“Swimming in Inequality” –USNI

MOBILE, Ala. Ð Rescue swimmers from Coast Guard Aviation Center Mobile show Luke Wiedeman how to properly inflate his life jacket, Nov. 7, 2011. Crewmembers from ATC Mobile worked with the Mobile chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help Luke realize his dream of becoming a Coast Guard rescue swimmer. Luke was able to take part in training with the swimmers, navigate high-tech flight simulators and participate in a search and rescue demonstration. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephen Lehmann.

The US Naval Institute blog has a short entry that discusses what was, to me. an unrecognized barrier to more equal racial representation in the Coast Guard–the swim standard for OCS.

“… 70 percent of Black children are unable to swim and 60 percent of Latino children are unable to swim. Of the Black and Latino children that say they are able to swim, there also is a large portion that are self-taught swimmers. In comparison, it is estimated that only 40 percent of Caucasian children are unable to swim.”

Was also surprised to see the large disparity in representation between the Navy and Coast Guard.

“As it stands right now, 5.5 percent of commissioned Coast Guard officers are Black, and only 13.5 percent are minorities in total. It is possible that qualified minority candidates see the swimming standards as impossible obstacles to overcome.”

“As of 2017, the Navy reached 34 percent of minority officer representation.”

Sounds like we have a self imposed barrier to recruiting some good people. Certainly swimming is a desirable ability, but do we apply the same standard to all Coastguardsmen? Does the Navy apply it to their incoming personnel? Can we do something to provide this skill to those who do not come to us with the ability?

“U.S. Coast Guard, UMass Boston sign Memorandum of Agreement” –News Release

Just passing along this news release for any that might be interested.

united states coast guard

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard 1st District Northeast
Contact: 1st District Public Affairs
Office: (617) 223-8515
After Hours: (617) 717-9609
1st District online newsroom

U.S. Coast Guard, UMass Boston sign Memorandum of Agreement

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard and UMass Boston gather at the Integrated Sciences Complex after signing a memorandum of agreement between the two groups. U.S. Coast Guard, UMass Boston celebrate memorandum of agreement with cake

Editors’ Note: Click on images to download high resolution version.

BOSTON — Members of the U.S. Coast Guard and officials from University of Massachusetts Boston signed a Memorandum of Agreement, Wednesday at the Integrated Sciences Complex at UMass Boston.

This agreement is designed to optimize outreach, increase engagement efforts, and promote synergy between the Coast Guard’s overall civilian and military officer recruiting effort.

It will also assist UMASS Boston by providing additional tuition saving choices for students and academic solutions for faculty and professors. 

Central to the agreement, the Coast Guard offers scholarship and loan forgiveness programs, such as the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI), which provides selected students with full tuition for up to two academic years and Coast Guard active-duty benefits and pay (up to $3,600 monthly) during their junior and senior years of college.

It also provides students with valuable leadership, management, law enforcement, navigation and marine science skills and training.

College seniors who enlist in the Coast Guard could also have up to $60,000 in student loan debt forgiven through the CSPI StudentLoan Repayment Program.

Rear Adm. Andrew J. Tiongson, Commander, First Coast Guard District, and Katherine S. Newman, Interim Chancellor of University of Massachusetts Boston, signed the memorandum during a ceremony attended by members of the Coast Guard as well as administrative staff & students from the university.

More information about the Coast Guard Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program can be accessed here: Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Partnership Program