The Coast Guard Academy

Does anyone have any first hand information on the Coast Guard Academy in New London CT? My son (17 and a senior in the fall) is interested in attending and hopefully has the grades, fitness and gumption to get in.

Any suggestions on how to increase his chances? If you went, where were you stationed after your education? Did you stay in the CG after your terms, and if not, what did you do when you got out? Any other info or personal stories welcomed!

Just realized this may be better suited for IMHO. After all these years of lurking, you’d think I’d get this right!

Well I’ve been to the academy several times - last time was for a volleyball tournament. :wink: I did not, however, go as a cadet; I’m enlisted. I do share an office with an Academy grad Ensign, and we just got another one in my department from this last graduation. Here’s what I can tell you:

Increasing the chances of acceptance: I don’t know. I’ll ask the two Ensigns in my office tomorrow.

Where you go after graduation: Up until two years ago, every CGA grad went to a cutter in the fleet as an Ensign. Only cutters 210’ and up have Ensigns on board. Now, some Ensigns from the Academy get assigned shore units as a first unit, hence the two in my office. I believe that graduates will have a list of assignments to choose from, and make those choices in order based on some type of class ranking system.

The majority of assignments available to choose from will be larger cutters. Most cutters are homeported in the lower 48, with several in Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam. Depending on type, they will deploy anywhere in the world - for up to 6 months at a time. Usually, the deployments are much less in duration. The largest of cutters, the polar ice breakers, will deploy 6 months at a time and travel to the Arctic for research or Antarctica to assist McMurdo station. Medium and High Endurance cutters will sometimes travel to the Middle East and SW Asia for support of ongoing operations. We have several smaller cutters stationed in Saudi Arabia right now.

Staying in: Most officers, and enlisted for that matter, stay in the CG after the first term or period of obligation. Getting people in the CG, and keeping them in, has never been a problem for us. Quite the opposite in fact.

Let me know if you have any other questions, and I’ll get them answered for ya.

Also - if you haven’t already, check the CGA website:

Here’s the FAQ with a lot of admission questions: (just check all the boxes, including the bottom one and hit submit)

You were very helpful! My Dad served with the Army Corps of Engineers in Antarctica in the 50’s studying whether radio waves would pass through the ice. It would be wild if his grandson got stationed there 50 years later!

Moved to IMHO from GQ. Thanks OP.

samclem GQ moderator

Scruloose , did your friends that attended the CGA play organized sports? My son is “athletic”, biking, swimming, skateboarding, but not on any teams at school. Would that be against him?

OK - I just talked to the two Ensigns. Basically they said that a high GPA is a big plus (3.75 & up) and high test scores. Plus, any sports activities (team sports are mandated at the CGA), community service, military type activities (Sea Cadets, scouting, etc) and letters of recommendation are all a big plus. It would also help if you had a military officer who knows him write a letter of recommendation. I don’t know if a lack of team sports right now will go against him, but if he really wants to increase his chances - have him take up a team sport or two his senior year. The military is big into the team concepts - obviously.

From the Admissions Overview:

Admission Requirements:

In speaking with the class of '05 Ensign, about 30% of grads went to shore assignments, the rest going afloat.

Any other questions - let me know.