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Home / Cadet Life / Clubs And Societies / Academic And Professional

Academic and Professional

Academics and professional development are at the core of the Academy experience. Our co-curricular academic and professional offerings provide opportunities to learn from faculty outside the classroom, as well as from experts in the field. Hands-on activities enable cadets to apply their new knowledge and skills – on campus, within the local community and beyond.

Academic Organizations

The USCGA Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) consists of cadets enrolled in the Civil Engineering Major. ASCE is a professional membership organization which focuses on:
  • Promoting engineering excellence through public policy activities;
  • Developing civil engineering positions on public policy issues;
  • Integrating and focusing local, state and national ASCE resources to impact public policy efficiently and effectively;
  • Maintaining a quick response capability for short notice issues;
  • Undertaking agenda-setting and pro-active public policy activities;
  • Educating and assisting public policymakers to better understand the engineering impacts of legislative and regulatory proposals;
  • Providing coalition-building leadership in order to increase the impact of ASCE’s public policy positions;
  • Promoting the understanding and participation of ASCE members in public policy activities.
The USCGA student chapter of ASCE helps introduce cadets to civil engineering in the real world by attendance at chapter meetings and lectures, tours to work sites, and during monthly lunch meetings held on campus. The Chapter is also involved in monthly ethics lectures presented to cadets in engineering majors.

Learn more about ASCE

The USCGA student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) consists of cadets enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering major.

ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real-world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world.

The USCGA student chapter of ASME helps introduce cadets to mechanical engineering in the real world by attendance at chapter meetings and lectures, tours to work sites, and during lunch meetings held on campus.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Mission:

To serve our diverse global communities by advancing, disseminating and applying engineering knowledge for improving the quality of life; and communicating the excitement of engineering.

Learn more about ASME

The cadets in the ORCA major are all members of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) club. This is an international professional society of over 12,500 operations research and analytics professionals and students from all types of organizations including academia, business, government and the military.

More information on the society can be found at

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) branch at the Coast Guard Academy consists of all members of the Electrical Engineering Major. This student-run body typically meets monthly for a lunch meeting where guest speakers have included US Coast Guard Astronaut and CGA EE graduate CAPT Burbank, representatives from the Coast Guard’s Command and Control Engineering Center (C2CEN) and other Coast Guard Centers of Excellence, as well as distinguished Professors from other Electrical Engineering programs. IEEE meetings also function as a meeting place for all EEs at the CGA. Most recently a Robotics group has been started from a small group of the members of IEEE at CGA. This group intends to expand its members and functions to build robots to compete in various national robotics competitions.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology.

IEEE is the leading authority on areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electrical power and consumer electronics.

IEEE has more than 370,000 members in over 160 countries.

The USCGA Student Chapter of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) consists of cadets enrolled in the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering major as well as interested cadets from other majors. SNAME is dedicated to advancing the art, science and practice of naval architecture, shipbuilding and marine engineering; encouraging the exchange and recording of information; sponsoring applied research; offering career guidance; supporting education and enhancing the professional status and integrity of its membership.

The student chapter serves as a link between the academic rigor of the Academy and real-world engineering advancement. As members of the chapter, cadets have had the opportunity to attend professional engineering conferences, including the 2007 SNAME Maritime Technology Conference held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as well as local SNAME meetings, including those held in Jamestown, Rhode Island. The section has visited the Rolls Royce propeller production facility in Walpole, Massachusetts, to experience the scale of production and engineering involved with propeller manufacturing. Further, the group hosts guest speakers, most recently Mr. Peter Noble of Conoco Philips Inc., who presented an arctic tanker design and construction topic in November. The Chapter is also involved in monthly engineering ethics lectures, for cadets involved in engineering majors at the Academy.

The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) is dedicated to advancing the art, science and practice of naval architecture, shipbuilding and marine engineering. Its scope includes all aspects of research, production, maintenance and operation of ships, submersibles, yachts, boats, offshore and ocean bottom structures, hydrofoils & surface effect ships. SNAME was founded in 1893 and has over 10,000 members in the US, Canada and overseas.

Learn more about SNAME

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a non-profit organization focused on women in engineering and technical fields. According to the SWE website, the SWE mission is to “stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity.” The SWE core values are integrity, inclusive environment, mutual support, professional excellence and trust.

The Department of Engineering at the USCGA provides an outstanding opportunity for all cadets to become a SWE member and represent the Academy SWE (USCGA-SWE Chapter). SWE members at the Academy have the opportunity to support the community via the outreach and STEM programs. SWE members expand their leadership skills at the sectional, regional and national levels.

The Cadet Management Association is a student-run organization designed to enhance the business acumen of Management majors at the United States Coast Guard Academy. As an AACSB-accredited major, Management cadets graduate with an advanced education in financial management, human resource management, information technology management and leadership. The CMA’s purpose is to introduce cadets to the business world outside the classroom, both within the Coast Guard and in the corporate world. Through keynote speakers, networking events, and site visits, the CMA aims to holistically develop the interests and future goals of each management cadet to prepare them for their future career.

Professional Organizations

The Amateur Radio Club is dedicated to fostering interest and involvement with wireless communication throughout Connecticut and the world. More commonly known as the Ham Radio Club, the club has the station call sign W1CGA. It is open to all levels of radio operators and extensive radio equipment is available for cadet-use. The club specifically targets prospective operators for expansion, but provides a wide range of activities for everyone. Twice each year, the club organizes FCC license testing and opens the exam session to the public. The passing rate is near 100% for each exam session of cadets.

The Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association for Amateur Radio operators. Founded in 1994, ARRL has approximately 152,000 members and is the largest organization of radio amateurs in the United States.

The Aviation Club is comprised of cadets from all classes. We regularly bring in speakers from both the Coast Guard and civilian aviation communities, coordinate trips to air shows and museums, and help cadets work toward their private pilot licenses. The club also runs the RedBird Simulator room in Chase Hall. The new flight simulator was a gift from the Class of 1949, and is open to all cadets. Volunteers from the club, along with faculty members, can become qualified as instructors to give lessons to interested cadets on a daily basis. The simulator is also heavily used by the Flight Team.

Members of the club have the opportunity to participate in the Academy’s Flight Team. This team competes in both the NIFA and West Point Invitational flight competitions each year. Cadets with their private pilot licenses can fly during these competitions, and those who do not yet have their licenses can either ride along as passengers or participate in “ground events” such as aircraft identification and flight computer proficiency exams.

The mission of the USCGA Combat Arms Team (CAT) is to train cadets in shooting and boarding officer/law enforcement techniques. This is achieved through practice, competition, and training so that cadets can enter into the fleet well-prepared to serve as future boarding officers. More specifically, CAT prepares cadets to be successful leaders within the Deployable Specialized Forces (DSF) career field and community. This community is the Special Operations branch of the Coast Guard, comprising of the Tactical Law Enforcement Team (TACLET), Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) and the Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT). Additionally, the Combat Arms Team seeks to cross-train with and compete against other services and agencies in competition to diversify our understanding of modern law enforcement and combat situations within the Armed Forces.

Furthermore, CAT supports various sections of the Weapons Programs at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Team members are often present during the instruction of OCS Officer Candidates and Cadet Summer Training. Team members are valuable assets during high volume periods when Armory staff is training other Coast Guard Units. Combat Arms Team members also assist in the range training of the Sandhurst Team.

This team supports its members with the mandatory sports credit for both the Fall and Spring semesters.

The USCGA Bear’s Cyber Team participates at the collegiate and international level in a wide variety of information security competitions. The Cyber Team is a club sport at the Coast Guard Academy where team members practice in our cyber lab every weekday during sports period and receive required sports credit for participation. The Cyber Team is open to anyone with an interest in developing high level defensive and offensive cyber skills.

Focus Areas:
  • Linux Operating System
  • Scripting
  • Network Forensics
  • Host Forensics
  • Binary Program Reverse Engineering/Exploitation
  • Cryptography
  • Penetration Testing

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Club helps develop leaders of confidence by providing cadets the opportunity to earn their Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification through NREMT. The EMT Club’s qualified members participate in medical support of the on-base clinic’s mission, as well as those off-base at local fire departments, resulting in a higher level of responsibility. The EMS Club has many exciting training opportunities to offer cadets, including our previous trip to the 2016 EMS Today Expo in Baltimore, Maryland.

The mission of the CGA Flight Team is to provide leadership and military aviation skill development opportunities to cadets. Members perform proficiency flying and aviation training during regular flight practices held at Groton-New London Airport, during monthly ground training sessions, and with CGA RedBird flight simulator training. The team also competes at regional flying competitions hosted by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association and at the Interservice Military Academy Flight Team Competition each Spring at West Point. Cadet membership requires possessing a FAA Private Pilot Certificate with limited ground team spots for those with no prior flight experience.

The Mock Trial Team offers the chance to practice public speaking and trial advocacy skills in a real courtroom environment. The CGA Mock Trial Team competes against other regional colleges in trial tournaments throughout the year, travelling off-campus at once during the season for a weekend tournament. Participants play roles as defense and plaintiffs’ attorneys, and act as witnesses during trials. Cadets from any year group may participate, and are coached by the Humanities Department Law Section staff, who have over 25 years of combined litigation and legal experience.

The Mock Trial Team also hosts its own tournament, “The Guardian Invitational,” each fall. Colleges and military academies nation-wide participate in this event.

Anyone interested in becoming an attorney, or simply improving their debating or public speaking skills, is encouraged to join the CGA Mock Trial Team.

Model United Nations (MUN) is the most active and intensive extracurricular activity for the government major and the International Affairs track in particular. The club attends an average of five conferences annually. After being assigned a committee and country or individual to represent, cadets involved in the program spend considerable time doing independent research and writing position papers to prepare themselves for the four-day conferences. The team travels to other campuses and argues its viewpoints in committees with students from around the country and the world. The conferences allow for the building of friendships and working relationships with students with similar interests and a chance to hone writing and speaking skills while learning about the intricacies of international politics.

The Sandhurst Team trains for and competes in an annual military competition at West Point testing physical fitness, infantry skills, teamwork and leadership with teams from the other service academies, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Germany, and numerous other countries. The team trains for ruck marching, land navigation, tactical casualty care, shooting, and other basic infantry tasks throughout the year. The team is cadet-led and is a great opportunity to develop one’s physical fitness and leadership.

For more information please visit United States Military Sandhurst website.

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