CAPE MAY – The U.S. Coast Guard announced April 3 it will graduate 64 recruits from the eight-week program at Training Center Cape May, but will reschedule shipment of new recruits to boot camp as it adapts to the COVID-19 emergency.
According to a release, the graduates will be heading to cutters, stations, and other Coast Guard units on the front line of Coast Guard operations.
Of the graduates, 58 are active duty and six are Reserve members.
All graduating recruits will be provided with travel to their first unit when possible. Those not able to travel immediately due to local COVID-19 concerns around their new unit will remain at Training Center Cape May, in the interim.
The delay in recruit shipping is in place for at least three weeks. Previously scheduled recruits will remain in a delayed-entry status and will work with their local recruiters to reschedule their attendance to basic training once the training center resumes intake of recruits.
“Out of an abundance of caution, and to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, I have directed the temporary rescheduling of receiving new recruits at Training Center Cape May,” stated Rear Adm. Brian Penoyer, Force Readiness Command. “The health and safety of our personnel is our priority.”
This is the most recent and significant series of precautions the Coast Guard has initiated at Training Center Cape May and other training centers to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 threat.
Some previous measures include: daily medical screening of staff and students to include randomized ‘on-the-spot’ health screenings, roving medical personnel, individually packaged meals to reduce contact, increased cleaning of all facilities after usage, and the reduction of some training events after consultation with medical staff.
There are 254 recruits continuing training under these modified conditions.
"We created an expedited training plan that encompasses the essential required knowledge, skills and ability required to graduate a mission-ready Coast Guardsman. Other items will be deferred until the next level of training or the field as a temporary solution. It shortened training by a week for two companies and a week and a half for the other," according to Chief Warrant Officer Timothy Tamargo, public affairs officer, Training Center Cape May.
The Coast Guard is considering several different options for an enhanced reconstitution effort after this situation subsides. The Coast Guard remains dedicated to meeting critical mission requirements while safeguarding the health and wellness of its workforce and their families.