Similar to the Navy and the Air Force, basic training when enlisting in the United States Coast Guard is complete at just one location. Cape May, New Jersey is the place for enlisted basic training, or Coast Guard Boot Camp. The Coast Guard is a member of the Department For Homeland Security, transferred from the Department of Transportation in the months following September 11, 2001. The Coast Guard is considered a police force as far as patrolling the shores of the United States and other Coasts around the world, and because of this when they have to board a ship it cannot be called an act of war. That is why they are not part of the Department of Defense, to give them this Civilian Police Status.
There are some things that you can do to prepare yourself and get ready. In addition of the list of things to bring, and things not to, there are some other things that will help. Upon arriving at boot camp in Cape May, New Jersey, your personal possessions will undergo a complete search. No exceptions. Anything not on the list to bring or on the list of accepted items will be confiscated until after the completion of boot camp. Illegal or prohibited by law contraband will be seized and destroyed, and depnding on the nature if found it may interrupt your basic training, or cause you to be discharged immediately altogether.
Before you leave for Boot Camp, set up some sort of checking or savings bank account that can be accessed by an ATM card. Your pay will be directly deposited, and if you wait to set it up until after you arrive, your pay will certainly be delayed. Make sure you have a copy of the routing number and account number with you. Pack writing paper, a pen or two, stamps, and your checkbook and ATM card for your new account. Do not bring more than fifty dollars cash. If you own a watch you can bring that too.
Bring your State Issued ID or Drivers License, but DON’T drive to Cape May. There is no place to store your vehicle, and you may be delayed by having to drive home and take other transportation. If married bring a copy of your marriage certificate. Bring a copy of other important papers, but that’s about it.
Boot camp is a stressful time, but if you take time to learn what to bring and what not to your enlisted basic training experience will be much more enjoyable.