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Greetings to Recruit Family and Friends,

Welcome to the Coast Guard family! In a few weeks, your recruit will complete basic training and graduate as a proud member of the U. S. Coast Guard, basically trained, physically fit, and smartly disciplined. They will be ready to execute Coast Guard missions worldwide. The graduation ceremony is an occasion that most will remember forever and I hope that you will be able to attend this special event.

All adults attending the recruit graduation must provide a valid form of state or federal identification in order to gain access to the Training Center. All drivers must possess a valid driver's license. All guests under the age of 18 will not be required to possess identification as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please have your identification readily available when approaching the security staff at the main gate.

Once on board we invite you to join us for breakfast at the Harborview Club from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. for a nominal fee of $7. Guardian Spouse representatives will be available at 9 a.m. to meet with the spouses (or soon to be spouses) of graduates in order to provide information on family programs and general discussion about life as a military spouse. A family briefing for all visitors will take place at 10 a.m. in the Ida Lewis Auditorium where we will provide you with an overview of the morning’s activities, a short video presentation about recruit training, and our Command Master Chief and I will personally greet you in the auditorium and thank you for your support of our newest Shipmates!

Graduation is a formal military ceremony that begins promptly at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium and lasts for about 45 minutes. The ceremony will be the first opportunity you have to see your graduate while on base. At the ceremony’s conclusion, your newly minted Coast Guardsman is free to depart on five days of well-deserved leave before reporting to their new duty station. Our auditorium and gymnasium are both handicap accessible. Commercially produced videos of the graduation may be purchased from a vendor who will be in a clearly marked location at the ceremony.

After the ceremony, graduates must pick up their personal belongings from the barracks. Before departing, I invite you to take a tour of the Training Center and visit our Marketplace (Exchange) which has a variety of Coast Guard items for sale. We encourage you to stop in and as long as you are with your graduate or a member of the armed forces you are eligible to make purchases at the Marketplace.             

While you are on base we ask that you only take pictures of the graduating company and/or your graduate. You are also free to take pictures of the facilities while you are here. We understand that there are different social media sites (i.e. Facebook) where families interact, post pictures, and encourage other parents to do the same while they are in Cape May, however, due to privacy concerns we ask that you refrain from taking pictures of other recruits undergoing training. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.  

As you make travel arrangements for your visit to Cape May, please know that our MWR program offers Guest Quarters to active duty, retired, and other eligible patrons based on a priority system. We hope you will consider staying with us on Thursday night prior to graduation in one of our six fully furnished lodging units on base. Each unit has two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen and is available for $70 per night. Additional information, a listing of eligible patrons, and an application form may be found here.

I look forward to meeting you and wish you safe travels!

Sarah K. Felger
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Commanding Officer Training Center Cape May