***UPDATE FROM CO 4/07/20*** 

 

First and foremost, thank you for your continued support, patience, and flexibility during these ever-changing times.  I understand people are concerned and afraid, and it is normal to be frightened when facing a health crisis like this.  We also know this situation is stressful and with all of the information out there, it can even be confusing.

I know it can be challenging to process all of the information from different sources and different parts of the country and how it affects us and our Cape May Community.  Please continue to raise your questions and concerns with your chain of command.  The more informed we are, the more responsive to your needs we can be.  We will provide answers as quickly as we can.

I wanted to specifically thank the amazing staff here at Training Center Cape May. They have continued the mission-essential job of producing fleet-ready Coast Guard men and women. We are scheduled to graduate Mike-198 on Wednesday, April 8.

Training Center Cape May remains open only for essential Coast Guard operations.  We maintain the minimal personnel required to effectively train and support our current recruits.  At the waterfront, our operational units of cutters and boat forces remain ready to save lives and protect commerce.

Over the last several weeks, we have implemented many health and safety measures to mitigate risk to everyone - staff, recruits and families.

The Coast Guard is actively evaluating the shipment of new recruits.  We are also continually assessing how we train the recruits currently in training, evaluating steps we have taken to mitigate health risks, and considering new steps to take going forward.  The balance is maintaining a healthy and safe workforce and also being able to send new Coast Guard members safely to the fleet ready to conduct Coast Guard missions.

This is an evolving emergency, and we simply do not have all the answers. As soon as we have them, we will inform you. This is what we know now.

The Commandant just released a video, continuing to emphasize the need for leadership at all levels of the organization to look after our people as we continue to stand the watch.

  • “First and foremost, on my mind and all your senior leaders, is your safety and well-being and that of your family.”
  • “What I need leaders across the Coast Guard to do is intrusively understand whose circumstances have changed.”
  • “The work that we do is as critical as ever, maybe more important than ever.”
  • “For those of you that might be looking at a permanent change of station (PCS) move this summer, we’re working real hard – almost around the clock – to get policy and clarity in your hands to understand how that is going to unfold. …We’re going to work through that together.”

See the Commandant and Vice Commandant videos on the USCG Coronavirus website or on their Social Media pages @ComdtUSCG and @VComdtUSCG For a full list of USCG Wellness Resources, visit https://www.uscg.mil/Coronavirus/Information/Article/2127607/wellness-support-resources/

Again, thank you for your continued support, patience, and flexibility. We know that there is high concern over COVID-19 - we are all in this together for as long as this uncertainty lasts. Take care of each other and look out for each other.

 

CAPT Kathy Felger
Commanding Officer
Training Center Cape May
The Coast Guard's Hometown and Birthplace of the Enlisted Corps

 

***LIST OF BASE CHANGES*** 

 

  • The next scheduled ship date is TBD.
  • The ID Card Office is open with limited capability.  By Appointment Only!  Walk-ins will not be accepted.
  • Future graduations are listed below and are subject to change with the same visitor restrictions.
  • The base is currently limited to mission essential personnel.
  • The chaplains are still available by phone as needed and emergent appointments if necessary. 
  • The galley is only serving recruits. 
  • The barber shop is closed. 
  • The Exchange is open to active duty, staff, and dependents from 0900-1500 Monday - Saturday and is closed on Sunday. Dependents should limit traffic on base to travel to/from the Exchange. Coast Guard leadership has made it a priority to keep the Cape May Exchange stocked and staffed.
  • The Harborview is closed until further notice.
  • Gym use is authorized for recruit training only.
  • All MWR activities have been canceled.
  • The jetty is closed.
  • MWR Cottages will not be rented for leisure until further notice. 
  • The Coast Guard Ball and Coast Guard Festival have been canceled.
  • All playgrounds in housing and off base, skate park and the on-base tennis court are closed.
  • On base beach access is closed.

 

***NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR STAY AT HOME ORDER AND HELPFUL INFORMATION***

 

The New Jersey Governor issued a "Stay at Home" order. We have already significantly limited movement and travel. This order, along with some updated travel guidance from the Coast Guard, means we are under much tighter constraints.

Per the Governor's direction, nothing in the order shall limit:

  • The provision of health care or medical services
  • The operations of the media
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • The operations of the federal government

All staff (active duty, civilian and contractors) who are mission essential to supporting Coast Guard operations and to supporting our Recruit Training mission should report to work as per their supervisor's direction. Those not required to work shall stay at home. We are all authorized to travel to/from home to the businesses that are open - ones necessary for essential supplies - grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations. Many restaurants are open in the area for take-out and delivery only - travel to/from those businesses is authorized. As our staff lives throughout South Jersey, it is difficult to put a travel radius around Cape May. Per previous guidance, please stay in your county of residence, except for travel to/from work for mission-essential operations and training. When traveling for essential supplies, stay as close to home as practical. When you are traveling for authorized purposes, abide by social distancing practices - most stores already have safe practices in place for you.

There are also many resources available to help families cope with the issues brought about by this virus. Some of those resources can be found at the links below:

To see the Coast Guard’s response, plans, and advice, visit www.uscg.mil/coronavirus

To see the latest health guidance and information on COVID-19, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

To see the latest information about New Jersey’s COVID-19 response, visit www.COVID19.NJ.GOV

If you, a loved one, or a friend needs help, visit www.cgsuprt.com or 1-855-CGSUPRT for free confidential assistance.

 

***GRADUATION***


Until further notice, all graduations will be closed to visitors, and only essential Training Center Personnel will attend.

Recruit Training Graduations are normally held on Fridays at 11:00 a.m., but can be changed to meet training center needs. To avoid conflict with certain Federal Holidays, graduations are sometimes shifted to Thursday.

U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, N.J. is the nation's only Coast Guard Recruit Training Center.

Training Center Cape May has suspended guest attendance at graduation ceremonies to maintain CDC guidelines on social distancing and to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 to service members or Coast Guard families.  

We are also suspending all events associated with graduation, to include the Family Meet and Greet on Thursdays prior to graduation and the Family Breakfast on Fridays prior to the ceremony.

Graduations themselves will continue and will be live-streamed as available on our official Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/USCoastGuardBootCamp

All graduating recruits will be provided with travel to their first unit. Recruits impacted by this change will be authorized to call home to inform their loved ones of their updated travel arrangements. Those that cannot travel will remain at Training Center Cape May.

Our top priority at Training Center Cape May is the health and safety of our staff, recruits and guests. As we have said before, we understand there is general concern about the COVID-19 virus and its potential threat to our community.  In accordance with CDC guidelines, we have added additional steps to our processes for the prevention and/or treatment of illnesses here.

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Training Center Cape May. We have robust screening processes in place in conjunction with MEPS screening for new recruits who arrive each week. We will continue to monitor the situation and consult with medical experts to decide when it is appropriate to resume guest attendance at graduation ceremonies and other scheduled events.

This action is being taken with the necessary level of caution, to both ensure the welfare of our staff and that Training Center Cape May can continue its mission of producing fleet-ready Coast Guard men and women.

The graduation schedule for the next few months is as follows:

Company   Hall   Graduation Date
M198 GYM 4/08 @ 1100
N198 GYM 4/15 @ 1100
O198 GYM 4/22 @ 1100

 

***QUESTIONS & ANSWERS***

Q1. Is there a chance the decision to stop families being at graduation could be reversed? 

R1. In the near term, probably not. We are constantly assessing the environment and make operational decisions based on the guidance we’re given and current local situational assessment. Our goal is to limit to the greatest extent possible, any outside factor that would impact our mission to train new Coast Guard men and women for service and protect the health and safety of our staff. 

Q2. Are the recruits aware of COVID-19 and the graduation changes? 

R1. Recruits are aware of COVID-19 and the cleaning and hygiene requirements we’ve implemented and they are aware of the decision to cancel guest attendance at graduation. The graduating company has been informed and follow-on companies will be notified as we move forward.

Q3. Once the recruits graduate will they be flown to the original place they left from so families can meet them there?

R1. Graduating recruits will make their travel arrangements to their next duty station. TRACEN Cape May will provide transportation to a transit hub like they used when they first arrived. Graduating recruits will be afforded time to contact their family to communicate their plan.

Q4. Will families who have booked flights, cars and hotels be refunded? 

R1. Contacting individual vendors would be the best course of action. Many of the local municipalities are taking action as a NJ state emergency declaration was issued for Covid-19.

Q5. Can we pick up our recruit after the graduation ceremony, understanding that we are not attending?

R1. The short answer is no. Graduating companies will be calling home to update families on their travel arrangements. TRACEN Cape May will work to get them into the travel system to their duty station.

Q6. How long will these graduation changes be in effect? 

R1. We will be constantly evaluating the environment and working with our federal, state and local partners to make the best decision for all here as soon as possible.

Q7. Is the DEPOT graduation still live streamed?

R1. No. DEPOT will not be livestreamed.

Q8. We live nearby. Will we be able to come down and pick our graduate up?

R1. No. The ceremony will be modified and limited to the required permanent party. Recruits will be transported by bus back to the transit system as they arrived at the beginning of training. The graduating recruits will be calling to discuss their arrangements and changes as needed.

Q9. Does anyone know if this will affect A-School graduation?

R1. The individual training centers will be making those decisions and communicating with their different communities.

Q11. What happens if a recruit or staff member tests positive for the coronavirus? 

R1. Our active screening follows the latest CDC guidelines and includes asking new arrivals about their general health. If anyone has a positive COVID-19 finding and/or meets current CDC screening guidelines for COVID-19, we would then work with our base medical personnel along with state and local health department professionals.

Q12. Is the Training Center still bringing in recruit companies?

R1. Yes. We currently have recruits transiting to TCCM from across the country, but this is subject to change as we continue to monitor this highly dynamic situation and work with leadership to make the best decisions for our staff and recruits. 

Q13. What base services have been restricted if any?

R1. There have been significant changes to base services:

  • The next scheduled ship date is TBD.
  • The ID Card Office is open with limited capability.  By Appointment Only!  Walk-ins will not be accepted.
  • Future graduation are listed and are subject to change with the same visitor restrictions.
  • The base is currently limited to mission essential personnel.
  • The chaplains are still available by phone as needed and emergent appointments if necessary. 
  • The galley is only serving recruits.  
  • The barber shop is closed.
  • The Exchange is open to active duty, staff, and dependents from 0900-1500 Monday - Saturday and is closed on Sunday. Dependents should limit traffic on base to travel to/from the Exchange. Coast Guard leadership has made it a priority to keep the Cape May Exchange stocked and staffed.
  • The Harborview is closed until further notice.
  • Gym use is authorized for recruit training only.
  • All MWR activities have been canceled.
  • The jetty is closed.
  • MWR Cottages will not be rented for leisure until further notice. 
  • The Coast Guard Ball and Coast Guard Festival have been canceled.
  • All playgrounds, the skate park and on-base tennis court are closed.
  • On base beach access is closed.