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Coast Guard Master Chief
PSU 305 Command Master Chief
Advancement is crucial in today's
military. Do not let advancement
requirements turn into career ending
obstacles. I received advice from my father
who was a Seabee, a Senior Chief, a Warrant
and Commissioned Officer. He advised, "Your
time in the service will be like running through an
obstacle course. Overcome all obstacles, the easy
way or the hard way."
I looked up the definition of obstacle course in
the dictionary. It is defined as a military training
course filled with obstacles such as hurdles,
fences,walls and ditches that mustbe negotiated.
Broadly, it is a series of obstacles that must be
overcome. The definition illustrated the series
of challenges that we face in advancing in
I advise all junior personnel to complete
advancement requirements as soon as
possible. This means studying required
courses and completing rate enlisted
performance qualifications. One of the
biggest obstacles is passing the required
correspondence courses. Junior enlisted
fail the end of course test and are reluctant
to study and retake the test. This can be
overcome by monitoring their test scores,
encouraging, motivating and requiring
them to study and retake the test.
There is no shame in failing a test, only
in not completing the course. Don't let
initial failure of a test become an obstacle
to advancement. Myself and most senior
enlisted have initially failed several end
of course tests. We continued to take the
tests until we passed the course.
Another obstacle to advancement
is completing enlisted performance
qualifications. Junior enlisted
members need to take the initiative
to complete these tasks and have a
senior person verify completion of the
tasks. Monitor subordinates' progress in
completing these requirements, do not let
them become obstacles to advancement.
History has shown advancement is
crucial in today's military. During my
father's time, the day of the career Seaman
ended in the Navy. During my time, the day of
the career Third Class Petty Officer has ended
in the Coast Guard. With a new administration
in Washington and unknown challenges ahead,
advancement is even more important now than
in the past. O
PAGE 2 THE WIRE TROOPER-TO-TROOPER |
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009
Army 1t' Lt. Roberto Flores Martinez, officer in charge of the J1 Safety Office,
displays his reflective safety gear near his Camp America office. Martinez
Gives guidance to senior leadership on all JTF safety issues.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
"I always compare safety with a credit
card," Army 1t Lt. Roberto Flores Martinez
said. "It's better to have one and not need it,
than to need it and not have it."
That philosophy is the basis for
Martinez's office, the Joint Task Force
Guantanamo J-1 Safety Office.
"We ensure and oversee the safety
of all the JTF," Martinez continued. He
provides recommendations to JTF senior
leadership on areas in which special safety
considerations should or must be applied.
Martinez also takes guidance from JTF
commander, Navy Rear Adm. David M.
Thomas, Jr. On occasion, Thomas finds
a safety issue he believes needs special
attention or consideration, at which point
Martinez checks military regulations
on that subject to make a safety policy
"The leaders we have within the JTF
are some of the better in the armed forces,"
Martinez, now in his third year with
the JTF, said that personal safety is often
overlooked but is always important -
regardless of one's job.
"Accidents can happen to anyone,"
Martinez said. "Accidents don't recognize
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009 I MISSION
rank. Accidents don't
Accidents can happen
to anyone. We're here
to be proactive, not
readiness and situational
stressed that everyone's
attention to detail is the key.
"I believe all the policies are to be
complied with here," Martinez said, "but
the main point from the admiral is to make
sure everyone knows [Naval Station and
JTF safety policies]."
This guidance becomes increasingly
important when a new group of JTF Troops
"[Informing the new Troop rotations]
is the most important thing for the safety
office right now," Martinez said. "All tasks
are important, but that's the most critical
Martinez served with the Joint Detention
Group's external security element for his
first two years with the JTF, taking over
the safety office about four months ago.
Enlisted for 10 years before going through
officer training, Martinez has extensive
safety training. He holds two safety officer
courses under his belt, extensive hazardous
material training and civilian training with
Accidents can happen to anyone.
Accidents don't recognize rank.
Accidents don't recognize service.
Accidents can happen to anyone.
We're here to be proactive, not
reactive. -Army 1st Lt. Roberto
Puerto Rico's Electrical Power Authority.
"I wanted to taste all the different
sources we have in the U.S. Army,"
Martinez said. "I've volunteered here
for three years because I love the armed
forces," adding how much he thanks his
grandmother, daughters, wife and God for
all their support in his service.
Martinez said he believes that safety
policies and regulations shouldn't be
followed "just to comply. Do it to be a better
Trooper." He added he's glad he's able to
bring that betterment to JTF Troopers.
"The safety office, at the end of the day,
we're here for everyone," Martinez said.
All JTF commands have a designated
safety representative with additional
information on considerations for
individual jobs. To contact the JTF safety
office directly, call x9948, or stop by the
newly renovated office at Camp America
building 2525. O
THE WIRE I PAGE 3
Chaplains join hands
* Conference supports joint partnership
for the Americas
Army Staff Sgt.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Chaplains, religious program specialists and chaplain assistants
from all branches of services, active and reserve, descended on
Guantanamo Bay this week to attend the U.S. Southern Command
"The theme is 'Partnership for the Americas,' said Air Force Lt.
Col. Randy A. Marshall, SOUTHCOM deputy command chaplain.
"We've borrowed the SOUTHCOM theme and applied it here. How
do we do a better job at being engaged in our area of focus? How do
we reach into the chaplaincy and be more effective and pull our assets
The chaplains at U.S. Southern Command provide the spiritual,
moral and ethical leadership and counsel across the full spectrum of
"We focus on Central and South America and the Caribbean and
provide religious support to our service members and engage with our
military, partner nations and non-government organizations in that
area," Marshall said.
Chaplains from U.S. Army South, Air Force Southern Command,
Special Operations Command, Navy 4th Fleet, Office of the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as National Guard and
Reserve chaplains just to name a few attended in support of the
"There are approximately 25 chaplains, religious program specialists
and chaplain assistants attending the program," Marshall said.
PAGE 4 I THE WIRE
Each participant briefed the group on their area of expertise
and explained what's going on, what needs they have, and what
challenges they face.
"It is a collaborative atmosphere where we can suggest
resources and partner together from this level to address that,"
Marshall added. "One area we will talk about is religious support
to our contractors who work with the military [to identify] how we
effectively reach all our folks who may be going through difficult
The conference addressed communication processes in a joint
environment including the different doctrine and philosophies that
can sometimes make inter-service operations confusing.
"The take-away will be a sense of understanding and
cooperation," Marshall said. "The communication process is an
important thing. We want to walk away with a greater understanding
of each other, so that as we converse with one another, we will not
just know the person but know the heart of that individual as well.
It's a combination of mission and personal understanding."
This is the second conference that SOUTHCOM has held, with
the first taking place in Miami one year ago.
"The purpose of the chaplain's conference [here] is to give our
senior chaplain leadership a chance to have an opportunity to see
what goes on at Guantanamo," Marshall said.
During the four-day seminar, participants met with Joint Task
Force leadership and also toured the detention facility.
"The entire staff here has done an incredible job of helping us,"
Marshall said. "Everything was coordinated by phone. There's no
way we could have done all this without them." O
MISSION I FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009
Army Staff Sgt.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
New faces can be found around Camp
Justice with the arrival of a new Air
Force Expeditionary Civil Engineering
The new squadron is mostly comprised
of airmen from the West Virginia Air
National Guard but a few are also from the
Michigan and Hawaii Air National Guard.
"Our main goal is to maintain and supply
Camp Justice and the Expeditionary Legal
Complex," said Air Force Master Sgt.
Charles Brown, squadron first sergeant.
Camp Justice was established to support
the military commissions taking place
at the ELC. Everyone from world media
to legal support staff can be found there
during commissioning sessions.
Since falling in on Camp Justice
operations, the mission these airmen face
is not new, but for some of their younger
members it will be the first time they take
what they learned in school and apply it to
a real-world mission.
"We have some real good seasoned
veterans in each shop," Brown said. "We
rely on [these airmen] to mentor and show
leadership to the younger ones and lead
them down the right path."
One new mission this squadron is falling
in on, but would also like to complete, is
providing the ELC and Camp Justice with
"Right now [Camp Justice and the ELC
are] powered by generators. We are looking
forward to getting the power supply of
generators on to a ground supply," said
Air Force Lt. Col. John Dulin, squadron
While adjusting to their mission and
new surroundings, the airmen have taken
the time to scour Guantanamo Bay and take
advantage of all the recreation opportunities
it has to offer.
"I don't think there is any activity you
could name that they haven't already tried
out," Dulin said. "I've also been impressed
to hear that they have gotten involved in the
community as well through volunteering."
During the six-month tour these airmen
have here, it is clear the mission is first.
"What we bring to the table is our
experience," said Dulin. "We are an
expeditionary civil engineering force and
we are here to carry out the mission of the
Commission Support Group." O
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009 I MISSION
THE WIRE I PAGE 5
GTMO United meets up with W.T. Sampson Lady Pirates, Feb. 24 for a league game. After the first half, GTMO United had a
two-goal lead and went on to win the game.
2009 Captain's Cup Women's
Army Staff Sgt. the field at any time, teams try to have at least Soccer League
Gretel Sharpee 10 players on the roster to allow for at least the As of Feb. 23
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs hope of a substitute during a game.
Each game consists of two 25-minute TEAM Wins Losses
Soccer nets placed at the ends of Cooper halves with a five-minute break in-between. 1 Soccer Bombers 2 0
Field's football field transformed it into the Games generally start at 6 p.m., although late
hosting ground for another night of competition starts are made to accommodate the playing of 2 GTMO United 1 1
for the 2009 Captain's Cup Women's Soccer evening revelry.
League. The next league will likely start in early 3. W.T. Sampson Lady Pirates
A modest four teams make up the league that summer. 1 1
plays one game a week until Mar. 17, if playing For more information or view the schedule 4 Lady DOCs 0 2
isn't interupted by the last phase of construction of the next game, stop by the G.J. Denich Gym
on Cooper Field. Since nine players can be on or call: 77262. O
LOCAL SPORTS I FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009
PAGE 6 1 THE WIRE
We're just not that into this movie
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
"He's Just Not That Into You" is a quote first popularized by
"Sex and the City" during the season six episode "Pick-a-Little,
Talk-a-Little." The line later became the title for a New York
Times bestselling relationship advice book by Greg Behrendt and
As one of the mass of "Sex and the City" fans who flocked to the
bookstore and purchased the literary gem, I had high expectations
for the film adaptation. "He's Just Not That Into You" follows a
group of interconnected twenty- and thirty-something folks who
attempt to navigate their romantic lives.
The star-studded ensemble successfully breathed life into the
too-tricky reality of trying to
read the signs of the opposite
sex with its endearing
moments and comical
twists (thank you, Drew
Barrymore). The lack of
chic-flick cliches in the first
two acts would seem to make
the movie more palpable for
male audiences. There isn't
any make-over medley;
no chase scenes where a
character keeps another from
going somewhere or getting
married; and no popular
"falling in love" montage.
However, true to chic-
flick form, cliches wrap
the movie up in a very
predictable and syrupy-
sweet ending. There is the
last-minute "I'm a jerk"
realization, the softening
of a pessimistic heart, and
even an "I'm a better person
because of you" line.
The bottom line is it had
a good start but a poor finish.
It's safe to say that I'm just
not that into this movie.
2 hours, 9 minutes
Romantic comedies rarely surprise people with a clever or unique
concept; such genre films play to their audience. Yet, "He's Just Not
That Into You" seems it could actually have a unique twist to it. But
by the film's end, there is nothing special about it.
Featuring a megastar ensemble cast, "He's Just Not That Into You"
has its moments. The film has about five separate relationships, each
intertwining through co-workers, friends and cheating husbands.
Individually, most of the characters are bland, but they play off each
other well enough and seem somewhat interesting.
Ginnifer Goodwin's character, Gigi, is the film's center: a
twenty-something who obsesses so much over each trivial detail
of a date that it borders on pure
crazy. Goodwin's character is a smart
choice for the ensemble's center since
neurotic women always make for
The only other notable character
is Alex (Justin Long), a bar owner
and friend of Gigi's latest obsession,
Conor (Kevin Connolly). Alex goes
through women like a box of tissue,
not really caring how many he throws
aside. His hilarious and extremely
blunt relationship advice to Gigi is
easily the best part of the film.
With the exception of a few
interview-like interludes sprinkled in,
the rest of the movie is passing at best.
Jennifer Aniston out-acts everyone (as
usual) in her marriage-less relationship
with Ben Affleck; Bradley Cooper
cheats on his wife, Jennifer Connelly,
with a yoga-instructing Scarlett
Johansson; and Drew Barrymore
bemoans the technology age of dating
without actually meeting anyone.
All the intertwining relationships
have their moments of sharp writing
and comedic delivery, but the set-up
of such honest characters like Gigi and
Alex is killed by film's end. Without
giving much away, the climax feels
like a genre cop-out that could have
been a pleasant surprise. Too bad
interesting is not what sells tickets.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009 MOVIE RECON
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009 | MOVIE RECON
THE WIRE I PAGE 7
A snake with legs? A lizard without? These were
just a few of the creatures featured at the rep-
tile and amphibian show, hosted by Dr. Peter
Tolson, Feb. 22 at Windmill Beach. With well over a
dozen different reptiles and amphibians to display
and discuss, the show captivated approximately 200
residents of both Joint Task Force and Naval Station
Guantanamo Bay. Tolson, director of conservation
and research at the Toledo Zoo, Toledo, Ohio, visits
Guantanamo regularly to conduct research on the
Cuban boa and hutia population.
JTF Guantanamo photos by
Army Staff Sgt. Emily J. Russell
Jonathan Goble passes a handful of washers and murky water to his teammate Erika Bilchik during "The Swamp Swim"
event of the Fear Factor competition, Feb. 24.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Fear and uncertainty was felt by 16
Guantanamo Bay residents who scrounged
up enough courage to partake in the first
Morale Welfare and Recreation Fear
Factor competition, Feb. 24.
"When you walked up to the
[Windjammer] pool and the first thing
you smelled were rotting fish, you started
to really think about the kind of fools
that would sign up for such a challenge,"
said Meghan Phillips, a participant in the
Only eight two-person teams accepted
the challenge to compete in the three events
that tested their mettle to do whatever was
deemed necessary to win the competition.
Despite the limited competitors that could
sign up, many spectators showed up to
watch the grossly humorous events as
well as to provide support.
The Fear Factor competition began
with "The Swamp Swim," where one
member of each team would submerse
themselves in a container filled with murky
water, dead fish and squid. The task was
to retrieve 20 washers that were thrown
in the bucket in less than three minutes.
While most tried to keep their face above
teammates Liam waisn ana Iviegnan rnillps
swim to victory, winning the competition.
Walsh and Phillips each won a new iPod.
PAGE 101 THE WIRE
water, as time wore on they succumbed
to dunking themselves entirely to obtain
all the washers. After the first event, two
teams were eliminated; one didn't finish
in the time allowed and the other had
the longest time.
The second event was "The Gory
Gorge," where the other team member
consumed a pound of unidentifiable
meats in the fastest time possible. The
four fastest teams advanced to the final
round. Participants had five minutes
to put away an assortment of pig feet,
pork stomach, pig tail, pig ears, beef
heart, beef tongue and beef liver. Two
team members managed to finish their
plates while the other four teams had
their plates weighed to determine who
ate the most.
"All the food was pretty greasy and
that was what grossed me out," said
Erika Bilchik. "I really wasn't trying to
taste any of it."
The third and final event was "The
Gauntlet," where the last four teams
competed to finish the obstacle course
in the quickest time possible. The
event started with one team member
climbing an inflatable iceberg to obtain
four bandanas, just to knot them on
an underwater rope. The member was
only allowed four breaths to tie all the
RATION I FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009
Army Staff Sgt.
Emily J. Russell
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
A bombing range seems like an unlikely
location to find rare species of plants, but
amid the destruction is a home to many
unlikely plants and animals.
Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, like all
military reservations, practices conservation
and takes an active interest in the flora and
fauna that grace the hills and valleys of the
base. Whether developing environmental
policy and evaluating the impact of military
operations on the environment, implementing
measures for preservation and continual
improvement or preventing pollution on
land and in water, it takes a team effort to
get the job done.
Alberto Areces, a Cuban-born world-
class botanist, recently visited the base to
study the local flora and identify various
species of plants.
"Since the first time I came here with the
nature conservancy I've gotten acquainted
with the local flora," Areces said. "I know
what's here and can identify important
After completing master's degrees in
both Belgium and Austria, Areces returned
to Cuba and began working as a researcher
and associate professor at the University of
Havana, eventually accepting a job proposal
from the New York Botanical Gardens where
he worked for 10 years. Currently he is the
director of the Luis Mufioz Martin Botanical
Gardens in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"The first time I came [to Guantanamo], I
found species that have been extinct from the
main island [Cuba]," Areces said. "They are
still alive here because the mine fields have
protected a great deal of plants everywhere,
maybe on both sides of the fence. You see
more than you expect to see, [especially] at
the bombing range."
During his first trip here in the mid-
1990s, Areces found Pereskia zinniiflora,
commonly known as Abrojo or Erizo, a plant
that belongs to the cactus family and is the
most primitive genus of the cactus family.
"The naval base is important because
it is one of two main centers of plant bio-
diversity and evolution in the West Indies
for dry regions," Areces continued. "The
other is on the border between Haiti and
the Dominican Republic."
Recently Areces returned to look for the
Pereskia and identify other plants around
Guantanamo. It is the first time he's been
mtlUCILU nma C UIIC1LU UI ULIC LUI0 IVIUIIUL IVIdlLIII DULdIlICdIl UaldNUC IUadLCU
in San Juan, Puerto Rico, identifies an ebony tree located on the Leeward side
during a recent visit to Guantanamo Bay.
back since his initial visit.
"My finding is important because all
the cactus plants belong to the western
hemisphere," Araces explained. "There
are no cactus whatsoever in the deserts of
Africa and Asia; cacti belong to America
and originated after the South Atlantic
Ocean was formed, over 65 million years
ago. This [particular] plant originated about
60 million years ago."
The relics of nearly 2,000 species of
cacti found in the Americas are found here
in the Caribbean and Central America.
"Here, you'll find the most primitive
genera," Araces continued. "Pereskia is the
most primitive one. The genus has around
16 or 17 species. In Cuba there are two
species; in the Dominican Republic, maybe
three or four."
Because these plants are so primitive,
they are easily susceptible to destruction.
"These are highly threatened and
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009 I NEWS & INFORMATION
endangered plants," Araces said. "They
are quite adapted to their locations but
cannot sustain significant changes in their
environment. We must protect them."
Areces explained the reproductive
nature of the plant and the importance of
finding these particular trees.
"The species is dioecious, which means
there are male and female trees," Areces
said. "The plant is capable of producing
seeds and perpetuating itself over time;
however, if you don't have male and
female trees close together, you'll never
Finding the trees close together gives
Areces hope that there are both male and
female trees so the species can continue.
"[Guantanamo] is really an amazing
place and has been an interesting personal
experience," Areces said. "I've seen many
species [here] I've never seen on the main
THE WIRE I PAGE 11
1stinal fortitude key
factor in contest
FEAR from 10
Once that was completed, they swam to the side
of the pool to hand tag their team member to proceed
in the second portion of the event. Both members ran
to the shallow end where the second member would
buddy tow the other to the deep end of the pool. The
event was completed as soon as they touched the wall
at the deep end.
The winning team of Phillips and Walsh finished the
final event in 4 minutes, 59 seconds and were awarded
two iPods. Second place was Travis Thomas and
Forrest Rodman, who finished in 5 minutes, 57 seconds
and received two $50 Navy Exchange certificates. The
third place team of Bilchik and Jonathan Goble finished
in 6 minutes, 12 seconds and received two MWR gift
This Fear Factor competition was made possible by
Liberty Center staff Rebecca Reed, Trecia Anderson,
Norris Brown, Jason Hamilton and Cinco Brian. Jeffrey
Shaw of MWR and the Windjammer Pool lifeguards
also assisted in the coordination and success of the
"This is the first time that Liberty has offered [Fear
Factor] for the adults and it turned out great," Anderson
said. "There is a good possibility that it will become an
annual event." O
NEWS & INFORMATION I FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009
PAGE 12 1 THE WIRE
Staying in the fold
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Diamond, a member of the Navy Expeditionary Guard Battalion, displays
his fresh reenlistment certificate after Joint Detention Group Deputy Commander Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Hayhurst
administered the reenlistment oath, Feb. 20. The NEGB, which falls under the JDG, provides security and support
for the detention facilities of Joint Task Force Guantanamo. JTF Guantanamo photo by Army Staff Sgt. Brian
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009 I VOICE OF THE FORCE
THE WIRE I PAGE 13
Scott C. Brill
JTF Guantanamo Deputy Command Chaplain
Alex Haley, the author of the book Roots, said: "In all of us
there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage to know
who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching
knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our
attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the
most disquieting loneliness."
During Black History Month I have thought alot about my
family history. My dad is a huge genealogy buff, and has gathered
quite a tapestry of family names, occupations, and the like. It is
fascinating and telling to say the least. If you ever wondered why
you walk or talk a certain way, genealogy may have the answer.
Alex Haley described the writing of Roots as "a spiritual
experience." After learning about his great-grandfather he said,
"That was when I received the bite of the genealogical bug a bite
for which there is no cure."
The question is how to get started? Someone who really
knows family research, James E. Faust, wrote, "Each of us has
a fascinating family history. Finding your ancestors can be one
of the most interesting puzzles you can work on." He gives these
simple suggestions to genealogical research. "Ask living members
of your family what they know about your extended family. Then
you can reach out to other sources such as vital records, church
records, census records, and military records. You can easily
access a vast collection of family history records using the Internet
on your home computer."
Of course, knowing our roots is not without its challenges.
How far we can go back depends on many variables. For every
person and culture, there are tremendous challenges and blessings
to family history research. Thanks to the science ofDNA, Internet
technology and heavenly help, many doors once closed are now
opening. So why not start today? Think of genealogy in GTMO
as a free lyceum "family" movie. The characters will amaze and
I urge everyone to begin now to unlock the knowledge of who
you really are by learning more about your roots. I can hardly think
of a better source of inspiration and guidance than family history.
Learning about the adventures, trials and triumphs of those that
have gone before, can give us encouragement in a way nothing
else can. We soon learn that they were very real, living people with
difficulties, hopes and dreams like we have today.
As you know, this is a historic time to be in Guantanamo Bay.
Someday our personal history will be the very thing that strengthens
and inspires our children's children. Begin a personal journal;
what you might see as ordinary, can be the spark that enlightens a
generation of your posterity.
It is my personal testimony that we are all part of God's family
tree. God created the races, not racism. We are His sons and daughters.
We are not alone. We are all family. Families are forever. The most
important record in our pedigree chart is, "I am a child of God."
"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming
of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he shall turn the
heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children
to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Malachi 4:5-6. O
l I li i i 'i
Sunday: 7 a.m. Confession
7:30 a.m. Mass
Wednesday: 11 a.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.
Sunday: 6 p.m.
Wednesday: 7 p.m.
LIFE & SPIRIT I FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009
PAGE 14 1 THE WIRE
Coast Guard Petty Officer 3'd Class Matthew Webster (left) and Petty Officer 2nd
Class David Webster are deployed together as part of Port Security Unit 305
from Fort Eustis, Va.
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class
Linda J. Andreoli
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Military service sometimes separates
family members, but in the case of two
Coast Guard brothers, it's giving them a
chance to serve together.
Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class
David Webster and Coast Guard Petty
Officer 3rd Class Matthew Webster are
members of Port Security Unit 305. The
military call runs strong in their family. One
set of grandparents served as Marines and
were married during World War II. Many
of their uncles served in the Marines, and
their father retired from the Navy. Now the
story continues with the Webster brothers.
David Webster serves as a food service
specialist. A second class petty officer, the
22-year-old entered the Coast Guard in2005
and studies food service management at
Tidewater Community College back home.
On the civilian side, he is a training chef
at an Italian restaurant and likes to watch
"Hell's Kitchen." He also plans to continue
his education and may apply for officer
candidate school. Like his older brother,
he joined right after high school. He didn't
join to follow in his brother's footsteps, but
he did consider his perspective.
"It was between the Coast Guard and
the Marines," he said. He chose the Coast
Guard because there were more education
opportunities and relatives gave him a
favorable impression of the service. "I
asked family members and everyone said
the Coasties were a great bunch to serve
with. I knew I wanted to serve somewhere
- I just wasn't sure where. I love the
Guard. I've been having a blast since I've
been in," he said.
Matthew Webster is a 28-year-old
electrician's mate with a Bachelor's degree
in mechanical engineering. He is working
on his master's degree in the same field and
when at home works as a nuclear engineer
at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The third
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009 I 15 MINUTES OF FAME
class petty officer joined the Coast Guard
after high school in 1999.
"I joined primarily for education and
as a back-up job," he said. "That and the
majority of family have been in the military
in one branch or another."
This is Mathew Webster's third
deployment. His first was here in 2002 and
his second was to Rota, Spain, in 2003.
Both were with PSU 305. He takes care of
electrical issues on the boats and at Coast
Guard facilities, including their assets at
the Joint Operations Center (JOC). Tasks
can range from changing light bulbs to
servicing boat consoles.
David Webster served for two months
in 2006 aboard the Coast Guard cutter
"Barque-Eagle," a sailing ship used to train
cadets. This is his first unit deployment. He
works as a communications watchstander
at the JOC and as a boat crewman for the
boat division. Unlike his brother, David
Webster's duties have nothing to do with
his rating, and although he enjoys food
service, doing something different is okay
"It's interesting to get the feel for what
everyone else does," he said. He was trained
in communications before the deployment
and is now working on his qualifications
for boat crewman. He has to demonstrate
knowledge about general boat handling
and how to respond to emergencies such as
fire, running aground and engine failure.
Unlike his deployment on the Eagle,
which was doing one job only and perfecting
it, this deployment has challenged his
"My job has changed a multitude
of times," David Webster said. "What
I originally was told I'd be doing is
completely different than what I'm doing
now." He said there have been new tasks,
jobs, information and resources and the
best way to handle it is to keep a "Semper
Gumby" or "always flexible" attitude.
Although his civilian and military jobs
are not identical, his training in the Coast
Guard has helped Mathew Webster in his
civilian career. "I've been in the Coast
Guard much longer than I've had a degree,
but I learned to read electrical schematics
in the Guard. That translates to my civilian
job and gives me a leg up over someone
who just got out of school," he said.
The brothers seem to have more of a
professional relationship than a mushy
family one. At times they are on opposite
schedules and only see each other
occasionally. When they do meet up, they
usually go to the movies, O'Kelly's or play
"Sometimes we meet up at the galley
and catch up find out what's going on,"
Mathew Webster said.
"It's humorous most of the time because
some people are just realizing we're
brothers," said David Webster.
Both brothers said having a family
member here is a good thing.
"It's a little piece of home that's with
you," he continued. Q
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