Inevitably, your cadet will encounter “rough waters.” After all, your cadet is experiencing one of the most rigourous educations our nation has to offer. You may be one of the first to know when problems arise. After a supportive chat from home, most cadets feel fine and move on. Parents who have been through it before offer this advice: listen, offer encouragement, and help your cadet resolve the problem on their own. Resist the temptation to take charge of the problem and get involved. Typically, reminding your cadet to take things one day at a time, or one meal at a time, usually works just fine!
Other cadets may choose not to involve their parents. If so, rest assured that the Academy faculty and staff are prepared to identify potential problems and to provide the resources necessary to help your cadet overcome the obstacle, move on, and succeed. Some of the opportunities to assist your son or daughter in the transition to cadet life include the following.
The Chaplain Staff consists of three military chaplains with more than 50 years of combined counseling experience. The chaplains are often the “first choice” resource for many who seek counsel and advice. They organize and sponsor religious programs for all faiths, which afford excellent opportunities for peer-to-peer contact.
Confidential counseling services are available 24 hours a day with two credentialed counselors. Both are highly experienced in the gamut of emotional and developmental challenges young people face.
A home away from home, sponsor families are available to each cadet after Swab Summer. Participating Coast Guard and civilian families volunteer to take in a cadet as an extended member of their family. Depending on the strength of the relationship, sponsors extend courtesies such as overnight stays on the weekend, food, holiday meals, transportation, and of course friendship and mentoring. This is a great opportunity for cadets to relieve the stress of Academy life!
At the start of the academic year, your cadet will be assigned a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor is charged with guiding the cadet’s intellectual and academic progress and, along with the Company Officers and athletic coaches, developing the “whole person.” The faculty advisor will be among the first to know if academic problems are brewing. He/she will respond promptly by engaging the cadet and other members of the academic support team.
Cadets are organized into eight companies (Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf and Hotel). Each company consists of about 125 cadets representing all four classes. They are mentored and supported by a Company Officer (a commissioned officer with five or more years of service) and a Company Chief (a senior enlisted member with ten or more years of active duty experience). Both are responsible for the mentoring and professional development of each cadet. They carefully guide and assist all cadets in their charge.
Almost seventy percent of our cadets compete in intercollegiate sports. Consequently, most form close relationships with their coaches, who are ready and willing to modify practice schedules, organize tutorials, counsel, advise, and engage other members of the support team on behalf of your son or daughter.
The medical staff of military and civilian professionals provides routine medical and dental care. Specialized care is coordinated by the clinic and rendered at nearby hospitals and advanced care facilities if necessary. The medical staff is skilled at identifying stress-related disorders. A full time psychiatrist is part of this team.
Your cadet’s academic success is one of our top priorities. Faculty members staff the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) during extended hours. ACE is dedicated to assisting cadets to improve their reading, writing, study and time management skills.
Developmentally appropriate intervention programs such as Alcohol Awareness Training and Sexual Harassment Awareness Training are delivered each year. Fundamental to the Coast Guard is the value of respect. Cadets are trained to recognized and confront sexual harassment.
A zero tolerance policy is in effect.