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United States Coast Guard Academy

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Founded in 1876, the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) is the military academy of the United States Coast Guard. Located in New London, Connecticut, it is the smallest of the five federal service academies. The academy provides education to future Coast Guard officers in one of eight major fields of study.

Unlike the other service academies, admission to the academy does not require a congressional nomination. Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as cadets. Tuition for cadets is fully funded by the Coast Guard in exchange for an obligation of five years active duty service upon graduation. This obligation increases if the cadet chooses to go to flight school or graduate school. Approximately 250 cadets enter the academy each summer with about 200 cadets graduating. Graduates are commissioned as ensigns. The academic program grants a Bachelor of Science degree in one of eight majors, with a curriculum that grades cadets' performance upon a holistic education of academics, physical fitness, character and leadership. Cadets are required to adhere to the academy's "Honor Concept," "Who lives here reveres honor, honors duty," which is emblazoned in the halls of the academy's entrance.

The academy's motto is Scientiæ cedit mare, which is Latin for "the sea yields to knowledge" (the trident, emblem of the Roman god Neptune, represents seapower).

The Academy is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, ABET, and AACSB for its various programs.

The roots of the academy lie in the School of Instruction of the Revenue Cutter Service, the school of the Revenue Cutter Service. Established near New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1876, the School of Instruction used the USRC Dobbin for its exercises. Captain John Henriques served as superintendent from founding until 1883. The one civilian instructor was Professor Edwin Emery, who taught mathematics, astronomy, English composition, French, physics, theoretical steam engineering, history, international law, and revenue law, among other subjects.[2] The School was, in essence, a two-year apprenticeship, supplemented by minimal classroom work. The student body averaged five to ten cadets per class. With changes to new training vessels, the school moved to Curtis Bay, Maryland, in 1900 and again in 1910 to Fort Trumbull, a Revolutionary War–era Army installation near New London, Connecticut. In 1914 the school became the Revenue Cutter Academy, and with the 1915 merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the Life Saving Service, it became the Coast Guard Academy.

The land for the construction of the new Coast Guard Academy in New London was purchased in 1930. The 40-acre site, made up of two parcels from the Allyn and Payne estates, was purchased for $100,000 on July 31, 1930. The $100,000 was raised not through a bond issue as originally planned, but with a bank loan based on uncollected back taxes.[3] The contract was awarded to Murch Brothers Construction Company of St. Louis and ground was broken on January 1931 by Jean Hamlet, daughter of RADM Harry G. Hamlet, Academy Superintendent from 1928-1932. On May 15, 1931, Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon visited New London to lay the cornerstone of Hamilton Hall. Construction proceeded relatively on schedule and cadets moved into the new buildings on September 20, 1932.[3]

In 1946, the academy received, as a war reparation from Germany, the barque Horst Wessel, a 295-foot tall ship which was renamed the USCGC Eagle. It remains the main training vessel for cadets at the academy as well as for officer candidates as the Coast Guard's Officer Candidate School, which is located on the grounds of the USCGA.

The academy was racially integrated in 1962, at the behest of President Kennedy.

While Superintendent of the academy, in 1929 Vice Admiral Harry G. Hamlet composed the academy's mission statement. All entering cadets must memorize the mission during their first few days of Swab Summer, the indoctrination period for new cadets.

The mission of the United States Coast Guard Academy is to graduate young men and women with sound bodies, stout hearts and alert minds, with a liking for the sea and its lore, and with that high sense of Honor, Loyalty and Obedience which goes with trained initiative and leadership; well-grounded in seamanship, the sciences and the amenities, and strong in the resolve to be worthy of the traditions of commissioned officers in the United States Coast Guard, in the service of their country and humanity.