Coast Guard Academy: Class of 2018 international cadets

The Coast Guard Academy is uniquely suited to prepare international maritime leaders to address the most complex global challenges of our time. Interaction with these students is an important part of the cadet experience.

The Long Blue Line: Merle Smith – the first African American graduate of the Coast Guard Academy

During his time in the service, Merle Smith did not consider himself a pioneer of ethnic diversity at the Academy or in the U.S. military. His primary concern was to serve his country and apply his military training like any other Coast Guardsman. Smith proved a great credit to his service and country and many minority men and women have followed in his path. He paved the way for numerous African American officers and served as a member of the long blue line.

Class of 2016: Setting sail with the weight of a country on their shoulders

As 186 cadets in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Class of 2016 took their final step off the stage to graduate, May 18, they also took their first steps into the rest of their careers. During his second commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson congratulated and welcomed the Coast Guard’s newest swell of officers.

Becoming a Sailor

Becoming a sailor

This training is called, “School of the Ship,” and before the cadets are allowed to handle lines, set sails or get underway, they must go through it. The school transforms the Eagle into a hands-on classroom and gives the cadets a crash course in sailing because for the next few weeks they are responsible for working the ship’s complex system of lines and sails, and it is up the crew to teach them.