Coast Guard anchors

US Coast Guard Training Center Cape May


1 Munro Ave., Cape May, NJ 08204

Aerial View

US Coast Guard Training Center Cape May is home to the the fifth largest base in the U.S. Coast Guard, which serves as the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center and the only enlisted accession point.


Training Center Cape May is the most important training center for recruits and aspirants to the US Coast Guard. It is the only recruiting center in the United States. Most of the other similar facilities are slowly losing their activities, so most aspirants orientate their attention towards this location. It is located in Cape May, in the southern part of New Jersey.


Training Center Cape May has a long history – initially used by the United States Navy. It was a refuge site during the American Revolutionary War. The US Navy decided to turn it into a training center for the defensive coastal operations in 1917. Every building on site was renovated and used with different purposes. The site was completely burnt down in 1918 due to an accident.


When World War I ended, the officials built the largest hangar in the world to design advanced aircrafts. The idea was to build something lighter than air. However, the prototype crashed during the first testing flight, so the project was abandoned and never implemented. The United States Coast Guard took over the facility in 1924 and commissioned it as Training Center Cape May. Its objectives and mission changed a few times throughout history before it was actually turned into a recruiting and training center.


Training Center Cape May hosts multiple schools, training ranges and the recruiting office. The institution represents the first step in every aspirant’s life. Whenever someone hopes to join the United States Coast Guard, this place is the first one to attend. Once accepted, this is where the first training sessions are held. At the same time, the recruits are trained in all operations the US Coast Guard conducts, whether they imply lighthouse maintenance, ice patrolling, environmental actions or search and rescue (SAR) missions. As the basic courses end, each recruit must pick a particular specialization. This is when the more intense programs begin and the time when each recruit must pick the right path. One of the most popular courses is the Direct Entry Petty Officer one, which is strictly created to turn regular students into some of the finest petty officers in the branch.

Arriving at US Coast Guard Training Center Cape May
Most visitors drive to Cape May. Cape May is an island, accessible by one of two main bridges crossing the canal waterway – linking the Delaware Bay with the Atlantic Ocean. The bridge nearest the base is found at mile-marker zero (the end) of the Garden State Parkway. The road straight ahead at that point crosses the canal and becomes Lafayette Street on the other side of Schellenger’s Landing. The base is located at Pennsylvania Avenue.


From the Garden State Parkway:
Drive to the end of the Garden State Parkway. This becomes Route 109 S. Continue over the large bridge and a second smaller bridge. Keep left. When the road divides, turn left onto Sidney Avenue. At the stop sign, make another left onto Washington Street. Immediately get into the right lane, making the right-hand turn past the C-View Inn where the road divides. The road is now Texas Avenue. Stay on Texas Avenue as it curves right and becomes Pittsburgh Avenue. Take Pittsburgh Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue and make a left. Continue to the Training Center’s main gate.


From the south:
You may want to take the Cape May-Lewes Ferry which leaves from Lewes, Delaware and docks in North Cape May. Leaving the ferry terminal, follow 109 (toward Cape May). Turn right at the third traffic light onto Route 626 (Seashore Road). Seashore will take you over the West Cape May Bridge and into West Cape May. This road becomes Broadway and terminates at the ocean in Cape May City. If you’ve reached the ocean, you are now facing Beach Avenue. Turn left. Stay on Beach Avenue until you come to Pittsburgh Avenue (1.7 miles). Turn left. Stay on Pittsburgh until you come to Pennsylvania Avenue (0.6 miles). Turn right. Follow to the Training Center’s main gate.


By Airplane:
If you are flying into the area, the nearest commercial airport is in Atlantic City (ACY), about 50 minutes from Cape May. The nearest large airport is Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), under 2 hours away. We recommend renting a car at either airport to use for local transportation.


By Train or Bus:
Trains do not run from major cities to Cape May, but buses do. Visit for schedules and fees.

Base Population
Over 350 military and civilian personnel are attached to Training Center Cape May with more than 4,000 of America’s finest young men and women arriving for the first chapter of their Coast Guard career – boot camp.