The US Naval Institute blog has a post entitled “The Coast Guard Must Take Action to Send Women Afloat, writen by Cadet Second Class Kyra Holmstrup, U.S. Coast Guard, who said that she was fortunate to spend a long summer cruise on a National Security Cutter but noted her experience was the exception.
Third-class summer is vital to future career selection in the Coast Guard. Without having gone afloat on an NSC, I would not be at CGA today. Seeing the world from the bridge helped me identify the reason why I joined and solidified the leadership lessons I learned as they guide me through my 200-week leadership journey. If this is not addressed now, our service risks losing the diversity and relevance the Coast Guard has so desperately worked to attain. To the senior leaders at CGA and in the Coast Guard: Make it a priority to send female cadets afloat for summer assignments and provide cadets with opportunities to experience different underway platforms. The focus should be on providing prospective female officers with earlier exposure to the afloat community starting at CGA with cadets like me. Not enough female cadets experience adequate time on board cutters early on in their careers; if female cadets did, the Coast Guard would see an increase in the number that go and—more importantly—stay afloat.
Earlier USNI had another post,“Fixing the Coast Guard Academy’s Priorities” that we discussed here. It appears all cadets, not just female cadets, are not getting enough experience afloat with operational units.
Our credibility in all mission areas is predicated on our experience as a seagoing organization. All Coasties, particularly officers, need at least some experience afloat.