What is Swearing-In Day?
Swearing-In Day is the day your son or daughter will officially join the US Coast Guard Academy and more importantly become a member of the U.S. Military. You are dropping off or sending your child to his/her first day of not just college but the first day of the start of their military career as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard. You and they will have the normal range of emotions anxieties and questions that any typical family experiences when sending a child to college, but this is not just any college. From the moment they sign in at Swearing-In Day, they are swept away for haircut, uniforms and initial indoctrination exercises, they have stepped into a new environment where they will listen, follow and learn from rules and regulations of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and frankly no one else. One must not feel as if you have lost your parental privileges but your role now is to listen, encourage, support and direct them to the resources within the Academy for additional support and answers to questions they may have.
During the time your child is preparing for the swearing in ceremony, there will be many opportunities to attend informational meetings, tour the campus, tour New London and most importantly, meet and speak with parents who have older cadets who have done this before.
Remember to 'keep it positive' and show strength in leaving no matter how nervous and scared you are when it's time for your cadet to leave. Let them know that you believe in them. Your positive encouragement may give them what they need to continue. When you get a chance to visit with them to say your goodbyes during the 15 minutes after swearing-in, let them leave you rather than making it appear as though you are you leaving them. They need to know that you are leaving them in good hands and that you are giving them your confident assurance that they will be okay.
What do they need to pack for the Academy?
If it's not on the list don't bring it. Take the bare minimum on Swearing-In Day. Do not be tempted to pack anything extra. Your cadet will have to lug his/her duffel bag/suitcase around and it will be heavy, especially when they are so tired and nervous. All they need should fit in a backpack. Travel size toiletries of things that are absolutely necessary (contact solution, etc.) are great. You can send larger sizes of other items in their Swearing-In Day box and in the mail later. There is plenty of time to receive those items. Don't be tempted to send it all with them the first day. It will either stay in the attic in their trunk or they won't have time to use it.
Okay, now that we've told you to bring the bare minimum, it's been suggested that a good small item to bring is throat lozenges (e.g., Fruit Breezers). A small bag can easily be part of the initial "sea bag" coming in and a larger bag mailed.
Don't pack items in a "good" suitcase - that suitcase may never be seen again.Don't use huge pieces of luggage - your swab will have to lug it ALL over Chase Hall. Some swabs report with their things packed in an inexpensive backpack (hiking type). It can be much easier to carry a backpack for the day rather than a suitcase.
Little Tid-Bits for Swearing-In Day
After your son or daughter reports, be sure to stop by Leamy Hall to sign up for the Parents Association Swab Summer eNews mailing list and to join the Parents Association. Parents Association members receive eNewsletters and information throughout the year. They also receive a membership in the Alumni Association and will receive monthly eNewsletters and bi-monthly magazine, The Bulletin, with information about the Academy, cadets and alumni.
After the Swearing in Ceremony in the afternoon – typically held in the Parade Field the swabs (this is what they will be called until they successfully complete Swab Summer) will be escorted to a set of bleachers on the far end by the Academy entrance for the formal class picture. Once this is complete they are typically released to meet you and say your goodbyes. Many families find it helpful to pick a meeting place in advance (ex. fourth tree from the right as you face the flagpole) so that they don't waste time and worry about finding each other. You will witness every emotion you can imagine. Again, your role is to be supportive. The 10 – 15 mins you have to say goodbye will be quick. Take pictures, provide your hugs and kisses and when they are called let them go! Do not make them late. They will be anxious to be on time and will literally run off to meet their company. You will hear a lot of yelling of commands by the Cadre (these are the 2nd class cadets who will lead them throughout the summer). This is normal and part of the Swabs’ indoctrination process.
When you attend Swearing-In Day parents' events, bring cash! Many of the Parent Association Chapters that sold merchandise could not accept credit cards. There is an ATM machine in the Exchange.
You may also want to bring a snack (granola bar, banana, etc.) and cold drink for your cadet to eat during the 10-15 minutes after swearing in. Read more