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Community Involvement

The goal of the Coast Guard’s community relations initiatives is to foster positive relationships within the communities where we live and operate. We develop, maintain and improve public understanding and support of the Coast Guard’s missions through interaction with our communities. Learn more about some of the Coast Guard Academy’s programs.

The Coast Guard Academy is a huge proponent of the Coast Guard’s Partnership in Education (PIE) program and as such is committed to enhancing educational opportunities and career awareness for local youth through direct participation in education-related initiatives. Collaboratively, cadets, faculty and staff put in over 1, 575 hours tutoring, teaching lessons, mentoring, coaching, announcing/commentating at local sporting events, and even taking over classrooms for a day in a local elementary school. Approximately 50 cadets volunteer on a regular basis, however, the candidate pool is is corps-wide and the faculty and staff are also strongly committed and engaged.

As part of PIE, Science Partnership for Innovation and Learning (SPIL) is a partnership between the New London, Connecticut school district and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) Science Department. The program is designed to foster relationships with the local community by providing high school students with college experience and by exposing them to opportunities available in science, in particular at the USCGA. SPIL offers the perfect opportunity for cadets to actively apply diversity training, leadership, character development, and community interaction/outreach in support of the Strategic Plan initiative to “Further Diversify the Corps of Cadets, Faculty, Staff, and Curriculum.”

The National Principals’ Leadership Institute (NPLI) sends groups of about 25 high school principals and other school officials (superintendents, district officers and other school leaders) to the USCGA annually. The NPLI provides opportunities for leaders in K-12 education to sharpen and grow their leadership styles; to prioritize opportunities and risks; and to collaborate and network with colleagues from around the nation. For the Academy, this provides an opportunity to speak directly to high-level decision makers from schools throughout the country about the USCGA and the many options that we can offer their students.

The Academy Minority Outreach Team (AMOT) consists of minority officers who are also Academy Partners. Mostly Academy graduates, they volunteer time to recruit minority students and strengthen retention. AMOT members share their Academy experiences, introduce prospective cadets to Coast Guard units, present appointments, attend Eclipse Week, and informally mentor cadets.

Diversity Peer Educators (DPE) is comprised of cadets who volunteer to serve in the corps as “subject matter specialists” to provide information and support regarding sensitive topics like race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. DPE members are formally trained to foster positive and supportive climates that allow for meaningful and productive conversations about diversity. They also serve as “ears” in the corps to help quickly alert the Office of Inclusion and Diversity of possible emerging concerns among cadets. The ultimate goal is to encourage an inclusive and embracing climate to take root and flourish throughout Chase Hall.

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:

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
  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
  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 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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