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Coast Guard Academy History

1790 Alexander Hamilton

Formation of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service - to ensure the financial survival of the United States. “A few armed vessels, stationed judiciously at the entrances of our ports, might at a small expense be made useful sentinels of the law.” Alexander Hamilton

Schooner Dobin

U.S. Revenue Cutter School of Instruction – Underway. The first Academy wasn’t in New London, it was on the water. Nine cadets sailed the topsail schooner DOBBIN from Baltimore, MD on a two year training voyage.

Fort Trumbull

Ashore in New London. Fort Trumbull, the historic Revolutionary War Army installation, was turned over to the Revenue Cutter Service in 1910. The fort housed the Revenue Cutter Academy, which was renamed the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1915. 


Congress consolidates a number of maritime agencies, including the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, the U.S. Life Saving Service and others, to create the modern U.S. Coast Guard.


The Academy selected a Black Bear as its mascot, and soon after a live bear cub named “Objee,” short for “objectionable presence” arrived on campus. For more than 50 years a bear cub was kept on campus until 1984 when the last live mascot was retired to a farm in update New York. Today, Objee is memorialized by a statue in Bear Plaza and by cadets who routinely wear a mascot costume at pep rallies and athletic events.

Hamilton clocktower

The Academy moved to its current location about two miles up the Thames River in 1932. Cadets initially moved into Hamilton Hall where their classrooms, barracks, and library were all located. Today, the facility has expanded to encompass some 34 buildings and 103 acres of rolling hills.

Tall Ship Eagle

America's Tall Ship, EAGLE. Seized as a war prize from Nazi Germany, EAGLE left Bremerhaven and arrived in her new home in New London to serve continuously ever since as a sail training ship for cadets.

Merle Smith

Pioneer spirit. In 1966 Merle Smith graduated from the Academy, the first African American to do so. Before earning his law degree, CDR Smith earned the Bronze Star, with Valor, for action during the Vietnam War.

Women of the Coast Guard Academy

Old traditions, new horizons. In 1976 the Academy opened its doors to women and international cadets. Some of the first women are pictured aboard EAGLE, in Hamburg, Germany in 1977 during cadet cruise.

RADM Sandra Stosz

Trailblazer. In 2011, when RADM Sandra Stosz ’82 became Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, she also became the first woman to lead a U.S. federal service academy. Trailblazing was nothing new to Stosz, who is also the first female Academy graduate to achieve flag rank and who in 1990 became the first woman to command a Coast Guard cutter on the Great Lakes.

Learn about the history of the Academy through the stories of some of its heroes.


Short for “Objectionable presence,” Objee is the Academy Mascot.

America's Tall Ship

The Coast Guard Cutter EAGLE was seized as a war prize after World War II, serving ever since as a training ship for the Coast Guard.

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