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Home / Admissions / Admissions Officers / Admission Officers: Valentina Giraldo-Torres

LT Valentina Giraldo-Torres

Valentina Giraldo-Torres

Hola! My name is Valentina Giraldo-Torres, and I am the Northeast Regional Admissions Officer for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. I look forward to working with you to see if the Coast Guard is the place for you!

Originally from Cali, Colombia, I immigrated to the United States when I was five. I grew up with a deep respect for the United States in providing my family & I so many blessings, and thus began my desire to serve. My family came from humble beginnings, so I wanted a future that would grant me personal and financial independence. Comparing military branches, I was drawn to the Coast Guard’s camaraderie and support within the small-knit environment. Looking back on my college application journey, I am so grateful I chose CGA over the other service academies. My time at the Academy was incredible; I was provided with so many opportunities to travel and study, all while making friendships that will last a lifetime. The highlight of my travels was my 1/c (senior) summer experience in which I traveled aboard ARM CUAUHTEMOC, the Mexican Navy’s Tall Ship, around the entire continent of South America with military officers from every Spanish-speaking country!

After graduation, I reported to the CGC HERIBERTO HERNANDEZ, a 154’ patrol boat stationed in the beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico. To say my time there was busy would be a serious understatement. During my two years onboard, we interdicted 2,878kg of illicit narcotics and repatriated over 486 migrants to the Dominican Republic. I started out as the First Lieutenant, in charge of our Deck force and cutter’s material condition, and ended my tour as the Executive Officer, or second-in-command, of the 26-person crew. Afterwards, I decided to come back to New London, CT and serve as the Training Officer and Support Department Head on CGC BARQUE EAGLE, “America’s Tall Ship.” EAGLE is the U.S. Military’s only tall ship and the CG is fortunate enough to have her. EAGLE is primarily used as a training vessel, where cadets can learn seamanship and navigation skills while traveling the seven seas. I particularly enjoyed working with cadets and future officers, so I decided to serve in admissions. Additionally, I am extremely passionate about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and am honored to serve as the Compañeros Council Advisor (CGA’s Latin Affinity Council), Boxing Coach, and Club Soccer Coach.

If you desire a close-knit atmosphere where support is around every corner, you will find it at the Coast Guard Academy. Every person on campus has a personal interest in getting each cadet to the finish line and commission as a Coast Guard Officer. Please contact me to discuss your best step forward in applying to CGA!

Contact Information

Sponsor Family Application

Thank you for submitting your application to be part of the Sponsor Family Program. Your application will be processed in the upcoming week. Coast Guard Academy’s policy on background screening now requires all adults (everyone 18 and older living in the home) who volunteer to mentor, teach, coach or sponsor cadets, whether on or off Coast Guard Academy grounds, to be screened every 5 years. They are required to provide personal information (name, birth date and social security number) for the purpose of conducting a criminal background check.

The Security Officer at the Coast Guard Academy, CWO2 Gina Polkowski, is overseeing this process. Her email is: Gina.M.Polkowski@uscg.mil.

Sponsor Family designations fall into several different categories. Below are the guidelines to help you determine how best to meet the background screening requirement:

  1. If you are Coast Guard active duty you do not need to apply for an additional Background Check. You will be vetted through the Coast Guard system by CWO2 Polkowski.
  2. If you are a Civilian working for the Coast Guard you do not need to apply for an additional Background Check. You will be vetted through the Coast Guard system by CWO2 Polkowski.
  3. If you are non-Coast Guard Active Duty, you are required to provide proof of your current security clearance or National Agency Check that is to be emailed by your Command Security Officer (CSO)/ Security Office to CWO2 Polkowski at  Gina.M.Polkowski@uscg.mil.
  4. If you are non-Coast Guard civilian who has a current security clearance or National Agency check, you are required to provide proof of your current security clearance or National Agency Check that is to be emailed by your Command Security Officer (CSO)/ Security Office to CWO2 Polkowski at  Gina.M.Polkowski@uscg.mil.
  5. All civilians in the families who are 18 years or older and do not have a security clearance or a National Agency Check are required to be vetted through Mind Your Business, the third party vendor hired by the Coast Guard Academy for the vetting process.

After you complete your application, please e-mail the Sponsor Family Program Coordinator at CadetFamilySponsorProgram@uscga.edu. In your e-mail, you must include the e-mail address and phone number of every adult living in the home. The Sponsor Family Coordinator will then initiate the background check process and you will receive an email with further instructions.

Important things to note:

There is a Sponsor Family Training that is a one-hour training which we ask sponsors to attend once every four years. This training is designed to give you an overview of the program, what is expected of you as a sponsor, and what you can expect from your cadets. This training will also help familiarize you with the cadet regulations onboard CGA. You will be notified via e-mail once the training is scheduled.

The matching process of swabs to families will occur during July and August. Please bear with us and remain flexible through this process. There will be a meet and greet scheduled on Campus, typically in late August. This will give families an opportunity to formally meet their cadet if they have not already done so. Details on this will also be via email.

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