Boot Camp is the real-world introduction into the military. Every service has its boot camp, and each is oriented to the specific service that is being entered. Each service has its own legends, stories, and tales about its boot camp experience, but the reality is that boot camp is boot camp. It is a challenge, and it shapes each new generation of recruit into a responsible and disciplined individual, ready to enter into the schools and further training to become a full-fledged member of his or her particular service.
This video gives a great view of how the United States Coast Guard Boot Camp at Cape May, New Jersey, shapes new Coast Guard recruits. Whatever myths or imagined ideas you might have about the Coast Guard in comparison to their larger military service colleagues, I think you will find that this boot camp experience and its goals in shaping new Coasties is right in line with all of the other services.
These recruits go through all the necessary disciplines required to be a Coast Guardsman. There is much in here that reminded me of Navy boot camp. The swimming tests, the fire-fighting training, the mental and physical discipline training, the classroom training, etc. It is designed to be physically and mentally challenging in an effort to make the best Coast Guard men and women for the best Coast Guard in the world. They are put through the kinds of stresses that they may encounter during their time in the Coast Guard. It is challenging enough that 1 in 5 of the recruits don’t make it.
The USCG boot camp at Cape May will graduate about 3,500 new recruits per year. They will be prepared mentally and physically and will have built the values of discipline and responsibility that will make them valuable members of the USCG. These recruits will need to be prepared to be responsible for search and rescue, law enforcement, and national security duties and up to 11 other statutory missions as United States Coast Guardsmen and women.
After 53 days of boot camp, the recruit classes graduate with all the pomp and circumstance they have earned. They will now go on to further schools or into the fleet to serve the nation in the world’s greatest Coast Guard.
Semper Paratus, Coasties! Fair Winds and Following Seas!Whizzco