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Where Do You Fit In at the Coast Guard Academy?

Stefanie Senkow
December 14, 2020

cadets in a boatNEW LONDON, Conn. – Everyone has a home at the Coast Guard Academy. CGA has seven cadet clubs, known as affinity councils which are oriented around creating safe an inclusive spaces for conversations about everything from academics, to food, to social justice. No matter what interests you there’s a council that’s right for you, plus you can join more than one! Introducing the Affinity Councils.

“Our Councils enable cadets to connect with other cadets who share aspects of their identity, especially in situations in which aspects of their identity are in the minority or are marginalized,” said Katy Robins, Diversity Program Specialist at the Coast Guard Academy. The Councils also provide an opportunity for cadets to learn about people who are different from them. After all, college is about growth.

The Councils include:

  • Asian Pacific American Council
  • Compañeros (LatinX)
  • Genesis (African American)
  • International Council
  • Spectrum (LGBTQ+)
  • Tribal Council (Native American)
  • Women’s Leadership Council

If you’re a new cadet at the Academy, joining an Affinity Council can jumpstart your transition into military life. And you don’t have to necessarily self-identify with the group to be a member. Just ask Fourth Class Cadet (4/c) Junna Castel.

Don’t just join an affinity council, aspire to be an affinity council cadet leader. There are many opportunities for affinity council leadership.

“Spectrum created mentoring groups named after notables in the LGBTQ+ community and we meet weekly to have laid back discussions on various topics and check up on each other. These meetings are an impactful place where I can share my own experiences and participate in discussions on gay rights,” said Castel.

The Academy’s largest Council, Asian Pacific American Council (APAC), helped 4/c Cole Fulton transition.

“For me personally, it provided a space to connect with people of similar interests and backgrounds. I've met and got to know a lot of my friends through APAC. It has also provided some delicious Asian cuisines that I'd been craving for so long!” said Fulton.

Step into your comfort zone - then grow and step out of it. You’ll be a better leader when you do.

Find the Affinity Councils that are right for you.