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Home / Cadet Blogs / Post-Swab Summer Transition

Post-Swab Summer Transition

Gina Sobinovsky | September 6, 2023
Gina Sobinovsky - 2026 As I made the transition from Swab Summer to the academic year, I realized that I needed to undergo a very significant mental shift of focus in order to be successful in a new environment. There was no longer a need to be on hyper alert to external stimuli like yelling from the cadre – instead, new challenges like time management and adjusting to a structured academic schedule became the new summit in need of conquering. I had always been a productive and diligent student in high school, but it was a stark realization to be struck with the reality that the same useful studying tactics that I used in the past were not sufficient in this new and unfamiliar setting. I learned that I needed to dedicate much more time to my comprehension of the material than I did in high school, a study technique that took a little time to develop in my schedule. I also found that my peers were especially instrumental and helpful in my learning, as many of them are better at teaching some subject matter than others. It was also an adjustment to account for the time required for military training and instruction throughout the day, an extra element of college that certainly provides a very unique experience. Through all of the challenges on a daily basis, I always find some time in the day to reflect on my life’s journey that brough me to this place and I become increasingly appreciative and grateful for all of those who helped me get to where I am today.

About Gina

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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