Hello. I could not find the answer to this. If my child were to get in and go to the USCGA, how will their 4 year experience be different than going to a traditional 4 year college. I’m aware of the military aspect (obviously), but is it just like as if he enlisted? Is there time off? Summers off? Vacation? Etc. or when academics are over are they at sea or shore etc?
Their experience will be similar to the other Federal Service Academies such as USNA or West Point. They are not like enlisted, they are cadets training to be officers. They have holiday breaks but you cannot count on them being able to come home for all of them. Summers will have training times such as cruises on Coast Guard ships or working with an aviation unit and they will have a few weeks to come home in the summer. Once they graduate after 4 years, they will have a bachelors degree and go to work as an officer in the Coast Guard. Their jobs might be working on a cutter, flying helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft, working on maritime inspections, etc. I believe most new graduates do a 3-year tour on a cutter before any shore duty, though.