Monday marks another R Day at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London. It’s the first day of school for the new cadets, known as Swabs, at the Academy.
The Swabs will spend seven intense weeks training for the four years they’ll spend at the academy, learning everything from basic seamanship to drill movements to military rank and protocol.
“We will transform them from civilians into basically trained military members,” Lt. Grant Johnson, the Swab summer program coordinator, said.
“From counter-narcotics in central and south America to pollution response off the coast of northern Florida and search and rescue. You name it, we like to think that we’re good at it and we want to simulate those situations that they’ll encounter here during the seven weeks” Johnson said.
Many of the parents dropping their children off at the academy were emotional.
“I know that’s going to be very hard. But considering what they’re gaining from this experience, the leaders that they’re going to become, I think it’s all well worth it,” Debra Neesmith of Charlotte, North Carolina, said.
“She really stepped it up for this. This was her first choice. She wanted to do this,” Barbara Wood, of Somerset, Massachusetts, said after dropping off her daughter.
The class of 2020 includes 312 Swabs who represent 46 states and eight countries in addition to the U.S.