Earlier today, 290 young men and women reported to the United States Coast Guard Academy to begin their military training with the goal of donning the shoulder boards of a Coast Guard Ensign in 2014.
Reporting-In Day is rife with tradition. The first day of the seven-week training program known as Swab Summer includes a military haircut, issuing of uniforms, drill practice, and A LOT of yelling from second class cadets (the CGA equivalent of a college junior). The second class cadets’ responsibility is to transform these young civilians into military men and women by summer’s end.
The afternoon ended with the new class of cadets marching onto the Academy’s parade field and being sworn in as members of the United States Coast Guard before gathered family and friends. Then it was time to say goodbye to loved ones and embark on one of the greatest adventures a young patriot could hope for. Those who make it through Swab Summer will be welcomed into the corps of cadets as fourth class when the academic year begins in late August.
Nearly 4,600 students applied to be part of the Class of 2014. Only 385 of those were offered appointments to the Academy and 290 accepted those appointments and reported in this morning. The four-year experience which is Coast Guard Academy life is designed to strike a balance between the military training and college-level academics required to develop the knowledge base and leadership skills necessary for a Coast Guard officer to lead their juniors in support of the service’s missions.
Best of luck swabs! We’ll be pulling for you.