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Mission Making a Difference

By Stefanie Senkow
August 28, 2019

First Class Cadet Jillian StuckeyCombine never-before-traveled ports, an unconventional ship and a “giving back” mission and you get a one-of-a-kind summer experience for four cadets.



The ports? Five African countries.

  • Dakar, Senegal
  • Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
  • Sekondi, Ghana
  • Lagos, Nigeria
  • Mindelo, Cabo Verde

“Very few Coast Guard officers get to travel to these ports,” said First Class Cadet Jillian Stuckey, who participated in the experience.

And the ship? The cutter was traded in for a U.S. naval ship—CARSON CITY.

“This ship is run by a civilian crew,” said Stuckey. “We got to see the bridge, which is completely different from our cutters. This “peek behind the curtain” will serve us well in our officer roles since we have to interact with these ships out in the fleet.”

But it’s the “giving back” mission that sets this assignment apart from others. Dancing with kids, playing musical chairs, delivering school supplies and boosting morale.

“Interactions with the orphans and impoverished children of each of the nations, giving back, and sharing American culture with people much less fortunate than me was truly rewarding,” said First Class Cadet George McBurney.

“This experience opened my eyes to international relations of the Coast Guard. I realize that I want to pursue a more humanitarian outlook after law enforcement,” said Stuckey.

And that’s only the beginning. Connect with Stuckey at [email protected] to get the full experience.