How can CGA Achieve household recognition?

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by SamAca10, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    The new Superintendent has said that she wants USCGA to obtain "National Prominence" and be known throughout the country. An equal to West Point, USMA, and USAFA, in other words.

    Besides sports (since we're DIII and the others are DI), how could USCGA become a household name instead of America's best kept secret?
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I think the service has to achieve it before the academy can.
     
  3. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    After being a BGO for approaching two decades I can unequivocally state that the best ambassadors for the SAs are the cadets/midshipmen returning to their home towns and schools. WP, AFA, and USNA each have four times the numbers of these ambassadors than does CGA. Fact of life. And the geographic spread of CGA is much more localized. One reason why Congressional appointments might not be such a terrible idea.
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Congressional nominations are a horrible idea.


    Why is the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps more popular? In large part it's because they're FAR larger than the Coast Guard. The service academies associated with them are the same. While CGA has existed almost 100 years longer than AFA, someone AFA surges ahead.

    Why do I think this is true? Well, contrary to popular believe, in an operation standpoint, American's interact in an official capacity often, mostly on the coast, but also along navigable waterways.

    In an unofficial capacity of course, people will run into their neighborhood soldier or airman or sailor or Marine often.

    A LARGE part of the recognition is budget, but in their motion picture offices and recruiting. I hated Marine commercials with the lava monster fighting the guy climbing a hill....but it was everywhere. Heck, I can remember at least three different Army commercials over the past 15 or so years....to hear a Coast Guard recruiting commercial, you need to stay up late at night and turn on the radio. I've heard 1-2 total commercials on the radio and seen a total of 4 commercials in the movies or on TV....and I was IN the service.

    Coast Guard doesn't sponsor sports center, doesn't have a NASCAR car (had a Busch car but couldn't justify the funding, the Harvick won the Busch series and they dropped him).

    Money speaks. It's not that the missions of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps SPEAK to the American people anymore than the Coast Guard's missions. There are a total of about 30 Coast Guard public affairs officers and under a hundred public affairs specialist petty officers. It has the worst "public affairs official" to service member ratio of all of the services....but far.

    So lets see....the Coast Guard is MUCH smaller, spread across the country but often in "clusters" that don't fund an entire town like a DOD base might.... the service academy is tiny, the smallest of the five federal service academies.... it has one CWO as the PAO and a couple PAs. No money for real sustained advertising, small motion picture office, and a general ignorance from sister services.

    The path to becoming "known" is not easy. I tried to pitch ESPN on covering the Coast Guard Academy v. Merchant Marine Academy on Sept. 11 last year. Really, the service that coordinated the evacuation of Manhattan and the service academy (KP) that actually sent students to help. All in uniform, and on the day of Sept. 11.... ESPN didn't bite. I'm not even talking about covering the game...I'm just saying have the Game Day there, all the uniforms in the background making noise.... and let's not forget, ESPN HQ is just down the street from New London....

    Nope.

    Instead we have Showtime taking the time to create a docu-drama to cover "America's game". It's a nationally televised game every year.

    It's not that the American people know exactly what West Point or Annapolis are....they don't.... but they've seen the game....and they've seen the movies....and they've read the articles....



    I don't know how USCGA competes with that....certainly not with their money. I'm not sure how concerned I am either. I am concerned with the overall funding of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard Academy will not have trouble filling its ranks. The Coast Guard, as a service, has the highest standards for entry....and the recruiters are done recruiting before they start. I used to hear from angry Americans who couldn't figure out why their kids were on year or two waitlists....

    No easy answers... and if we feel "bad" imagine how Kings Point feels, they don't even have a service to be the recognizable "face" of the school.
     
  5. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Money is a HUGE thing in this game for sure. And you're right LITS; Money to make the fleet operational is more important than money to spread the name of the USCGA around.

    I talked to a PA1 who was TAD on Eagle with us. He said that the wait list for the rate is a very, very long time and that the rate was shrinking.

    Luckily we have extremely high standards. I ran into a Coast Guard lawyer at an airport and she says that we rarely deal with court martials. especially compared to the Navy and MC JAG's in her office.

    Perhaps the Coast Guard is more of a "calling" than other services? And it seems like that with the Coast Guard that you don't choose the service. The service chooses you.
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    That PA1 didn't happen to have a very interesting name....did he? Wouldn't happen to now be stationed at ole CGA? The PA rating took a big hit in the 1990s, and have never rebounded.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  7. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    As a matter of fact, he does have a very interesting last name and is now stationed at CGA. I take it you know him?

    Nice avatar :cool:
     
  8. RevenueCutterService

    RevenueCutterService Revenue Cutter Academy

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    A very nice avatar, indeed.
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I do. He's a good guy, VERY smart.

    The avatar is from the crest inside my 1908 Tide Rips.
     
  10. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    He is really smart. Great guy. Added a lot of personality to my phase of Eagle.
     
  11. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

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    Folks, to be quite candid, you cannot have national prominence until first there is state prominence and recognition. The residents of Connecticut, as a whole, are clueless that the Coast Guard Academy is located in New London. The majority have no idea what a service academy is; many do not even know it is a "college." We live here, go to many colleges fairs, talk to many high school counselors, and they have no idea what CGA's mission is or that cadets earn a bachelors degree. Our state reps and Governor need to do a better job of marketing the "jewel" of a college located in their own state.
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    That's the truth. I've heard from residents of New London who thought it was a VoTech (ok....it kind of feels like it sometimes in Naut. Sci).....
     
  13. deant

    deant Member

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    graduations

    When my son graduated he was in the scholars program. Severals students in his class were going into the airforce and army reserves. Both had reps at the ceremony to give a short presentation. CG didnt have anyone there it would have been a great op to tell a few hundred people what the CGA was. When ever someone asks about my son I have to say he is going for the CGA (the coast guards westpoint) Then they understand but most didnt know it was there.
     
  14. Objee

    Objee USCGA Admissions

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    If invited (all appointees receive an Appointment Presentation Request Form in their acceptance package) to participate in a graduation or awards ceremony, we will either send a Coast Guard representative or provide a script for the Master of Ceremonies to read on our behalf. It sounds like it has been a few years since your son graduated, but I would be happy to research what happened if he actually submitted the request form for a representative to formally present his appointment certificate and did not get either of the outcomes listed above...please send me a private message and I'll see what I can find out.
     
  15. ranger

    ranger Member

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    Local schools recognition programs can vary greatly. My DS was one of three students accepted and now attending CGA from his high school. When I spoke to his guidance counselor about the scholarship night presentation, he said he had no information, etc. so I forwarded him the contact information from that request form and told him the person in that position may change, but the phone number for the academy wouldn't. Long story short, I think the acceptance packet information came too late last year for the students to get the info to the local school officials who had already had the program for the evening sent to the printers. The principal made up for it at graduation when he had the three stand and be recognized.

    On another note, Rhodes Scholars and other national academic recognitions also would bring focus to the CGA. From what I saw at R Day, there are great advisors on hand for the cadets. I'm not sure how the grad school opportunities and real first Coast guard job would work out, but it's a thought.
     
  16. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I am curious, why does the new superintendent wants USCGA to obtain "national prominence"?

    I can't think of reasons why USCGA need to obtain "national prominence" other than attract more quality candidates. If so, what is the superintendent saying about the past graduates and the current applicants?

    I can't see USCGA spending more money (i.e. commericals, perhaps playing Div I sports) to just acheive "national prominence."
     
  17. deant

    deant Member

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    I wasnt aware CGA did this. We must have missed the Appointment Presentation Request Form in his package. I stand corrected.I think this is a good way for the CGA to be seen as an option for young people.
    thanks
     
  18. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    USCGA like any other federal institution competes for funding. It also becomes the "face" of the the U.S. Coast Guard. There are very few leaders who say "I want my institution to be less prominent, especially to the American people and their elected representatives.

    That said, I would love to see the Supe's plan for achieving this national prominence....if she has one.
     
  19. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I completely agree with leaders wanting their institutions having national promience. But what's the end state? More funding, what will more funding accomplish? If the answer is to achieve national prominence, we just went around in a complete circle. Than again that's how federal government works sometimes.
     
  20. Physicsguru

    Physicsguru Member

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    More funding = improved academic opportunities. More funding = modernized labs. More funding = capital improvements to buildings. More funding = more recruiting opportunities to non-traditional locations.

    The Coast Guard is dealing with ships that require more and more maintenance with more and more missions being dealt on them. To improve the overall funding of the Coast Guard, people, and therefore their congresscritters, need to be more aware of what CG missions are, and demand funding to achieve those missions. CGA is a good start for focus, similar to the DoD academies.
     

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