Offering Help


USCGA 2006
10-Year Member
Nov 25, 2007
Hello All,

I have recently joined this site and just wanted to check in. I am a graduate of the US Coast Guard Academy. Any assistance I can be for prospective cadets, family members, or current cadets, just let me know.

I've forgotten some of the Academy stuff, like what my schedule was 4/c year.

There is life after the Academy too, so if you have any questions about that, the process, possible career paths with in the Coast Guard, or what to expect at the Academy, feel free to ask.

My background: CGA grad, Assistant Operations Officer on a 210' cutter, I've been TAD to CG Congressional Affairs and a 140'.

Look forward to talk to you.

Line in the Sand

Thanks for your information offer.

My daughter went to AIM Camp and enjoyed it but now has been getting cold feet about not being tough enough to withstand the pressure.

I am in the service still but went ROTC after a 3 year enlistment, I am a guy and it is tough to explain to her she can make it. She has toughed out 3 varsity sports for a couple of years and AP and honors classes I think she can make it. I don't want to push her, I want it to be her decision but I think her friends don't understand the military. They are advising her in other ways.

Do you have any advice? I wish I could find some of the advisor's she had at AIM camp since they were female and encouraged her she could make.

Thanks for your help,

Tim O'Neil
TJ first of all welcome to the site. I believe your daughter CAN make and that it's important that it's HER decision whether to go or not, not yours, her friends or anybody else's. As you know the military life isn't for everybody. But many girls make it and are among the top students in their class. My son has many friends among the women at CGA and he respects their abilities and contributions to the service and corps of cadets.

If you PM me I will with your permission try to get some female cadets I know to get in touch with your daughter. Good luck to her and you.:thumb:
BTW I also had a daughter who went through the app process and came within an inch of being admitted; her heart wasn't in it and she told them to drop her from the process...she even had her name printed on the Classs of 2011 tee shirt...ha ha. But many girls do attend and very few have dropped out of my son's class. CGA has the highest percentile of girls of the academies and women can do EVERY job in the Coast Guard up to and including Commandant and command of a cutter.
A female from my high school was AIM cadre last year, if you would like, I can have her get in touch with you.

It comes down to if she wants to do it. If she does, believe me, she can do it. It will be tough from time to time, but this isn't non-stop stress. She will have some very good times at that school, and sometimes some hard times. The hardest part is the time management aspect, not getting yelled at. The real yelling doesn't really even last the whole first summer, it typically eases up the last week or two, by the time the swabs should be getting it together. It might also be important to stress the fact that there is service after CGA, and that it is worth it, especially now being on the other side, in the Coast Guard, doing the mission .
worries and waiver


My daughter also looked forward to and attended AIM last summer. When we went to parents day and asked her how it was going, I was shocked that I didn't get an overwhelming approval from her. She was going through the same thing your daughter is thinking I good enough?.....can I handle it?......kinds of things.

As we drove home after AIM (18 hour drive), it became apparent to us and to her, that she was really challenged at AIM. Not so much academically, but the whole atmosphere...and this is probably the first time in her life something didn't come easily and readily to her. And I think that scared her.

As the months went by and she reflected on her experience, and while looking at other colleges as alternatives...she decided that the USCGA is where she belongs. But the though of swab summer still worries your daughter is not alone. But she now figures she'll get by.....apparently a couple hundred kids finish it every year!

My daughter has been academically accepted to the CGA, but we are still going through the DoDMERB guess is that we will be needing a you are not alone. She has a methacholine test in a few hours.

Take advantage of this forum......Our family is new at this service academy stuff and without reading all the stuff on this forum, we might have given up a long time ago! I'm convinced (sort of), that some of these roadblocks are there to see how bad you want in. It appears that those willing to persevere seem to find a way.

Mike's right on. I never attended AIM. I didn't even know about CGA, until earlier in my senior year of high school.

Many applicants are used to being the big fish in the little pond. CGA is still a small pond, but now you have to share that space with some exotic fish or equal or larger size. It is daunting, and eventually you get over it. From the people I know who went through Swab Summer and the Academy, including myself, I can attest to the fact that if you want to serve in the Coast Guard, and the route you want to that end is the Coast Guard Academy, you can do it. Swab Summer will break you down, and eventually you will realize you cannot get through the place by yourself. You must rely on shipmates. I can name some of those shipmates I can directly thank for ensuring I made it through. Those guys mean a lot to me.

It won't be easy, but it's not impossible. Chase Hall is filled with people exactly like your daughter, and in four years many of those people walk across the stage to accept a commission in the US Coast Guard. I did it. My friends did it. Your daughter can do it.
i can also provide help if you have any questions about swab summer/ 4/c year.

TJ tell your daughter that it lets up. i remember i had serious doubts about making it after the first week of swab summer but it got better. tell her that because she already experienced that intial shock the early parts of swab summer will be that much easier.

the academic year has its own challenges but for me it was similar to the pressures i faced in high school. from what you mentioned about what your daughter does in high school she shouldnt have too much trouble here.

i think the best way to deal with all the pressure is to talk with someone about it and laugh. if you or your roommates get smoked by one of the cadre, just laugh it off. obviously take it somewhat seriously but realize that everyone gets it and just laugh about how your turn came up

good luck
Exactly...this is also how you will develope an infinite number of inside stories.

Also, please do not laugh it off in hearing distance of the cadre....not a good idea for anyone involved...except maybe the cadre.
Assistance in Numbers

Thanks for all your suggestions and advice. I asked to consider these things. She was really disappointed that she did not get early acceptance. She feels like at her small school she is a public failure, because 'everyone else' made their colleges and she did not.

I hope she will take some of the advice and consider it cause I would rather her not go at all if she is not going to give it her all and believe that she can do it.
Prep School

Need some help please. Are applicants automatically considered for prep school as an alternative to being appointed/denied to the academy? Thanks.
Yes that process is automatic. Candidates who are otherwise thought to be strong who might be deficient in some academic area such as math or science, be a member of an underrepresented minority, or an athlete, are often offered a spot in the prep program.