NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — There were quite a few impressive Connecticut connections at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s 135th commencement exercises.
Among the most impressive local notables are the 15 Connecticut graduates in the class of 2016.
Jacquelyn Kubicko of Stratford ranks number one in the class.
“All 186 of our diverse ideas and interests are needed and they’re needed now,” Kubicko told the graduates. “Wherever your career takes you I ask that you find something you can be passionate about.”
Even the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard is from Branford and a fan of the distinguished graduate.
“As a Connecticut boy myself I have to root for someone from Stratford Connecticut,” Admiral Paul Zukunft told the crowd. “I thought that was quite an accomplishment as well.”
All these cadets have accomplished a lot to make it to this day where they heard directly from their new boss the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson who gave the keynote address.
“With honor and integrity you will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values,” says Secretary Johnson.
Degrees and orders were then handed out. Timothy Dion of Manchester was the first CT grad to be announced “Timothy Michael Dion deck watch officer Cutter Joseph Napier San Juan Puerto Rico.”
“Oh it feels awesome,” says Tara Larkin of New Milford. “Been waiting for this like for four years now.”
“A little overwhelmed I didn’t think I’d cry but I guess I did so,” says Ensign Kubicko.
She was helped by a coast crew while out sailing in a storm when she was nine years old. They influenced her and now she and these graduates will go on to influence many.
“The last four years have just been an incredible journey with them and I’m so grateful for the time I spent here and what’s to come,” says Ensign Kubicko.
These new ensigns now head off to their new assignments. First though they’re going to enjoy this accomplishment.