Special Report

What It Takes To Be In 16 of America’s Elite Military Forces

Source: coast_guard / Flickr

U.S. Coast Guard
> Typical duration of training: 8 weeks

The Coast Guard is a unique branch of the military, in that it also carries out law enforcement tasks, protecting American waterways, ports, and shores. The Coast Guard takes direction from the U.S. Navy in wartime. Basic training for Coast Guard recruits is an eight week process that takes place in Cape May, New Jersey.

Recruits must demonstrate a base level of physical fitness, measured in timed runs, pushups, situps, swims, and treading water. Those who do not meet established fitness standards do not make it through week one. During week two and three, recruits are mentally and physically tested with workouts, drills, and team work exercises. Week four entails further physical tests, marksmanship training, as well as a midterm classroom examination.

Week five focuses on seamanship training, deck maintenance and knot tying and is followed by fire prevention training in week six. In week seven, recruits are expected to pass a final written and physical exam. Those who make it to week eight can expect to graduate and become a Coast Guardsman.

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