Coast Guard Academy

NewLondon, CT: Did you ever want to go sailing when the winds were right and the seawas calm? Did you ever want to crack down on drugs entering the U.S. from foreigncountries? Did you ever want to help the environment? Do you want to live a lifeof adventure and get paid for it? If you answered yes to any of these questions,you should check out the United States Coast Guard Academy.

I was one ofonly a few selected to spend a week at the academy, and what a blast I had. Iwent sailing in a 47-foot boat on the Thames River, looked at live oceanspecimens from a fishing boat that had been converted into a research vessel, andlistened to admirals speak of the importance of the Coast Guard.

A littlehistory: the academy began in Massachusetts with the School of Instruction forthe Revenue Marine in 1876. There, nine cadets were trained aboard the schoonerDobbin for months at a time. Today’s academy came out of the 1915 merger of theLife Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service. The academy was moved to NewLondon in 1932.

The academy is a fun and exciting place where you aretrained as a Coast Guard Officer, but also receive an undergraduate degree. Thereare eight majors: civil engineering, electrical engineering, government, navalarchitecture and marine engineering, marine and environmental sciences,management, mechanical engineering and operations research (applied math). Theschool curriculum is designed to give the cadets academic studies, but also thetraining to be an officer.

After graduation, you must serve at least fiveyears. While attending, you will have the opportunity to sail on many ships,including Eagle, one of the last remaining tall ships still in use.

Theacademy offers many clubs and sport programs in and around the yard (or campus)and is also part of the NCAA league in a number of sports: men’s and women’sbasketball, football, baseball, softball, tennis and golf.

The Coast Guarddoes many things (Maritime Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Aids toNavigation, Ice Operations, Defense Operations, and Waterways Safety andSecurity) to ensure public and environmental safety on American soil.

Ifyou want to have a great college experience by helping defend America’s bordersfrom foreign and domestic enemies, the United States Coast Guard Academy is whatyou are looking for.

Reviewed in 2002