Saturday, January 20, 2007

More Coast Guarding

I passed my Boarding Officer board today. This would normally be a fairly minor thing as it is only a local certification but it was a quite welcome development.

For my entire reserve career, the needs of the service have moved me from one job category or unit to another...usually just before I was ready sit for my qualification board for whatever it was that I was supposed to be doing before I was moved.

The result was a lot of experience doing a great many cool Coastie things....but no actual certifications in anything technical....which leads to an annoyingly thin resume for a petty officer 4 years in.

The board was unusually long, about 4 hours, but I passed anyway.(A board consists of several experienced petty officers grilling the service member on possible scenarios as well as the various items of operational procedure and maritime law one must know to do the job.) Again it's not really a big deal as pretty much everyone in the CG deals with them but this was my first and it is heartening to finally get a qualification letter in something (weapons quals don't really count).

Now I can work on my Maritime Law Enforcement, Pollution Investigator, Pollution Response, Lifeboat Inspection, Facility Inspector, Facility Security, Boat Crewman, Container Inspector, and Harbor Saftey qual books, which are all 50% or more filled out....I'm Coastie Ken...Jack of all trades...but now at least, FINALLY master of one! :)

I should point out that the minor frustrations of my reserve career, the disruptions of school and the aforementioned difficulties in getting qualified are all a result of there being a war on and the shifting priorities of the Coast Guards many missions, despite them all and in spite of the knee and elbow injuries I am really glad to have signed up. The Coast Guard is a remarkable organization doing a tremendous amount of good and I'm really enjoying being a part of it and if given the chance would do it all over again (except for that knee thing) don't just sit there on an ever expanding bottom and peruse 5th rate here and do something really rewarding!

Semper Paratus

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