As a Coastie, I have traveled the States for the past 20 years going from coast to coast and one amazing adventure to another.
Read on in this blog to hear stories about my experiences living the Coast Guard life, not only as a military officer but also as a small town Midwestern girl who left home to enlist in the United States Coast Guard.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say about... My Coast Guard Career.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Joining the U.S. Coast Guard

As a Nebraskan girl, people often ask me how and why I joined the Coast Guard. The answer is easy, the recruiter was next door to my favorite restaurant and after a few too many cocktails, I thought joining the Coast Guard sounded like a great idea…

Well, that’s not exactly how it went but close. No drinks were involved but the recruiter was right next door to my favorite restaurant. Every time I went out to eat I would wonder what that “Coast Guard thing” was all about.

I was in college at the time but still very unsure of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was aimlessly taking classes and pretty miserable at age 19. I was bored with Omaha and was ready for something new. One strong desire I had was to be closer to the ocean. As an athletic swimmer my entire life, I yearned to be closer to water. Being that Nebraska is not the best place for beaches, I looked into this thing called the “Coast Guard” (this is embarrassing to say but I honestly thought it might be like Bay Watch). I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t Bay Watch but I sure was excited when I found out the Coast Guard is small, rather elite for a military service and did not send people overseas (at least not very often). I was even more fascinated to find out the service offered a Marine Science Technician rating. Closer to water and I can study the ocean?!

I was ready to sign up and ship off so that is exactly what I did. I thought it would be four years of my life and I would be back home with a clearer life goal and the GI Bill to back me up. But, that’s not exactly how that went either…

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Coast Guard Family

Geez, it feels like such a small world sometimes. One thing I love about the Coast Guard is it feels like a large, extended family. Seems like everywhere I go, I run into people I know or have met before. For example, I just found out that I have three long lost friends just hours from in Savannah, GA. Come to find out, a person I worked with up in Maine was someone I had met 10 years ago through an old roommate from Key West, FL. That person got me back in touch with my old roommate who put me back in touch with long lost Coastie friends who just happened to be a stones throw away in Savannah. Sure, that may sound confusing but its basically nothing more than an amazing network of contacts.

Why is it that the Coast Guard feels so small? Well, because it is. I just did some Google searches and found out the entire U.S. Coast Guard is about the same size as the NYPD and accounts for only about 1.5% of the total number of active duty members in the U.S. armed forces. ONLY 1.5%!

So, when you make it a career by moving around every few years, the Coast Guard isn't a bad family to be a part of.

Friday, January 18, 2008

You May Be Wondering...

Why it is that I just started this blog? Well, as you continue to read my postings, you will find out that the Coast Guard is full of amazing opportunities and I am in the midst of one... a full scholarship to attend graduate school.

The Coast Guard has many programs that offer advanced education with about 25 of those being the chance to attend graduate school. I was selected to attend the University of Georgia to get a masters degree in Public Relations. Sounds pretty good, huh? After I graduate, I will most likely be headed to Washington, D.C. as a Public Affairs Officer.

So, what does that have to do with a blog you ask? Well, I am learning how to use social media to develop an image (if you are reading this blog, you are probably well aware of the power of social networking). I am on an adventure to see how I can connect with others and develop an identity online. So, I am off like the tortoise!