ISS3 2018

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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job at Coast Guard Air Station Brooklyn, N.Y., Pearson began commuting home on the weekends to spend his own money on private flying lessons. "Coast Guard was where I started, but the story is all intertwined," said Pearson. He eventually earned both his aircrew wings with the Coast Guard and his private pilot's license in fixed wing aircraft. He kept going, adding additional ratings and working his way up to civilian flight instructor. He managed both career paths until 1998 when he left active duty to fly full time as a flight instructor for McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. He felt a little out of his element when he reported to his first unit as a Coast Guard reservist less than an hour away at Station Manasquan Inlet, N.J. He wouldn't stay long, though. After a new position took him too far outside reasonable commuting distance, he left the Coast Guard. Over the years, he encountered a lot of former Coast Guard pilots in the airline industry, and they encouraged him to go back despite a now 10-year break in service. Pearson found himself back in bootcamp at 39 years old, a plank owner of a brand-new program called the Direct Entry Petty Officer Training, or DEPOT. The first class had seven members. He laughed remembering how quick his machinery technician (MK) A-school instructors took note of him— not only was he the oldest student in the class, but he had aircrew wings and three rows of ribbons. After finishing boot camp for a second time, as well as completing a second A-school as a machinery technician (MK), he also found himself back at Station Manasquan Inlet for a second time. There, Pearson worked his way up to first class, and he became a section leader, as well as the first reservist qualified on the RBS II. He recently spent two weeks of active duty on TCTO maintenance doing interior work on the station's RBS II, leading the junior petty officers through the evolution. "[Being a reservist is] hard, but it's rewarding," said Pearson, who acknowledged the difficulty in keeping up with currency hours while maintaining his civilian career. "The fun part is being out on the water," he said, "especially in summertime, out on the water, with all the people." For Pearson, though, nothing compares to flying. After serving for several years as the standardization and training officer for Citation Air, he joined Chubb Insurance, and in 2017, he became their assistant chief pilot. He still flies just as much as any of his pilots, and while he does spend a lot of time away from home flying executives all over the world on the G450, G550, and G650ER, he's been able to visit Asia, Europe, Australia— places he never imagined he'd see in his life. He never takes it for granted that he can fly to any location in the world on the G6 with only one fuel stop. Getting to those places, though, is half the fun. "There's a certain thrill you get when it's a beautiful, sunny day, you're on the runway, you're cleared for take-off and you push the throttles up," said Pearson. "I've got a great view out of my office." � Petty Officer 1st Class William Pearson (center) stands with command and crew members from Station Manasquan Inlet, N.J., following a successful boat crew member (BCM) check ride last year. Also pictured are Petty Officer 2nd Class Wesley Pearson, Station Executive Officer in Charge Chief Petty Officer Zach Gray, Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Goszka and Petty Officer 3rd Class Abigail Gall. Photo courtesy William Pearson. Issue 3 • 2018 � RESERVIST 21

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