Boot camp for the class of 2021 at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy kicked off on Monday.
New cadets take direction from the upperclassmen and officers during their first hours as “Swabs.”
"It’s a huge first step for them. First to commit themselves to their country and service to others. It’s a big step from high school or wherever they came from before,” said USCG Lt. Charles Lumpkin.
From this day forward, all 305 cadets will work as a team together, memorizing their bible, known as "Running Light.”
"It’s stressful but exciting. And it definitely prepares us for a very exciting and successful future, so we just have to get through it,” said Abigail Xenelis, of Westbrook.
It’s all about discipline, and a seven-week course all cadets are required to pass. For the men, it starts with a short haircut.
For the parents, the feelings are mixed.
"There are a lot of emotions. I'm happy, I'm sad but really exciting at the same time,” said Debbie Chandler, of New London.
For the rest of the summer, the cadets will be physically and mentally challenged, running obstacle courses, and know cold the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.
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