ISS1 2015

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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moment to marvel at how much work was involved in organizing the entire room, I found the sign and coffee mug with my name at the back of the middle table. By the end of the second day, I realized that having this particular seat proved to be incredibly fortuitous. My seatmates — YNC Kristine Rommel to my left and ETC Dominick Volpe to my right — doted on me like a sibling who occasionally struggled to keep up with the rest of the family. Lessons moved at a brisk pace and the time to learn each topic was short, making Rommel's and Volpe's continuous guidance integral to my growth. paC Masson: I was stunned at the care and precision our hosts had shown in arranging the classroom. The message of respect being sent by the staff was unmistakable — and if our instructors were willing to put this much effort and attention to detail into setting up the classroom, I knew I owed them every bit of my attention and effort for the next couple of weeks. Also, I'd like to know what labeling system they use to put our names on those coffee mugs. Mine is still attached and unsmirched after months of use. expectations of each team and individual: paC polish: The yellow team — now also known as Team Phillips and Team Gold (gold sounded better than yellow to us) — was formally introduced to our CPOA liaison, BMC Nicholas George, who collected us to provide instruction on how to get started. Each team would work on a group presentation that would be delivered in the final days of class, incorporating visual aids and ensuring every chief had a speaking role. In addition to the team responsibilities, George outlined what we needed to accomplish individually. Every student had a physical fitness goal and was expected to enter athletic activities in a mobile application, earning points based on the intensity and time spent on that activity. Additionally, we would each compose an essay based on a Coast Guard-related topic for which we wanted to advocate. Lastly, we would have nightly homework, such as reading and online tests that would provide insight and analysis into our unique personality traits. The sheer volume of projects, in combination with the physical fitness goals, sounded daunting. However, during our team meeting, many of my teammates offered innovative ideas for how we might be more strategic in tackling some of the assignments. But by identifying creative ways to support one another, the amount of work that needed to be completed outside of the classroom no longer seemed so insurmountable. paC Masson: I was a little intimidated by our physical fitness goals. What I found, however, was that the amount of walking around the hilly training center, combined with after-class workouts in the well- appointed training center gym, could be combined with activities over the weekend to exceed the goal. (A Saturday walk down from the Marin County headlands and across the Golden Gate Bridge — and back — may have had a lot to do with that.) By the time we added in class fitness activities such as Zumba, circuit training and spinning, meeting the goals wasn't a problem. Be sure to take the advice that appears on the CPOA website: pack excellent shoes. For a flatlander like me, the hills of Northern California meant that my worn tennis shoes let me down in a fairly painful way. are good objectives, he said. "Following your passion for work is important, and waiting three years to follow that passion is well worth it," Cantrell said. "Plus, you're gaining real-world Coast Guard experience while you wait." Cantrell and Master Chief Petty Officer Mike O'Berry, the Public Affairs Rating Force Master Chief for the Coast Guard, participated in the graduation ceremony as members of the official party. Together, they advanced Norcross to the rank of petty officer third class. Later, following a round of "thank-yous" to DINFOS leaders and instructors, and photos with the visiting Coast Guard members, Cantrell said his day at DINFOS reaffirmed that Coast Guard Public Affairs specialists are vital contributors to the principles of strength through truth and maximum disclosure with minimum delay. "In the future, I believe Coast Guard Public Affairs specialists will play an ever-increasing role in educating and informing our audiences – both internal and external," Cantrell said. "It's the 21st century, and the general public, as well as our workforce, is more educated and better connected than ever before - and they've never been hungrier for information." "An informed public is a more supportive public, and an informed workforce is a happier and more motivated workforce," he said. "It is Public Affairs specialists, telling the Coast Guard story with clarity and honesty, who will help make that happen." � Master Chief Petty Offcer of the Coast Guard, Steven W. Cantrell, advances Amanda norcross to the rank of Petty Offcer 3rd Class, during the graduation ceremony for the Basic Public Affairs Course 070-14 at the Defense Information School. U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. David T. Chapman Issue 1 • 2015 � RESERVIST 27

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