Coast Guard Academy welcomes the Class of 2017

Coast Guard Academy News
NEW LONDON, Conn. — The U.S. Coast Guard Academy welcomed the Class of 2017 Monday, July 1, 2013, during Reporting-in Day, marking the official beginning of Swab Summer.

Two hundred thirty one swabs and eight international swabs, totaling 239 swabs, took the oath Monday on Washington Parade Field at the academy. Underrepresented minority groups compose 28 percent of the Class of 2017 and 36 percent of the class is women.

Among the swabs who took the oath is Gilliam Hill of Western Alamance High School in Elon, NC. Hill visited and experienced life at the Air Force Academy, Naval Academy, and West Point before deciding to attend the Coast Guard Academy to become a part of the Coast Guard’s humanitarian aid mission.

Joining Hill and the other swabs on R-Day was Erin Reynolds of Tampa, Fla. Reynolds played varsity softball at Tampa Catholic High School. She declined a full-ride scholarship to play NCAA Division I softball in order to accept her appointment to the academy.

Reynolds will play softball for the Coast Guard Academy Bears, and upon graduation, plans to attend flight training to become a Jayhawk rescue helicopter pilot.

For other incoming cadets, the desire to serve is something that runs in the family.

“It’s about serving our country,” said Luke Sniatkowski, a graduate of Verona High School in New Jersey. “My father’s uncle was in the Coast Guard during Vietnam and my grandfather served in the Army during the Korean War.”

Sniatkowski began planning his application to the Coast Guard Academy during his sophomore year in high school, taking on an engineering-oriented class schedule while balancing varsity sports and leadership opportunities.

Swab Summer is the beginning of a four-year training program for cadets that requires a full college curriculum, stringent physical fitness standards, community service, and a disciplined military lifestyle. This demanding program prepares cadets to become leaders in the U.S. Coast Guard.

“The young men and women of the Class of 2017 are an extraordinarily capable and talented group coming together from all across America and beyond,” said Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz, Academy Superintendent. “It is important that we develop them into leaders of character who are accountable for their actions and have the courage to intervene as necessary to ensure a climate of respect and trust.”

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