With more than 1,000 instructors across the FORCECOM enterprise, the role these Coast Guard members play is crucial. And once in a while, the instructors take the care to go above and beyond their everyday duties and showcase their commitment to influencing the future of Coast Guard mission execution. Such is the case with Lt. Roger Bogert.
Samuels’ Coast Guard career proved very unique not only because of the varied assignments he received, but also to the many ethnic barriers he broke. Samuels’ achievements seem all the more significant in light of the fact that the first African-American officer to command a U.S. Navy ship took charge in 1962, nearly 35 years after Samuels. Samuels was a minority trailblazer and a member of the long blue line; and his barrier-breaking achievements led the way for minorities in all of America’s military services.
Hopefully you have a better picture of what life is like aboard the Polar Star, and what it takes to operate it. The mission is still just beginning, so continue to check back as we look into the history and purpose of Operation Deep Freeze 2016, the art of icebreaking in Antarctica and many more glimpses into life on the south side of the planet.
The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star doesn’t sleep, not for a second. The cutter and its crew rotate through a daily cycle, like the Antarctic sun looking down on the icebreaker. Always moving, never setting. What’s going on above and below the deck? What does it take to run the nation’s only operational heavy icebreaker? There’s no better way to find out than living it. So join us for two days of 12-hour watch shifts: three four-hour watches from 8 a.m. (0800) to 8 p.m. (2000) each day. Start your coffee brewing; it’s going to be a long couple of days.
Since 1803, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse has stood as a sentinel over the windswept shores of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. With its distinctive stripes and storied history, it is the tallest lighthouse in the United States and one of the best known Aids to Navigation in the world. While the National Park Service owns the lighthouse, a Coast Guard aids to navigation team continues to maintain the lamp.
More than 130 years ago, a member of the U.S. Life Saving Service named Joseph Napier served as the keeper of the Saint Joseph Life Saving Station. Unbeknownst to him, his legacy would live on far beyond his years of service on the Great Lakes and would continue on more than a century later in waters much different. Today, Joseph Napier was welcomed back to the Coast Guard fleet in a different way – as the Coast Guard’s newest fast response cutter.
The first ethnically Asian Coast Guardsman recognized for heroism by the Service was also Japanese. Born in Kobe, Japan, F. Miguchi began serving as a cook on Gresham at the age of 37. He was perhaps the first ethnically Japanese Coast Guardsman to serve on the East Coast. However, little else is known about F. Miguchi. There is no photograph available to identify him and even his first name remains a mystery to this day. All that he left behind is the record of his Silver Lifesaving Medal, symbolizing the comradery he shared with his shipmates.
Today, when asked “What does being a Coast Guard aviator mean to me?” I would say that my answer has remained essentially unchanged: “Being able to ensure that somebody gets to wake up in the morning is what gets me up in the morning.”
Every turned page of the calendar shows in the ice-bludgeoned, though sturdy, red hull. It’s not just a 399-foot chunk of metal. If observed correctly, the Polar Star is a book; chock full of the stories of every Coast Guardsman who ever sailed aboard.
Each and every day, Coast Guard aviation crews around the Nation take part in nearly every Coast Guard mission. From assisting with the establishment of crucial aids to navigation to conducting medical evacuations of mariners at sea to transporting endangered sea animals from coast to coast, Coast Guard aviation has a footprint on everything the Coast Guard does. But how did aviation become a part of the Coast Guard?