The U.S. Coast Guard Academy welcomed 284 men and women into the Class of 2023 during Day One on Monday.
Day One marks the traditional start of Swab Summer, an intense eight-week training program designed to transform civilian students into military members ready to accept the challenges that await them in their pursuit to become Coast Guard officers.
In a few short hours the incoming students known as “Swabs” learn to march, are issued uniforms, and given military haircuts all under the watchful eye of the cadet cadre who serve as drill instructors for the training program.
This year for the first time cadre members travelled to Coast Guard Recruit Training Center Cape May, New Jersey, to learn the finer points of military training from TRACEN company commanders.
The first day of training for the incoming class culminated in the Swearing-In Ceremony where the swabs were administered the Oath of Office by Academy Superintendent Rear Adm. Bill Kelly, who also had some direction for the swabs.
“I challenge you to fully commit to being all in on your training and education,” Kelly said. “And when you are all in on the rigorous program that lays before you, the transformation that will take place in the 200 short weeks will ensure you are ready in all respects to live out the Coast Guard Ethos to protect, defend, save and shield our nation, its people and the environment we live in.”
The Class of 2023 consists of 39% women and 35% from underrepresented minority groups. The class includes the highest number of Asian Americans in a single incoming class along with five international cadets from the countries of the Philippines, Rwanda, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Mauritius.
Coast Guard senior leaders and staffers from six different members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, including Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), visited the Academy to witness the Swearing-In Ceremony and some of the day’s training events.
“Next year we hope to build upon the interest from our senior leaders, government partners, and legislative staffers,” said Cmdr. David Milne, external affairs officer at the Academy.