Coast Guard, Merchant Marine welcome new classes

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Summer means down-time for most students, but for the incoming class of 2017 at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, school is getting under way.

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy welcomed the new class Monday during Reporting-in Day, marking the official beginning of “Swab Summer.”

A total of 239 swabs took the oath on Washington Parade Field at the academy in New London, Conn.

Minority groups compose 28 percent of the class of 2017, and 36 percent of the class is women.

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In Kings Point, N.Y., the Merchant Marine Academy on Tuesday welcomed its incoming class, consisting of 238 “plebe” candidates.

Upon arrival, the future midshipmen began a rigorous 18-day regimen of academic, military and physical training known as indoctrination, their first step toward becoming future leaders and licensed maritime officers.

“The new plebe candidates make up one of the most diverse classes in academy history,” said Rear Admiral James A. Helis, superintendent at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. “I look forward to seeing the entire class of 2017 learn, grow and serve their country.”

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