Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Sailor earns Coast Guard honor for time at sea

Sep. 9, 2012 - 11:50AM   |   Last Updated: Sep. 9, 2012 - 11:50AM  |  
Coast Guard FS2 Brittany Smith, who works on the Kodiak-based cutter SPAR, recently received her Permanent Cutterman's insignia.
Coast Guard FS2 Brittany Smith, who works on the Kodiak-based cutter SPAR, recently received her Permanent Cutterman's insignia. (Coast Guard via the AP)
  • Filed Under

KODIAK, Alaska — Serving five years on ship isn't an easy task for any Coast Guardsman.

Coast Guard FS2 Brittany Smith recently earned her Permanent Cutterman's insignia, an award for serving five cumulative years on ships. Smith is currently working on the Kodiak-based Coast Guard cutter SPAR.

"It's a pretty big deal," said Ens. Paul Milliken, who serves onboard SPAR. "It's something not a lot of people in the Coast Guard have, and not a lot of people on our boat have."

The insignia represents the professional training and service associate with a seagoing Coast Guard career, he said.

Milliken said the award is not seen frequently because most Coast Guardsmen don't want to be on the water for that long and float tours usually aren't more than three years.

"It's not really the norm anymore," Milliken said. "It takes a lot of individual effort and perseverance to be afloat for that long. You have to want to be on ships, and not a lot of people do."

Smith has been in the Coast Guard for seven years; five were spent afloat.

"As I've been in the Coast Guard longer it's been a big goal to get my Cutterman's pin," Smith said. "It's usually people that have more time in than I do."

Smith said she enjoys her time on Coast Guard cutters.

"I try to stay on boats as long as I can," she said. "I enjoy the adventure and sometimes not knowing what is going to happen day to day."

Living on a boat for that long has its challenges too.

"It makes you feel a little older than you really are," Smith said. "Being away from family and friends for so long — that part gets a little challenging."

Knowing that she's doing something she loves is what keeps her excited to be on boats.

"I enjoy cooking for the crew," Smith said. "I enjoy being able to make people happy because other people might be having a bad day and just having a good meal might make their day better."

Smith plans to continue serving tours afloat.

"If I can at least get to 15 years, that's my goal," she said.

Smith has spent her Coast Guard career on the West Coast. She has been based in Los Angeles and Alaska, and served time on the Coast Guard cutters Maple, Munro, Alex Haley and SPAR. She spent close to three years on the cutter Maple, based out of Sitka.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

Best federal contractors
The companies hiring the most veterans now

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook