CAPE MAY - U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Cape May (TRACEN) is scheduled to host a Coast Guard Day Sunset Parade at the base, at 7:40 p.m. Aug. 1, in honor of the establishment of the chief petty officer (E7) rank more than 101 years ago.
According to a Coast Guard release, the 66th U.S. Congress officially approved and established the Coast Guard’s chief petty officer grade May 18, 1920. Since the formation of the rank, chiefs remain a foundational element of Coast Guard leadership.
Coast Guard Day is the date recognized and celebrated by the service as its birthday – Aug. 4, 1790. The event is free and open to the public.
The gates of Training Center Cape May will open at 6:40 p.m. Visitors attending the event must have a valid, state-issued or government-issued identification card in order to access the base. Attendees are encouraged to use this time for security screening, parking and seating.
Guests should plan on being seated by 7:30 p.m. The gate will be closed for vehicles seeking to park at the parade at the start of the official ceremony.
Sunset Parades are exciting and fun for the entire family; however, children must be accompanied by an adult throughout the ceremony.
Visitors should expect increased security screening for the event, and guests are not permitted to bring bags of any kind (with the exception of diaper bags or medical bags) to the seating area including purses, camera bags and backpacks.
Photography is permitted and encouraged, but cameras must be removed from their bag prior to arriving at the seating area. Guests are encouraged to leave bags in their vehicles during the parade.
Sunset Parades are military ceremonies featuring marching troops and the recruit ceremonial drill team. More than 300 recruits will march in the parade and strike the National Ensign from the parade field at sunset.
The Coast Guard Recruit Ceremonial Drill Team will perform complex facing and drill movements and dangerous rifle tossing routines. The group performs their complicated and precarious routines without verbal commands or cues.
The Coast Guard has been active in Cape May County for more than 150 years. Today, the training center is the sole accession source for the Coast Guard's enlisted workforce, training close to 3500 recruits annually.
In the event of inclement weather, visitors may call Training Center Cape May’s base information line, at 609-898-6700 the afternoon of the event for cancellation information. Guests are allowed to park both on and off base. Security will direct guests where to go.