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    Monday, May 21, 2018-6:07:00P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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US Coast Guard recruitment team: NMI visit productive

A VISITING U.S. Coast Guard recruitment team met with 488 students and young adults on Saipan, Tinian and Rota during a week-long recruitment activity in the CNMI.

The team leader, Lt. Christine Igisomar, said some of the students have begun working on the required paperwork and plan to undergo training.

“We expect more to contact us in the coming weeks,” she told Variety.

In Sept. 2017, the team met with 262 students and young adults, seven of whom have either gone to boot camp or are in the process of going, she added.

“One big win for the Coast Guard this year was we got to swear in Luis Hofschneider,” she said. Luis Hofschneider is from Tinian and was sworn in by his brother, Lt. Freddy Hofschneider, on Tinian on May 4.

The U.S. Coast Guard recruitment team members headed by Lt. Christine T. Igisomar pose with prospective trainees.  Contributed photoThe U.S. Coast Guard recruitment team members headed by Lt. Christine T. Igisomar pose with prospective trainees. Contributed photo

Igisomar said some interested individuals asked them about the challenges involved in training.

“We shared our personal experiences with them, explaining that we didn’t have a problem with basic training, even those of us coming all the way from the CNMI,” she said.

Igisomar, who is from Saipan, said local students and young adults were encouraged to join the Coast Guard because they saw that her team consisted of three Pacific Islanders.

“I believe what convinced them to commit to the Coast Guard was seeing three locals wearing the Coast Guard uniform and speaking about their positive experiences in the service,” she added.

The other members of her team were Lt. Freddy Hofschneider from Tinian and Petty Officer Angelo Pangelinan from Guam.

Saipan  Mayor David M. Apatang with U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officers Angelo Pangelinan and Mark Projic.  Photo by Junhan B. TodiñoSaipan Mayor David M. Apatang with U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officers Angelo Pangelinan and Mark Projic. Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

“I think that the small size of the Coast Guard and the humanitarian missions of search and rescue, drug interdiction, and marine environmental protection also appealed to them,” Igisomar said.

Igisomar at the same time expressed her appreciation for the continued support and assistance of the CNMI municipal governments and the Public School System.

She said when they were on island in September last year, the Saipan mayor’s office provided them with a centralized location where they could talk to students and young adults  one-on-one.

“They were so accommodating and went out of their way to support our mission,” she said, as she thanked Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang.

She said that the mayor,  a Vietnam War veteran and former Army recruiter himself, was glad to be part of a recruiting mission again.

Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas, 2nd right, with Luis Hofschneider, 3rd left, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Christine T. Igisomar, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Freddy Hofschneider, Sens. Jude Hofschneider and Frank Cruz.  Photo by Junhan B. TodiñoTinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas, 2nd right, with Luis Hofschneider, 3rd left, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Christine T. Igisomar, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Freddy Hofschneider, Sens. Jude Hofschneider and Frank Cruz. Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

“Using that momentum, we quickly gained support from Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicholas of Tinian, and Mayor Efraim Atalig of Rota. The counselors and leadership from all the public schools, and also Grace Christian Academy and Mount Carmel School, have been phenomenal,” Igisomar said.

After their recruiting effort, Igisomar said they will analyze the list of prospective Coast Guard applicants and conduct outreach via phone and email to help them complete the process.

“We hope to make a trip similar to this next year,” she added.

Igisomar said she is convinced that “we in the Marianas are well suited for the Coast Guard. The ocean is our playground, and our culture has taught us to respect the  ocean’s bounty, and to be fully aware of the ocean’s power. These life lessons fit very well with the Coast Guard’s search and rescue and marine environmental protection missions.”

She said they are hoping to see more Pacific Islanders from the Marianas as members of the Coast Guard in the near future.