A home away from home

Cmdr. Christopher A. Strong, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless, congratulates the crew for their hard work during a patrol in the Caribbean Sea. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney.

Cmdr. Christopher A. Strong, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless, congratulates the crew for their hard work during a patrol in the Caribbean Sea. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney.

Written by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney.

Upon graduating from basic training, new recruits ship off to their permanent duty stations where they begin their military careers. At these stations, they will meet and join a team who will indoctrinate them into a new way of Coast Guard life. A life that often relies on bonds built on trust to get the job done.

Petty Officer 2nd Class John Kubik prepares dinner for the crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney.

Petty Officer 2nd Class John Kubik prepares dinner for the crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney.

The Coast Guard has core values that are designed to guide Coast Guardsmen in their lives to help better themselves and strive for mission success. Like other units, Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless also has its own set of values that reflect the Coast Guard’s core values. The commanding officer’s command philosophy states, “Our crew is our family … and our personal families are part of our crew, respect for our people will ensure a positive environment.”

Aboard the 210-foot medium endurance cutter, Coast Guardsmen work closely together to accomplish the mission. In the process, they become a tight-knit unit that prides itself on the commitment to each member and operates cohesively as a surrogate family at sea.

“We are like a big family on the cutter,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles R. Richter, a boatswain’s mate aboard Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless.

Through the shared sacrifice of being away from families and friends back on land, the crew grows closer on water as their cutter pulls further away from home. The friendships and bonds aboard the cutter are essential to the overall morale of the crew. During emergencies, those friendships and bonds are solidified through trust and a mutual respect between one another.

Cmdr. Christopher Strong places Valentine’s Day gifts in crew members bags. The crew participated in the holiday to help promote morale and camaraderie. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney.

Cmdr. Christopher Strong places Valentine’s Day gifts in crew members bags. The crew participated in the holiday to help promote morale and camaraderie. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney.

“When we are in tense situations, I look at the people around me, and I know everything will be OK,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Ian Ceely, a machinery technician aboard Dauntless. “I look at them as my right-hand man.”

Through the rough seas, Dauntless’ crew maintains course through a shared commitment to each other. The mutual respect aboard the ship is a value and a resource that contributes to the morale and ultimately the mission.

“I believe that if I take care of the crew and give them the resources they need, the crew will take care of the mission,” said Cmdr. Christopher A. Strong, commanding officer of Dauntless.

Lt. Caroline Dewechter prays during divine services aboard Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless in the Caribbean Sea. While underway, the cutter holds spiritual services on Sundays to allow crew members to practice their faith. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney.

Lt. Caroline Dewechter prays during divine services aboard Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless in the Caribbean Sea. While underway, the cutter holds spiritual services on Sundays to allow crew members to practice their faith. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney.

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  • mcgirv

    It’s good they have divine services for all faiths. It’s good for morale and the mission at hand.