The Coast Guard Academy’s AIM program is an excellent way for students to explore their leadership potential and learn more about what the Coast Guard Academy has to offer.

What is the USCGA AIM summer program?

USCGA AIM (Academy Introduction Mission) is a program that allows high school students and their parents to learn about the Coast Guard Academy. This six-day experience brings rising high school seniors to the Academy to live and learn alongside current cadets. USCGA AIM participants will have the opportunity to explore Coast Guard careers, experience life at the Academy, and meet with members of the admissions staff.

Students focus on learning about the mission of the Coast Guard: designing, building, operating, and maintaining structures and systems that help the Coast Guard perform its mission.

AIM is held every summer at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. The program is open to any high school junior who is a U.S. citizen. There is no obligation to join the Coast Guard or attend USCGA after participating in AIM, but many students do choose to apply to the Coast Guard Academy after taking part in the program.

Students are known as an “AIMster” during the program, and learn about teamwork and respect throughout the week.

USCGA AIM Academy Introduction Mission

When is USCGA AIM?

The Coast Guard Academy Introduction Mission runs during July. The exact dates vary from year to year, so be sure to check back for updates.

Cost: $750 + travel expenses

Length: 5 or 6 days

Dates of 2024 Coast Guard AIM (projected)

  • Session 1 – 8-12 July, 2024
  • Session 2 – 15-19 July, 2024
  • Session 3 – 22-26 July, 2024

Application Window: 8 Feb, 2024 – 15 April, 2024

Why should you apply to this Coast Guard Academy summer program?

For high school students who are considering attending the USCGA, AIM is the perfect way to get a feel for what life is like at the Academy.

USCGA AIM gives students the opportunity to experience the rigorous academic and military training that cadets go through on a daily basis.

We highly recommend AIM for students who have little to no military exposure so that they can get a better understanding of what they are signing up for.

In addition to attending classes and getting a taste of military life, students will also have the chance to meet with Coast Guard officers and learn more about the admissions process.

Students get to hear directly from cadets about what life is like, as well as receive counseling from the Coast Guard admissions team.

If you’re thinking about applying to the USCGA, the Academy Introduction Mission is a great way to get started.

What to expect

Get introduced to a completely different college experience by attending AIM. This is a week-long immersion in Coast Guard academic, military and social life. While attending AIM, you will experience firsthand this spirit and the close bond shared by those who live it each day.

Typical day:

  • 0600 – Reveille
  • 0610 – Calisthenics
  • 0700 – Morning meal
  • 0800 – Morning session
  • 1200 – Formation and noon meal
  • 1300 – Physical activity
  • 1545 – Sports
  • 1730 – Formation and evening meal
  • 1815 – Cadre time
  • 1900 – Evening session
  • 2200 – Taps, lights out

During USCGA AIM, participants will live in Cadet Quarters, eat in the Cadet Mess Hall, and attend workshops and classes led by current cadets. USCGA AIM provides an overview of the admissions process, Coast Guard careers, and life at the Academy. Participants will also have the opportunity to tour the Academy grounds and meet with members of the admissions staff.

The typical week looks like:

  • DAY 1: Check in, uniform issue, opening ceremony
  • DAY 2: Engineering workshops, college planning workshop, drill practice, intercompany athletics, Physical Fitness Exam
  • DAY 3: Engineering workshops, sailing, campus tour, Admissions Officer introductions, college planning workshop, marching practice
  • DAY 4: Sailing, engineering workshops, cadre time
  • DAY 5: Indoctrination test, intercompany athletics, lunch with athletic coaches, asset tours, Admissions Officer time, Hopley Yeaton Ceremony
  • DAY 6: Family Day, engineering demonstration, group photo, graduation ceremony

Download the AIM handbook here.

How to Apply to USCGA AIM

The AIM application process is competitive. Applications are evaluated on a number of factors, including academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and a guidance counselor recommendation.

You must also meet these basic requirements:

  • A U.S. citizen (dual citizenship is fine)
  • Between 16 and 18 years of age
  • Unmarried, not pregnant, and have no legal obligations to support anyone including a child
  • Physically fit, in good health, with weight proportional to height
  • Of good moral character
  • Academically successful with demonstrated leadership skill and achievement outside the classroom

You can apply for USCGA AIM here.

AIM Cost

The cost varies from year to year, but generally is around $750 plus travel expenses. You will also be asked to submit a deposit to reserve your spot in the program. Scholarships are available based on need.

To request a scholarship, write an essay response in 300 words or less to: “Why are you a good candidate to receive this scholarship, what special attribute or accomplishment sets you apart?”

When does the the USCGA AIM application open?

The Coast Guard Academy AIM application for the class of 2029 opens in February 2024 and closes on April 15th, 2024. Make sure your application is complete before submitting it.

The application is closed for 2023 (the class of 2028).

To apply, complete the online application.

Are there medical disqualifications for AIM?

Yes, injuries within the last six months disqualify students from participating.

What if I’m waitlisted?

Some students are waitlisted. Waitlisted students can find out as late as 2 weeks before session start dates that they’ve been accepted.

If you are accepted, congratulations! You will then need to verify medical information and provide your insurance information.

What should I bring to USCGA AIM?

These items are mandatory for 2022:

  • Medical Insurance Card
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Card
  • Proof of negative COVID-19 test result OR COVID-19 at-home test kit
  • One set of twin sheets with pillowcase (standard size)
  • Blanket/Comforter/or Sleeping Bag
  • Plain Dark Navy Blue Crew Neck T-shirts (5) – Shirts must fit loosely, have sleeves, and not be altered in any way
  • Athletic Shorts (3) – Shorts must fit loosely, not be altered in any way, and be large enough so undergarments will not be visible
  • Underwear (7-10 pairs)
  • Swimsuit (Women: One-Piece; Men: No Speedos)
  • White Athletic Socks (7-10 pairs)
  • Athletic Compression Shorts (2 – optional)
  • Pajamas/Sleepwear
  • Broken-in running shoes with excellent support (do not bring new shoes)
  • Shower Shoes (flip flops that can be worn in the shower) (1)
  • Sweatshirt (1 – optional)
  • Sweatpants (1 – optional)
  • Towels (1 required, you may bring a 2nd if desired)
  • Washcloths (optional)
  • Medication (as required) (If you are taking prescription medication, please bring a letter from your physician)
  • Toiletry articles and Toiletry Bag
  • Sunscreen, SPF 30+ (1)
  • Money (for souvenirs)
  • Wristwatch (optional) – Note: Smart Watches are NOT permitted

Be sure to check out the USCGA AIM page to learn more.

You can also learn more about the Coast Guard Academy application process with our guide on getting into the Coast Guard Academy.

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LTC Kirkland and Captain Dach

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Kirkland (USA, Ret.) is an expert on military admissions and leadership. He served for over 25 years in the United States Army, including stints as an instructor at West Point and as a commander of two Army ROTC programs. Former Air Force Captain Trisha Dach served as an Intelligence Officer from 2011-2018. A graduate of the Air Force Academy. They have helped hundreds of candidates secure appointments and ROTC scholarships. Together, they help educate parents and students on military propensity, leadership, and Academy admissions.

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