FOUR Filipino cadets have graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), bringing them closer to becoming commissioned officers of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
First-class Filipino cadets Genison Basilio, Eric Joseph Noble, Daisy Anne Atayan, and Dianne Shaira Basuel were among the 240 cadets to graduate from the USCGA Class of 2021 on Wednesday, May 19, in New London, Connecticut.
U.S. President Joe Biden attended the commencement as the guest of honor and speaker.
“Cadets, you knew when you chose the Academy you were choosing a more difficult path than some of your high school classmates. You were signing up for the honor of service, and the additional responsibilities that go with it,” he said in his keynote address.
“But I hope today you take the time to reflect on how much all of the hard work and extra — extra effort you engaged in was worth. And I hope that you take immense pride — immense pride in all that time at the Academy and all the Academy has given to you,” he added.
Biden challenged the newly graduates “to be the future” in the changing world.
“The world is changing. We need you even more. It’s time for you to go out and be the future, to make the future,” he said.
Biden also reminded the graduates to model maritime behavior and uphold clear rules of international agreements.
“We must continue to model responsible maritime behavior and uphold clear rules of international agreements that will protect and steward this pristine environment and secure it for future generations — and, by the way, as you know by now, to protect our homeland security as well,” he stressed.
The USCGA Class of 2021 consisted of 34% women and 34% underrepresented minority groups. It also had seven international students from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Georgia, the academy said in a release.
The four Filipino graduates were sponsored by the PCG under the Coast Guard Cadetship program.
According to the PCG, once they return home, the four cadets will undergo the Coast Guard Officer’s Course (CGOC) training to become fully qualified PCG commissioned officers.