Born in Kazakhstan, growing up in America and now serving in the galley aboard Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton, Zelenskaya has left a lasting impression on her shipmates through her love of country, her passion for using food to knit the crew together and her “cheesy bread” recipe which is a personal favorite of Sexton’s commanding officer, Lt. Kevin Connell.
At some point in everyone’s life, they think to themselves ‘If I can find a job I truly love, I will never have to work a day in my life.’ For Petty Officer 3rd Class Kristle Lopez, this is a thought that shaped her entire future. “Being in the military and serving my country is in my blood,” Lopez said.
Most Coast Guard men and women who choose the food service specialist rating do so because they love to cook. For Petty Officer 3rd Class Amy Edwards, it was more than just a love of cooking that impacted the route she took. After completing basic training, Edwards was stationed at Coast Guard Station Destin, Fla. As she learned about the different rates the Coast Guard offered, it was the creativity and rewarding work of the unit’s food service specialists that impressed her most.
Petty Officer 2nd Class James Mitchell first chose to be a food service specialist while at a recruiter’s office. At the time, he had an application in to attend a culinary school in Chicago, but was drawn to the opportunity of serving his country, traveling the world and learning the culinary trade.
Many Coast Guardsmen join knowing they want to serve their country but aren’t quite sure how. Not Petty Officer 1st Class Bethany Clark. Clark joined the Coast Guard in 2009 knowing exactly what she wanted to do; she wanted to be a chef. A 2006 graduate of Johnson & Whales University in Providence, R.I., Clark studied culinary nutrition and wanted to take her talents to sea.