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cadet blogs

Welcome Class of 2018

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo To the Class of 2018,


Congratulations on being accepted to the Coast Guard Academy! This is just the start of the many challenges that you will face here. You will begin your journey in a few days and you will quickly learn what it is like to be pushed to your limits every day and how you need to adapt. Swab Summer will allow you to grow as a person, teach you to work as a team, and prepare you for life as a cadet and as a future officer in the United States Coast Guard. There will be days when you are tired and think you won’t be able to go on – but you can. Don’t give up; remember why you chose to come here. It could be because of the free education, or because your parents wanted you to, or because you want to become a leader, or because you want to become an officer. Whatever your reason is, use it to help you push through the hardships you will face.


If I could offer you just one piece of advice to get you through this summer, it is that Swab Summer is a mental game. Nothing will be too hard to accomplish, it will only be difficult in your mind. Everything that you will be tasked with will have been done before – by thousands of people before you. You can do it! The great Class of 2016 has been preparing to train you since we arrived as swabs two years ago – going through Swab Summer ourselves, passing boards, receiving demerits and learning our lessons, going out into the fleet, and surviving the academic year. We hope to help you become prepared for the academic and military lifestyle that comes with being a Coast Guard cadet. One last thing, GOOD LUCK and the Class of 2016 can’t wait for you to arrive!


More about Kayla.


Not Every Cadet Gets a Direct Appointment

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Quintero Photo It has come to my attention that a lot of people are interested in prep school (the Scholars program). If the Academy didn’t give you an appointment (accepted you) there is a slight chance you may be given the opportunity to attend one of the two prep schools either at Marion or Georgia.


Should you not get a scholarship for the scholars program, you always have the option to be a “self-prep”. Self-preps are a rare breed of individuals that enroll themselves in a prep school and pay the tuition out of pocket with the hopes of getting good grades, reapplying to the Academy and earning their appointment. My roommate at prep school, who is now one of my best friends, was a self-prep. The reality is that it could be financially demanding and full of uncertainty because you don’t know if you will get an appointment. What self-preps usually do is apply to different academies with the hopes of one accepting them. For example, my buddy applied to the Naval Academy, Merchant Marine Academy and CGA. He got into MMA and CGA and ultimately chose CGA. Self-preps will usually take the same courses as the other preps and will also do the same extracurricular activities and physical training. If I had to guess, I would say at least four self-preps are accepted every year.


You don’t always have to attend a military prep school after high school to earn your appointment. I’ve seen people take all different routes. Some decide to attend a community college or state school for a year or two and find out if college is not for them and then apply to the Academy. You just have to make sure that you take challenging courses and perform well. Another route you could take is to go enlisted and then apply for the Academy after serving a few years. OCS (Officer Candidate School) is also always an option.



More about Carlos.