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    Iliganon graduates Magna Cum Laude from US Coast Guard Academy


    By Mike Baños

    An Iliganon has graduated with highest honors from the United States Coast Guard Academy.

    Victoria Gil Echavez Regalado, 21, was graduated as Magna Cum Laude with a degree on BS Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the US Coast Guard Academy, New London Connecticut, U.S.A. on May 22, 2024.

    USCGA Cadet Victoria Gil Echavez Regalado

    She is the first Filipina BS Naval Architecture & Naval Engineering graduate and the second Filipina graduate from the USCG Academy.

    The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) appointed Regalado as an international cadet of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) under the International Cadetship Program of the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) Class of 2024.

    Admiral Joel S Garcia, Rear Admiral Jose William U Isaga of the PCG, and Commander David Negron – Alicea of the USCG Maritime Advisor – US Embassy (Manila), graced the oath taking and signing of contract ceremony held at the PCG National Headquarters, Port Area, Manila on 27 May 2020.

    Regalado with parents Victoria and Gil.

    Regalado was later formally sworn in at the USCGA, New London, Connecticut, USA on 05 July 2020.

    She is a graduate of the Philippine Science High School Central Mindanao Campus in Balo-i, Lanao del Norte, and is a native of Iligan City.

    Upon graduation from the USCGA, Regalado shall be commissioned in the PCG with the rank of Ensign and shall serve a minimum of eight years of continuous active service.

    The PCG Cadetship Program is a part of the Command’s vision of establishing a first-class Cadet Corps as a precursor to the establishment of the Philippine Coast Guard Academy in the near future.

    Cadet Regalado as the guidon bearer during the graduation rites.

    An online feature on international cadets posted by the US Coast Guard Academy shows Regalado as active in Women’s Water Polo and as a member of the International Council and Genesis.

    She further relates her experience as an international USCGA cadet in the same post:

    “It’s truly the people and experiences that make the Coast Guard Academy special. The individuals I have met not only introduced me to their culture, but they also made my time here truly enjoyable.

    The friends I made transformed the Academy into my home away from home, opening their homes and families to me and allowing me to explore various states and even foreign countries during our breaks.

    I have also been fortunate to have a supportive sponsor family throughout my four-year journey.

    Oath taking and signing of contract ceremony held at the PCG National Headquarters, Port Area, Manila on 27 May 2020. (PCG photo)

    Furthermore, the experiences offered by the Academy were extraordinary and enriching. I had the unique opportunity to sail across the Atlantic Ocean on the USCGC EAGLE, engage in multinational maritime exercises in international waters, lead our incoming freshmen through their Swab Summer training program, and visit multiple countries.

    The Academy’s operational summer training equipped me with valuable technical and leadership skills that will greatly benefit me as an officer upon my return to the Philippines.

    If you’re thinking of applying to the Academy, you’ll find it’s not going to be easy at first, but don’t give up. The challenge of juggling your academic and military responsibilities, not to mention experiencing culture shock and some homesickness, will be tough.

    Just maintain your resilience, seek support from others, embrace diversity across campus, remain open-minded to new experiences, and always stay optimistic. Also, don’t forget to enjoy yourself and have fun!”

    Regalado’s parents are Engr. Gil Regalado, originally from Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, and Victoria Echavez Regalado from Fuentes, Iligan City.

    They have two elder children, Gil Victor, 34, 1st Mate, NYK Nippon Shipping Co., & Gil Michael, 31, Sr Technical Operations Manager, Netzon Global Technical Inc.

    “We are deeply thankful to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the USCG for giving our daughter the chance to complete her college degree at a prestigious US Academy. We wish her all the best as she returns to serve with the Philippine Coast Guard. All praises and glory to God, ” Mrs Victoria

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