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LT Tess Swiecanski
When I was first applying to colleges, I didn’t intend to pursue any branch of the military; however, after touring the United States Coast Guard Academy and speaking with prior service members, my mind was made up! Attending the USCGA was an ideal way to pursue higher education while knowing that at the end of four years, I would have a job that I loved.

I have always had a passion for helping others across the globe, and this, paired with the opportunity to travel for work and a love for the ocean, made the Coast Guard the perfect service for me! One of my favorite quotations is from Mr. Rogers: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” The USCGA offered me an opportunity to make a difference and be the helper I aspired to be.

After graduating, I spent two years as a deck watch officer onboard a large cutter, patrolling the Caribbean doing migrant and drug interdiction. I feel that the position gave me a high level of leadership for my age and confidence as a female in a male-dominated work environment. My second unit was Sector Puget Sound where I was a pollution responder in the Incident Management Department. IMD collaborates heavily with other environmental agencies such as Ecology and the EPA. When working a job in response, things can be exciting and somewhat nerve-racking! Incidents are unplanned and can happen at any time, and can range from a minor oil spill to a boat fire.

Overall, my work in the Coast Guard has helped build strong relationships with our partner agencies and establish a community among them. The country looks to us to enforce pollution regulations and hold people responsible for their actions, and I take pride in how rewarding and impactful my work is!

  LT Tess Swiecanski
LT Tess Swiecanski
U.S. Coast Guard Academy
31 Mohegan Avenue
New London, CT 06320
Tel: (860) 701-6321