by Ens.Collin Reichelt
The College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) is a scholarship program designed for college juniors and seniors attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HISs) and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), who demonstrate a high caliber of academic and leadership excellence.
Coast Guard service members Capt. Kevin Reed, commander of Sector Long Island Sound, and Lt. Cmdr. Roberto Concepcion from Coast Guard Headquarters recently partnered with Alcorn State University (ASU) and service members from the U.S Army, U.S Navy and U.S Marine Corps to participate in the Alcorn State University Military Leadership Summit in Alcorn, Mississippi.
The event was held on campus Nov. 12–16, 2019, where university and high school students attended and engaged in a series of discussions on leadership and professionalism. The goal of the summit was to expose the students and local community to the different scholarship and career opportunities each military service has to offer.
Lt. Kevin Whalen, commanding officer of Marine Safety Detachment Vicksburg, Mississippi, was able to meet faculty and speak with students in the homeland security management department. Coast Guard representatives attended a networking breakfast with U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, commanding general of Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Coast Guard service members from Air Station New Orleans, Marine Safety-Security Team New Orleans, the Gulf Strike Team, MSU Vicksburg, and Recruiting Office – Jackson, Mississippi, led discussion panels and manned static displays, including a Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. Members interacted with students on an individual basis and made time for mentoring with ROTC students regarding leadership and “lessons learned” from the field.
Reed (class of 1992), Concepcion (class of 2005) and Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Yusuf Williams from Recruiting Office Jackson, Mississippi, met with the university’s president, Dr. Felecia Nave, and discussed how a partnership with the Coast Guard through programs like the CSPI Program could benefit students and the community alike.
The trio also met with the Dean of Academic Affairs, Vice President of Student Affairs, the Director of Career Services and the Director of the ASU Public Radio Station.
ASU expressed a strong interest in fortifying the relationship with the Coast Guard and invited “Team Coast Guard” to come back and be a part of the week’s activities as part of her inauguration ceremony.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to engage with my alma mater,” said Reed. “Alcorn University and the Coast Guard together have the ability to launch the careers of the next generation of great leaders.”
Through efforts like the ASU Military Leadership Summit, the Coast Guard can recruit and maintain a proficient, self-motivated, and diverse workforce.
Visit the Coast Guard’s recruiting website for more about the Coast Guard’s CSPI program.