The investigation leading to the dismissal started on June 29, when Coast Guard Academy command staff heard rumors of cadets using drugs and started investigating. All nine cadets had used or possessed cocaine and or marijuana while on leave, Coast Guard Academy officials said. In one instance drugs were used on the grounds during the 2008-2009 school year, officials said.
Illegal drug use, besides being illegal, is prohibited by the Coast Guard.
Cadet masts, or hearings, were held for seven cadets on July 30 and another two were held on Aug. 2. Two of the cadets still have the option to appeal their disenrollments.
“The men and women of the Coast Guard dedicate their lives every day to keep illegal drugs off the street,” Rear Adm. J. Scott Burhoe, 39th superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy, said. “Illegal drug use contradicts one of our service’s most important missions and could potentially put the safety of our crews who perform the dangerous missions at risk.”
Capt. John Fitzgerald, commandant of cadets, said these actions are “not indicative of the integrity and high moral standards held by cadets.”
“While I’m certainly disappointed in the actions of these individuals, the vast majority of our cadets are committed to our core values and serve as leaders and role models onboard the Academy and in the local community,” he said.