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U.S. Coast Guard Academy

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy is located on the Thames River in New London, Connecticut. From this campus, the academy annually commissions approximately 175 ensigns during graduation exercises in May. Following graduation, newly commissioned ensigns report for duty aboard cutters home ported nationwide. Graduates of the academy are obligated to serve five years.

The modern academy began with the School of Instruction for the Revenue Marine in 1876. Nine cadets began their training aboard the schooner Dobbin which operated out of Fisher Island near New Bedford, Massachusetts.

The 106-foot barque Chase replaced the Dobbin in 1878. The Chase was permanently home ported in Arundel Cove, Maryland in 1900 where shore side classroom instruction was added to supplement shipboard training programs.

The Chase was decommissioned in 1907 after 30 years of service and was replaced by the cutter Itasca. In 1910 the cutter Itasca and the winter quarters were moved to Fort Trumbull, an Army coastal defense installation located in New London, Connecticut.

The Itasca was replaced by the cutter Hamilton in 1914 and the academy's name was changed to the Revenue Cutter School of Instruction.

Today's academy was born with the 1915 merger of the Life Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service. The academy was moved to its present location in New London in 1932.

The barque Eagle was acquired as a war reparation from Germany in 1947 and continues to serve as an important sea-going training platform for cadets.

More than 5,000 applicants interested in becoming Coast Guard officers seek appointments to the academy each year. Many of those applications come from the service's enlisted ranks. Acceptance to the academy is based on an annual nationwide competition. There are no Congressional appointments, state quotas or special categories.

Approximately 275 men and women arrive at the gates of the academy each July to begin "Swab Summer" - the first step of a four-year education in becoming a commissioned officer. Cadets undergo a year-round regimen that ties together education, training and adjustment to military life.

All cadets complete a core curriculum oriented toward engineering, the sciences and professional studies. The curriculum is partnered with training and experience in Coast Guard operations and leadership studies. The development program is focused on the maritime humanitarian and safety aspects of the service.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:54:15 ZULU