September 22, 2018

An Overiew of the Coast Guard Academy – History, How To Join, About The Education

The Coast Guard began as the Revenue Cutter Service, which can trace its origins to 1790 when Alexander Hamilton proposed its creation. This makes the USCG the country’s longest naval military branch in continuous service. Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury Secretary, had conceived the role of the Revenue Cutter Service as an arm of the Treasury. The cutters would have the authority to intercept inbound ships and execute searches. The need to train officers to man the expanding fleet led to the establishment of the school that would eventually become the Coast Guard Academy.

Us Coast Guard Academy

The first schools were held on seagoing vessels during regular voyages. The schooner “Dobbin” became the first ship dedicated to training cadets. A class of eight cadets reported aboard the ship in December of 1876 and set sail for a six month training cruise.

By October of 1877, the need to provide a more extensive education led to a land-based institution established in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The school taught history, mathematics, physics, astronomy, English composition, the theory of steam engineering and French. Constitutional, revenue and international law were also studied. The institution placed a strong emphasis on physical fitness as well. Cadets combined classroom instruction with shipboard training in navigation and seamanship.

In 1910, the Revenue Cutter Service was given Fort Trumbull, in New London, Connecticut, for its training base. The land school became the U. S. Revenue Cutter Service Academy. In 1915, the Navy’s Life-Saving Services unit was integrated with the Revenue Cutter Service and the combined units were renamed the U. S. Coast Guard. As a result, the school became the United States Coast Guard Academy.

Although the USCGA is the smallest military academy, it is also the only one that does not require an appointment. Cadets apply directly and are accepted on the basis of merit. Currently, the only way to initiate an application is online at the official USCGA website. After completing the application, prospective cadets can access the forms needed to submit the required essays and letters of recommendation from teachers. Students must also pass a medical exam before receiving an appointment.

Applications are open to all U. S. Citizens between the ages of 17 and 22 as of July 1 of their first year of enrollment. Applicants must be single, have no dependents, and be free from financial debt. A high school diploma or GED is required before entering the academy. Certain non-citizens can be accepted as International Cadets if they qualify.

Cadets who are U. S. Citizens are not charged any fees for tuition or housing, but are required to post a $3,000 deposit upon enrollment. This fee is to cover the initial cost of uniforms, supplies, and a laptop computer. Cadets are paid $11,150 annually to cover their costs. Funds may only be spent according to the Superintendent’s directions. A monthly stipend is given to the cadets for personal use. International Cadets are subject to different terms regarding cost and pay.

The curriculum at the USCGA is highly focused on engineering, math, and science. The college offers a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in one of eight majors. Students select from civil, mechanical, or electrical engineering, government, management, marine and environmental science, naval architecture and marine engineering, or operations research and computer analysis. In addition to the degree, cadets graduate with a commission in the USCG at the rank of ensign and begin serving their five-year commitment to the service.

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