Coast Guard Graduation is an exciting time for new trainees and their families to celebrate all that they have achieved at their time in training.
At this time, due to COVID-19, graduations have been closed to the public, but can still be viewed via the Coast Guard’s Facebook page.
In the event the base opens back up to visitors, we want you to be prepared and give you as much information as possible to help you with planning.
Let’s see what you need to know before attending your trainee’s Coast Guard Graduation ceremony.
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Coast Guard Boot Camp Graduation Dates 2021
|Boot Camp Start Date||Boot Camp Graduation Date|
|January 26, 2021||TBD|
|February 2, 2021||TBD|
|February 9, 2021||TBD|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where is Coast Guard boot camp graduation?
The Coast Guard holds all of its training and graduation ceremonies at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May.
This base is located in New Jersey and can be easily accessed by the Cape May airport as well as access from many of the nearby Philadelphia airports.
Unless noted otherwise, the graduation ceremony will take place within the base and will require you to drive there to get access to the ceremony.
You’ll want to make sure you are using a map to get to the base as the peninsula it is located on has many small roads and turns to get confused by.
Here’s a map and directions to the main gate:
Address for the main gate: 1 Munro Ave., Cape May, NJ 08204
Traditional Graduation Day Events
- 5:30 pm: Pasta Dinner
- 08:30 – 10:00 am: Breakfast
- 09:10 – 10:15 am: Spouse meeting
- 10:00 – 10:30 am: Commander’s Welcome Brief
- 10:45 am: Formation ‘fly by’
- 11:00 – 11:45 am: Graduation Ceremony
The two days of graduation you would normally experience with your trainee get kicked off on Thursday night with a traditional pasta diner where you can meet your trainee and their fellow Coast Guard members.
On Friday morning, you would return to harbor view where you previously had dinner to enjoy breakfast again with your trainee before beginning the rest of the daily ceremonies.
The spouse of the trainee would have a special meeting on the base which would be followed by a welcome brief by the base commander as they welcome the families of the trainees to the base.
A formation fly by would occur outside the auditorium before everyone moves to the field or auditorium to witness the graduation ceremony itself.
The day would wrap up just before noon and is not too much of a commitment for any friends or family coming to watch the ceremony.
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Who can attend Coast Guard boot camp graduation?
The Coast Guard is one of the more family printed branches as they pride themselves on a sense of community and coming together to celebrate.
Usually, everyone on the base wants to make sure trainees are able to have their family by their side for the graduation event. Unfortunately, in response to the current pandemic, it’s just not yet possible this year.
While there have been no strict number of people that can be invited to come and watch the graduation ceremony, everyone will need to be accounted for beforehand as access to the base is strict and does not allow unregistered people onto the base.
When base reopens make sure you have your trainee put your names down early on in their training as guests or else you will not be able to access the base when it comes time for graduation.
What should I wear to Coast Guard boot camp graduation?
While there is no formal dress code for the graduation ceremony, there are a few factors to keep in mind before choosing your outfit.
The first thing to consider is the fact that all of the trainees will be in their dress uniforms as that is required by their branch for ceremonies like graduation.
With all of the hard work they put into getting through training at the base, it would be nice to respect their dedication by wearing slightly nice clothes if you feel comfortable doing so.
You also want to dress in a fashion that is appropriate for the weather and amount you may have to walk on the given day.
The graduation ceremony can be held both inside and outside depending on the weather, so dress knowing that you may be outside on a nicer day.
How do I get onto the base at Cape May?
With the address we linked to earlier, getting onto the base itself shouldn’t be too much trouble as it is one of the few things located on Cape May.
Where you really need to plan in advance is actually getting you and your family onto the base to see the graduation ceremony.
Most bases like Cape May will require the trainee to submit a list of who they want to send tickets to for graduation as well as provide some basic identification information.
Once the base has a list of guests for the ceremony, they will need to see your own identification before being allowed to enter into the base.
You will likely be given some form of identification badge when on the base as they need to keep tabs on all their guests and have an easy way to identify you.
You need to make sure the base has you on their list or there is a good chance they won’t allow you in due to the fact they don’t have any proof of who you are.
Make sure you also give yourself ample time to get to the base as they are very strict about how long they allow guests to arrive before not letting anyone else onto the base.
Where can I watch a live stream of the graduation?
The current circumstances have led many bases to resort to live streaming graduation ceremonies to keep the risk low for both the trainees and guests.
These rules are always changing, so it is always smart to check with your trainee to see if your upcoming graduation ceremony has been moved online.
Regardless of the circumstances, you can live stream the graduation event from the base’s Facebook page
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Graduation for the Coast Guard trainees is always a special time that will be remembered in many years to come.
We hope this information has allowed you to understand a bit more about the entire process so you can go into the graduation ceremony ready to celebrate with your trainee.
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