NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)– Monday marks “Reporting-In Day at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London.
The incoming class is the largest since 2011 with about 287 cadets. All of them arrived bright and early with their families. Shayne Meyers, from Montville, dropped off his daughter Hanna.
“Car ride here was a little quiet and exciting I think,” said Meyers. “I think she’s ready to get started.”
After cadets checked-in Monday morning they had to separate from their families. Their were hugs, tears and words of encouragement.
“This is the first 7 weeks of their Coast Guard career. Seven weeks of the 200 weeks they’ll be here at the academy,” said Victoria Sutherland, a junior at the academy. “So it’s the beginning of their journey to becoming a coast guard cadet.
Once the cadets had their paperwork in order, the academy wasted no time getting down to business. The cadets were issued their clothing, shoes, mailboxes and the guys had to get their hair cut. Once the initial seven weeks of training is complete, cadets will also spend a great deal of time on their academics.
“That’s what the country expects of commissioned officer, so that’s what we want to build here,” said Lt. Grant Johnson with the U.S. Coast Guard.
This period of training is known as Swab Summer. The cadets are referred to as swabs, which is basically a mop. The goal is to break them down and then build them back up again. While it won’t be easy for some, their families are standing by them for the challenging road ahead.
“I think my wife and I are pretty proud of her,” said Meyers. “She worked hard and it’s been a long hard road for her to get here.”