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Home / AIM / AIM BLOGS / Gwen Slaughter - PRE-AIM INTERVIEW

Gwen Slaughter: Pre-AIM Interview

Gwen Slaughter | July 21, 2023

Gwen SlaughterWhat interests you about the Academy and what made you apply to AIM?

I’ve always been interested in the Academy, even from a young age. My dad went to the Academy and hearing about his experience and the opportunities he had at CGA and after he graduated is the main reason why I want to attend and go into the Coast Guard after. I applied to AIM because I’ve always heard how hard Swab Summer is and wanted to experience this first-hand to see if this is something I can handle.

What is the #1 thing you’ve done to prepare for AIM?

The number one thing I’ve done to prepare is working out, getting prepared physically, running and strengthening, especially practicing push-ups. Lots of push-ups.

What would you like your fellow AIMsters to know about you?

I would want my fellow AIMsters to know that I love working in teams and believe that that is the best way to be successful. Growing up I have always been in teams that are always changing, whether for sports or school, and am excited to get to work with a new group of people from all around the country.

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to sailing. I’ve never sailed a boat before, but I love being on the water and it seems like a fun experience to do with other AIMsters.

Any hesitations about your AIM week?

The biggest thing I’m hesitant about is being in a new environment with mentally challenging tasks. While there is an emphasis about being in shape and being physically challenged, these are the things I can prepare for beforehand. The mental aspect is a lot more challenging to prepare for, especially in a new place with people you don’t know.

What do your peers think about your service academy aspirations?

Most of my peers are surprised when I tell them and don’t know much about how service academies work or have only heard of West Point or The Naval Academy. But they are also really interested in hearing more about it.

About Gwen

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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