As one of the smallest of the five federal service academies, the US Coast Guard Academy offers a quality higher education experience that emphasizes leadership, physical fitness and professional development. Cadets devote themselves to an honor concept and go directly into positions of leadership in service to others.
Commissioned officers in the Coast Guard lead teams of men and women and are continually called on to serve their community, country and fellow citizens. While the United States Coast Guard is notable as the oldest life-saving service in the world, its roles include more than just maritime safety and security. The Coast Guard is also called upon for critical service in protection of natural resources, maritime mobility (management of maritime traffic, commerce and navigation) and national defense. At the beautiful campus on the Thames River in New London, Connecticut, the Academy, which is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, provides a four-year Bachelor of Science degree program with a full scholarship for each individual. Each year, approximately 200 ensigns (or junior officers) are commissioned during graduation exercises in May. Following graduation, newly commissioned ensigns report for duty aboard cutters and at sector offices in ports nationwide. Graduates of the Academy are obligated to serve five years in the US Coast Guard, though many choose to stay and make a rewarding, life-long career of their maritime military service.