Coast Guard holds first off-base graduation in history

Coast Guard Training Center Cape May NewsCAPE MAY, N.J. – The personnel at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May hosted their first off-base recruit graduation advancing 105 recruits as the newest members of the Nation’s premier maritime armed service.

Training Center Cape May’s command and training personnel worked closely with the staff of the Performing Arts Center of Middle Township, N.J., to host the graduation for Recruit Company R-185 while the unit’s gym is being renovated. Family and friends of the Coast Guard’s newest members filled the auditorium as their new Coast Guardsmen filled the first three rows of the two-level facility.

The doors for the graduation ceremony opened at 9:50 a.m. to a line that stretched around the front of the Performing Arts Center, and families and friend eagerly packed the auditorium for a glimpse of their loved one for the first time in eight weeks. Several Coast Guard and community organizations were set up in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center to answer questions for family members about everything from military life to health care.

All 105 recruits crowded in a narrow hallway while their family and friends watched a short video detailing their trials and tribulations while in recruit training. Finally, at 11 a.m., the recruits marched in the auditorium to a standing ovation.

More than 25 service members, police officers and firefighters presented graduation certificates to newly advanced Coast Guard members. Service members from the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard were in attendance along with police officers and firefighters from departments from all across the country.

Training Center Cape May will continue to hold off-base graduations at the Performing Arts Center in until sometime in February when the renovations to its gymnasium are scheduled to be completed.

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