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New Director of Admissions Reports

by Stefanie Senkow
July 24, 2018

New Director of Admissions Reports NEW LONDON, Conn. --What you might be surprised to know about Coast Guard Captain Michael Fredie, the Coast Guard Academy’s new Director of Admissions, is that he did not get accepted to the Academy on his first try. Upon graduating from high school in his hometown of Hingham, MA, Captain Fredie applied to the Coast Guard Academy and was denied.

“I wasn’t quite where I needed to be for Academy acceptance, so I attended one year of prep school at Bridgton Academy in Maine. Bridgton allowed me the opportunity to reset academic goals and eventually get a serious look from CGA,” said Captain Fredie.

His second application to the Academy garnered him acceptance into the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) in Newport, RI, which led to a direct appointment to the Academy upon completion of this one year program. Today, NAPS serves as one of three preparatory schools the Coast Guard sends students to improve academic skills, which will best prepare them for the STEM curriculum at the Academy.

After graduation from the Coast Guard Academy in 1996, Captain Fredie served as a deck watch officer for Coast Guard Cutter (CGC) MELLON, and spent multiple deployments patrolling the Bering Sea. His love for law enforcement (LE) operations aboard MELLON led him to seek out more advanced LE skills and full-time LE operations through the Coast Guard’s Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team. Shortly after that assignment, he volunteered for the International Training Division and spent most of the three years of that assignment aiding with drug interdiction and training law enforcement officials in source countries like Bolivia and Peru.

Following subsequent roles as Operations Officer for CGC RELIANCE, Coast Guard Liaison Officer to the Bahamas/Turks & Caicos, Executive Officer to Tactical Law Enforcement Team (TACLET) South, OPM-2 Special & Support Assignment Detailer, then OPM-4 Career Counselor, the Commanding Officer of TACLET South, Captain Fredie was selected to serve as Director for the Coast Guard’s Motion Picture & Television Office. Upon selection for O-6, Captain Fredie knew that the Coast Guard Academy was where he wanted to return, in order to give back to the Academy and the Coast Guard.

“This assignment was my first choice,” said Captain Fredie, bringing his Coast Guard journey full-circle, coming “home” to the Academy as the new Director of Admissions.

Q: In one word, describe a typical day for you at the Academy? Explain why.

A: Exciting!!! Every day, there’s a unique task to face. As a team, Coast Guard Academy Admissions is responsible for making the best decisions for the Academy, the Coast Guard and for the country – the end result being finding leaders of character that will propel the Service into the future. The recruitment and appointment process is long and thorough, and for the most part, we have to make most decisions based on what an applicant has provided in the application process.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your role as Director of Admissions?

A: Without question, the team aspect of the job. If you’ve heard the phrase, “how do you eat the elephant,” the proper answer is “one piece at a time.” The appointment process is the elephant. The Admissions team is comprised of highly capable individuals who bring their expertise to select the best and the brightest applicants. Included in this group are experts across campus that bring their knowledge to help make final decisions that benefit the institution, and service. There are many pieces that go into the process; we recruit, educate, follow-up and attract in order to arrive to a decision. Having as many capable elephant eaters as we do, the task is a remarkable undertaking.

Q: In your opinion, what makes the Academy and its cadets special?

A: The Coast Guard Academy is a fantastic representation of our Service – it embodies the quiet professional aspects of what our Service prides itself on. It’s the humanitarian focus and the broad range of missions that our service carries out every day—that’s what makes us so unique as a service and that is embodied exceptionally well here at the Academy.

Q: What advice would you give to prospective students considering applying to the Academy?

A: If you have a strong desire to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard and that’s what “fuels your fire” when seeking higher level education following high school, apply. Make sure you focus early in high school to have solid grades, a respectable GPA and the highest possible standardized test scores you can earn because those are all critical factors that are reviewed. If you’re a student athlete, in the band or choir, if you’re an Eagle Scout or Girl Scout, if you have an afterschool job or participate in hobbies, all of these things are important factors in your application. We’re not just looking for the smartest. Sure, strong grades help, but we also look at how you manage your time, your overall work ethic, that you have good moral character and moreover, that you have the desire to serve more than self. We’re committed to giving you the tools you need to seek out what you desire most in the Service.