 at 4:00 PM PST on CHP’s YouTube channel.

“We’re in this together, don’t let the bad days win. Let the good days shine.” – Cadet Jessica Takenouchi, 33 yrs old, Pittsburg, CA