ISS2 2017

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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G reetings from the 1st District! As I reflect on the many years that I have served in the Coast Guard, one experience that was significantly impactful was my time at the Chief Petty Officer Academy. I transitioned into the Reserve after serving many years on active duty. Initially, it was a bit of a culture shock considering my lack of opportunities to serve with Reserve members prior to becoming one. Finding my footing during this new chapter in my life was uncharted territory for sure. Attending the academy could not have come at a better time. I had just gone through Chief's Call to Indoctrination so I was on a bit of a high arriving at Training Center Petaluma. Upon arrival, I soon realized how challenging it was for 64 seasoned adults to get through jumping rope without making a mistake. We were learning team building skills at an accelerated rate and it was great! I was a bit nervous at the thought of falling out of a tree backwards into the arms of shipmates that I had only recently met. We were learning how to quickly build trust. Several of the low rope exercises were quite intimidating for a person who is not too fond of heights. I can recall even contacting my oldest shipmate and friend (now CWO3 Marie Hope) and expressing how frightening the low rope exercises were. Of course, I had no idea what was in store for us the following week. The camaraderie that was building within our class was exciting to see. One of our many assignments was writing a paper on what the academy experience had meant to us thus far. After reflecting on the low rope exercises and the fear that I was very much in touch with during that process, I knew what I would write about. In my paper I expressed how the academy had been very instrumental in helping me to face my fears. I'm not sure if I was laying it on a little thick or not, but I soon discovered that I would have to put my words to action as I found myself facing the high rope exercises shortly after submitting my paper. The thought of climbing up the tree as high as we were told was pretty scary for some of us. Before long, I found myself flying through the air on the zipline, and what a rush it was! I was thrilled that I did not allow my fear to dominate, especially considering the instructors gave each of us the choice to opt out. Shortly after that, my team volunteered for another exercise. It had a non-threatening name so I wasn't too worried until I realized that it was climbing a telephone pole, then, jumping off of it to catch a trapeze! My heart was practically leaping out of my chest. To this day, I am not sure how I got to the top of the telephone pole, but I know that my team played a significant role in helping me to get there. While standing on top of the pole, my body was shaking like chattering teeth in a cartoon. Although I did not catch the trapeze, I did leap and my team was there to catch me. Finally, it was graduation morning and the instructors began sharing departing advice. One shared a quote that has stayed with me to this day. It was meaningful, inspiring and it has helped me to step out of my comfort zone many times over the years. She told us to envision the high rope exercises. She also told us to think about life and opportunities. The quote goes, "The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be… because of all that I may become I will close my eyes and leap!" – Mary Anne Radmacher. Someone once said that in order to get what you've never had, you must be willing to do what you've never done. As you continue on your Coast Guard journey and beyond, I hope you will keep these quotes in mind and remember that, "You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." – Andre Gide. Semper Paratus. Master Chief Petty Officer Rashaun R. Morris 1st Coast Guard District, Reserve Command Master Chief "Someone once said that in order to get what you've never had, you must be willing to do what you've never done." Rese R vist Magazine d e C kplate s oundings Issue 2 • 2017 � RESERVIST 7

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