Ensign Cook Reports from CGC Forward

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As promised in our earlier post, here is Ensign Cook’s first entry from the field.
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Coast Guard Cutter FORWARD
Coast Guard Cutter FORWARD

Hello Everyone,

The moment has finally come. I am on-board the CG Cutter FORWARD and excited about getting underway. I have never been on a cutter and didn’t know what to expect when I first reported-in. But the crew has been fantastic! Everyone on-board has welcomed me and fellow Ensign Ashonte Franklin on-board.

For now, neither Ashonte nor I have stood any watches. Mostly, we have taken the few days we’ve had in port to get to know the crew and to get familiar with the ship. One of the first crewmembers I met on board was Petty Officer Second Class Hemphill.

Here’s a little of his profile:

ET1 Jill Eskew (right) and BM2 John Hemphill (left) sitting at the Quarterdeck. The Quarterdeck is where personnel check-in and off of the boat.

-Petty Officer Second Class John Hemphill has been on the CGC FORWARD a little over a month
-He’s a Boatswains Mate (BM2)
-Career goal is to become a Chief
-Originally from Jackson, Mississippi
-Been in the Coast Guard for 12 years and has served at the following units:
Aides to Navigation Team (ANT) New York
ANT Gulf Port, Mississippi
CGC Decisive, Pascagoula Mississippi
-He joined the Coast Guard because of the mission to save lives.
– I asked BM2 what he most difficult part of being on a boat is and he said adjusting to life on a boat and not knowing if he was young enough. It had been 10 years since he was last on a boat, the CGC Decisive out of Pascagoula Mississippi.
– When I was speaking with Petty Officer Hemphill I asked him if there was anything he thought was an important part of the Coast Guard. His response was family. “Families of the men and women of the Coast Guard often go unnoticed and I would like to recognize the families of Coastguardsmen for the sacrifices they make” said Petty Officer Hemphill.

I would like to comment on what BM2 Hemphill said about being young enough to be on a boat. For those of you, like me, who have never been on a Cutter you may not realize how hard Coastguardsmen stationed on boats work. When underway, they don’t get to leave their jobs and go home. It’s a lot of work. They’re on the boat and work with one another to make sure everything on-board is operating properly.

Again, to comment of what BM2 said, families are a huge part of the Coast Guard and I would like to say thank you to the families of all service members. Your support and dedication through your family member’s time in service is precisely why our armed services are able to operate. Thank you!

I will have more to come as my journey underway continues.

-ENS Lindsay Cook

3 comments on “Ensign Cook Reports from CGC Forward”

  1. That’s a really cool looking ship. I’ve never heard of a Boatswains Mate before. That’s an interesting sounding title. I look forward to reading more. I’ve always had a fascination with sailing and the open sea. Best of luck!

  2. I am a friend of the Hemphill family, and what PO2 Hemphill has said about military family’s is incredibly true. They have one little girl whom Jon has never had to worry about daycare, pedatrician appointments, school, or much of anything. His wife handles it all, even when he is not underway. If you ever get the chance to meet her, she’s a bit of a firecracker (probably what makes Jon feel old 🙂 ). I am sure she will get a good chuckle out of this when I email it to her. Ally this past deployment said goodbye to Jon less then 3 days after major emergency surgery. She grumbled more about being tied down from the surgery then him being gone and not being home to help her with their daughter. In the end it takes a strong significant other to be able to deal with the military and all that goes with it, sometimes they have to be stronger then the member themselves. Not just anyone can handle the job, deployments are like MEPS for wives. Do you have the physical and mental capacity to handle it life without them directly by your side taking half of the workload. I know I could not handle it.

  3. My husband is on the Forward and I have wished many times that I could be a fly on the wall just to see my man in action! Good luck out there and we are looking forward to having them home safe and sound!

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