Advice for the Fleet: Part II


USCGA 2006
10-Year Member
Nov 25, 2007
In my first installment of "Advice once you reach the fleet." I talked about qualifications and your jobs. In my next installment of Advice for the Fleet, I'm going to hit the "fun".

There is a stereotype of members of sea services, not only the US Coast Guard, but also the Navy. The stereotype is about the nature of a sailor in port calls, drinking and finding women. People will call them "Dirty Sailors" and talk about their behavior as the go from port to port.

While this may have been "earned" on the "old days", assume that today's sea service is not quite like that. Sure, there are members of any group who may be looking for someone in a port or may have too much to drink. That doesn't have to be you.

Find something fun to do. I'm in my mid-20s. While I may legally drink, I often don't. Diet Coke is cheaper anyway, and come on now, free refills, can you beat that? I don't think anyone should be drunk in front of the people who work for them. Drinking to excess, or as some commanding officers say "no good comes from drinking after midnight." That is a generally true statement. I'll eat in a bar, but in port calls, I avoid drinking the vast majority of the time.

I'm a sports fan. Before a patrol, you know where/when you're going to pull into a location. I generally do TWO things, I look up any local teams that may be in season, and I find a sports bar with sports packages I'm interested in. I like the ESPN Zone in Baltimore, MD, King St. Bar and Grill in Charleston, SC; Jack Flatts in Key West, FL; the Stadium in Portland, ME; Chicky and Pete's in Philadelphia, PA; and my favorite:

I've been to a Tampa Bay Devil Rays game, Norfolk Admirals games, a Jacksonville Jaguars game, Norfolk Tide games, Portland Pirates game, a Maine Roller Derby match, a Washington Capitals game, Washington Nationals game, a Baltimore Orioles game, Boston Red Sox, and a Citadel basketball game. I enjoy the events and I have some stories when I leave.

You have to make your own fun in port calls, and you don't want that "fun" to affect the rest of your career/life.

I hit up parks and museums and forts...the works, and while there may be a bar scene, you don't need 100% of your port call time to be spent there, so mix it up a little.

That's my personnal advice, once you're of legal age, you can make your own, responsible decisions.