Day One

Written by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin

The Class of 2022 participates in Day One, the start of Swab Summer and the beginning of their 200-week journey to becoming an officer, July 2, 2018. Swab Summer is an intensive seven-week program, that prepares students for military and Academy life. Cadre, second class cadets in-charge of the swabs training, will lead swabs through a series of challenging tasks, events and evolutions. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Foguth.

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy renewed a longstanding tradition last week as 279 U.S. cadets and 11 international cadets took part in Day One.

Swabs cycled through drill training, uniform issue, haircuts and administrative processing, as they were being motivated, taught and corrected by members of the cadre. After a tumult day of military indoctrination, the swabs took their oaths before family, friends, and academy staff, officially marking the start of Swab Summer.

An intensive seven-week program, Swab Summer prepares them for military and academy life. Second and first class cadets lead the swabs through the program’s tasks, events and evolutions.

Coast Guard Academy swab members of company Yankee Two read their Running Light books while in line to receive their mailboxes during Day One at the Academy, July 2, 2018. Swab Summer is an intensive seven-week program, that prepares students for military and Academy life. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin Class of 2022 features the largest and most diverse group of international students. The 11 international students hail from Belize, Cambodia, Iceland, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mexico, Palau, Panama, Rwanda and Ukraine.

Of the 279 U.S. swabs, 48 states and two U.S. territories, Guam and Puerto Rico are represented. Women make up 40 percent of the class, and minorities make up 36 percent.

“The Coast Guard’s humanitarian mission is about people, and having a qualified and diverse group of swabs is very exciting,” said Lt. Jeffery Prebeck, academy Swab Summer staff. “We don’t look at the incoming class as individuals, we look at them as future of the Coast Guard.”

Day One started early for swabs, parents and staff as the first wave of students were lined up at 6:30 a.m., ready to start their journey. As line after line of swabs were swept away, parents would cheer and call out words of wisdom.

“This group will excel,” said Prebeck. “They were chosen for a reason, and are the best of the thousands of applicants.”U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Diana Sherbs

After being swept away, the swabs took a short and quiet bus ride to Chase Hall where they were meet by their Swab Summer cadre. The cadre consists of several second class cadets who have been training for several weeks on how to properly mold the swabs into cadets.

“Day One felt like a lot of responsibility for the cadre,” said Second Class Cadet Mary Sims, a Swab Summer cadre of company Yankee One. “As cadre we have a huge impact on a swabs career and life, and I want to pull their best out of them and teach them how to be great shipmates.”

By 3 p.m., the sidewalk by Washington Parade Field was covered with parents and friends ready to watch the swabs take their oath.

Before the swabs took their oath, the Swab Summer cadre took an oath as well.

Swab Summer cadre oath:
These swabs are entrusted to my care. I will train them to the best of my ability. I will develop them into smartly disciplined, physically fit, basically trained Coast Guard men and women. I will demand of them, and demonstrate by my own example, the highest standards of personal conduct, morality and professional skill.

“I screamed the oath as loud as I could,” said Sims. “I wanted the swabs to hear me. To know that when I say they are entrusted into my care that I will take care of them and I will help them with all the hard work that is coming their way.”

Swab oath:
I solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States, that I Coast Guard Academy swab members of company Yankee Two swear in. Swab Summer is an intensive seven-week program, that prepares students for military and Academy life. make this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the Office of which I am about to enter, so help me God.

After the oath, Class of 2022 took their first photo as a group then was dismissed for 15 minutes to say goodbye to family and friends.

“It was a really long day,” said Swab Katelynn Lane from Killdeer, North Dakota. “Because I went to prep school, I knew what was coming and tried to help others get through it. I just kept telling myself to remember that I am here because I want to be.”

Coming from a military family, with a father in the Coast Guard, three grandfathers in the Army, two uncles in the Navy and a cousin in the Marine Corps, Lane knew she wanted to go to the Coast Guard Academy since 5th grade.

“The Coast Guard has the best missions out of all the branches,” said Lane. “I want to make a difference and save lives.”

Lane’s parents were unable to make it to Day One, however she was not alone. Lane’s sponsor family, Paul and Maggie Duddy, were there to support her.Swab Summer is an intensive seven-week program, that prepares students for military and Academy life.

The Sponsor Family Program is an optional program that pairs cadets with volunteer families from the local area to provide support, friendship, mentoring and learning beyond the academy, as well as the comforts of a home away from home.

As Day One came to conclusion, Washington Parade Field became a crowd of swabs, family and friends. There were tears, smiles and laughter. The swabs then said one last goodbye and formed up into their companies and marched away to the cheers of their parents.



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