United States Coast Guard fraternization policies are contained in chapter 8 of the Coast Guard Personnel Manual, COMDTINST 1000.6A.The Coast Guard attracts and retains highly qualified people with commonly shared values of honor, respect. These values anchor our cultural and Service norms and serve as a common foundation for our interpersonal relationships within the Coast Guard.However, under "don't ask, don't tell," being openly gay at a service academy was forbidden and could lead to expulsion."It was a weird dynamic," Bloch said, reflecting on her arrival at the academy in 2009."Obviously people weren't open about their sexuality.
Proper social interaction is encouraged to enhance unit morale and esprit de corps.
Ward, 22, from Saline, Mich., had never dated women before she came to the Coast Guard Academy.
Bloch, also 22, from Littleton, Colo., had a steady girlfriend for two years in high school.
It's a tradition at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., that when a cadet becomes engaged to be married, the lucky man or woman's friends will announce the engagement to the entire corps in the wardroom at lunchtime, the one meal that all four years of students eat together. This is the first announcement of its type."There was a brief moment of silence as the room realized the significance of the announcement — the first in the school's 137-year history — before the corps of cadets started cheering and whooping for their classmate and her fiancée, the latest couple who had met and fallen in love at the academy.
"Over the weekend, Cadet First Class Kaitlin Ward got down on one knee and proposed to her longtime girlfriend, Lauren Bloch.