Ensign Cook Reports from CGC Forward

As promised in our earlier post, here is Ensign Cook’s first entry from the field.

Coast Guard Cutter FORWARD

Coast Guard Cutter FORWARD

Hello Everyone,

The moment has finally come. I am on-board the CG Cutter FORWARD and excited about getting underway. I have never been on a cutter and didn’t know what to expect when I first reported-in. But the crew has been fantastic! Everyone on-board has welcomed me and fellow Ensign Ashonte Franklin on-board.

For now, neither Ashonte nor I have stood any watches. Mostly, we have taken the few days we’ve had in port to get to know the crew and to get familiar with the ship. One of the first crewmembers I met on board was Petty Officer Second Class Hemphill.

Here’s a little of his profile:

ET1 Jill Eskew (right) and BM2 John Hemphill (left) sitting at the Quarterdeck. The Quarterdeck is where personnel check-in and off of the boat.

-Petty Officer Second Class John Hemphill has been on the CGC FORWARD a little over a month
-He’s a Boatswains Mate (BM2)
-Career goal is to become a Chief
-Originally from Jackson, Mississippi
-Been in the Coast Guard for 12 years and has served at the following units:
Aides to Navigation Team (ANT) New York
ANT Gulf Port, Mississippi
CGC Decisive, Pascagoula Mississippi
-He joined the Coast Guard because of the mission to save lives.
– I asked BM2 what he most difficult part of being on a boat is and he said adjusting to life on a boat and not knowing if he was young enough. It had been 10 years since he was last on a boat, the CGC Decisive out of Pascagoula Mississippi.
– When I was speaking with Petty Officer Hemphill I asked him if there was anything he thought was an important part of the Coast Guard. His response was family. “Families of the men and women of the Coast Guard often go unnoticed and I would like to recognize the families of Coastguardsmen for the sacrifices they make” said Petty Officer Hemphill.

I would like to comment on what BM2 Hemphill said about being young enough to be on a boat. For those of you, like me, who have never been on a Cutter you may not realize how hard Coastguardsmen stationed on boats work. When underway, they don’t get to leave their jobs and go home. It’s a lot of work. They’re on the boat and work with one another to make sure everything on-board is operating properly.

Again, to comment of what BM2 said, families are a huge part of the Coast Guard and I would like to say thank you to the families of all service members. Your support and dedication through your family member’s time in service is precisely why our armed services are able to operate. Thank you!

I will have more to come as my journey underway continues.

-ENS Lindsay Cook

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