Swab summer concludes as cadets get their shoulder boards Sean D. Elliot/The Day Members of the United States Coast Guard Academy class of 2014 march to join their companies after receiving their shoulder boards in a ceremony on the academy's Washington Parade Field Monday, August 16, 2010. By Jennifer McDermott Publication: TheDay.com New London — The class of 2014 received their shoulder boards in a ceremony at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Monday, marking their official acceptance into the cadet corps. The group that stood in formation on Washington Parade Field made it through swab summer, an intense, seven-week training program designed to transform civilian students into military recruits and to prepare them for the academic year. "Now you stand before us as classmates and shipmates, forever bound together by a common experience," said Capt. John C. O'Connor, commandant of cadets, adding that they persevered through record heat, soreness, fatigue, information overload and the "loving attention" of the upper-class cadets. Sean D. Elliot/The Day Members of the United States Coast Guard Academy class of 2014, from front to back, Kristen Schultz, Rachel Deschesne and Matthew Miller receive their shoulder boards in a ceremony on the academy's Washington Parade Field Monday, August 16, 2010. Seventeen of the 295 students who began training left before the summer ended, five for medical reasons and the rest voluntarily withdrew. Those who completed the training were rewarded with 4th-class cadet shoulder boards, which are navy-blue pads without stripes to show their standing in the corps. "Being accepted as a member of the corps is just awesome," said Marie Navetta, 17, of Montville. "You have to earn your way in, so it means that much more when you get it." The summer regimental staff also turned over the leadership of the corps to the fall regimental staff in a change-of-command ceremony.