Coast Guard appreciates the strength of diversity and inclusion

Racial discrimination of any kind is not tolerated at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and is contrary to the service's core values of honor, respect, and devotion to duty.

Our Coast Guard understands and appreciates the strength that diversity and inclusion bring to an organization. This academy has worked hard over the years and continues to work hard, together, to diversify the Corps of Cadets and provide service-ready ensigns, leaders of character to serve in the world's best Coast Guard — we are committed more than ever. 

We are proud to have just graduated the most diverse class in academy history, the Class of 2018, with the largest number of African Americans ever within a class to receive diplomas and officer commissions. Our last three entering class profiles show 32 percent, 33 percent, 35 percent underrepresented minorities, and projecting 36 percent for the entering class of 2022. Most encouraging is the increased parity we see as it relates to retention of the various ethnic, race, and gender cohorts, in each of the current classes, driving us toward more equitable outcomes, as it relates to graduation rates of our students. We have done a lot of great work, with effect, but we continue to work hard to do even better.

We are committed to providing an inclusive, safe, and productive working and learning environment for each and every member of the academy team. In line with our strategic plan and our commitment to continuous improvement, we proactively sought out the Center of Urban Education to produce an Equity Scorecard “Vital Signs Report” that will be fully leveraged, in an equity-minded way, to review our policies, procedures, and practices. We are proud to be the first service academy to utilize this informative tool and are optimistic that it will help increase our overall effectiveness. 

We are thankful for the opportunity we had to host the congressional staff delegation this past April and look forward to future visits by Connecticut and other congressional members and staff. We want to ensure they have a full understanding of our efforts, successes, challenges, and commitment.

We remain steadfast in providing a climate that promotes a culture of respect. We take all reports of discrimination seriously and are reaching out to the local chapter of the NAACP to confirm that incidents reported to them mirror those reported to the academy in accordance with Coast Guard policy. We have a duty to our people and we take this duty, this responsibility, very seriously.

I reiterate our commitment to who we are and what we stand for with words that I use frequently: 

“We are the United States Coast Guard Academy.

We treat others with respect.

We care about the dignity of others.

We protect others.

We put the needs of our nation, our ship, and our shipmates above our own.

We live up to our oath of service, and the trust of our nation.” 

This is who we are...this is our standard!

 

Rear Admiral James E. Rendón is the superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London.

 

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