Videos: Today's Military
    Coast Guard

    The Go-To Guy(04:46)

    Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Chris Chambers, a member of the Coast Guard Reserve, participates in many exciting activities while on the job. A boatswain’s mate knows all there is to know about a boat, and he or she also assists with federal law enforcement.

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Speaker 1: Hey, guys. It's Carly. Are you interested in pursuing a career that promises adventure and the honor of serving our nation? Well, you're about to meet Chris, a boatswain's mate 2nd class in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. We'll check out a day in the life of his shoes to see what the Coast Guard's all about. It's all happening right now on the opening.

Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Chris Chambers: Hey, everybody. My name is Chris Chambers, and I'm in the U.S. Coast Guard. Come check out a day in the life of a boatswain's mate 2nd class. I joined the Coast Guard August of 2002 shortly after I got out of high school. I wanted to have a job in law enforcement at the time. I was too young. I was also considering the Military, so the Coast Guard seemed like a real exciting job, and I went for it. My current position in the Coast Guard is a boatswain's mate 2nd class. Boatswain's mates are in charge of the boat crews for various missions.

I get started off in the morning. We have physical fitness, usually do that three times a week. We start off with a run, and then we do some circuit training. The purpose of PT is to keep you physically fit so that you can do your job and also to keep you healthy.

This morning we already did our PT exercises. We got together. We did a couple runs around the base, and now we're getting ready to go out on our 47-foot motor lifeboat and conduct some helo-ops.

We did helicopter operations; we call them "helo-ops" for short. We trained on the basket being lowered to the Coast Guard boat, so when we have to put an injured person in the basket to receive immediate medical attention. And a Coast Guard rescue swimmer deployed from our boat, and the Coast Guard helicopter practiced on getting that rescue swimmer back up into the helicopter. It's important that we train all the time because, when a real search-and-rescue case happens, it's not always going to be in calm seas. So the more you train that, you can actually coordinate and be efficient at it.

Right now we're getting on the way to do a machine gun shoot with our 240Bravo machine gun. We're going to head out about seven miles; that's required for any machine gun shoot.

We did our machine gun shoot with our 240Bravo machine gun, which is mounted on the bow of the front of our small boat. We have to be proficient on that because we use our machine gun for port waterway and coastal security missions.

Misfire, misfire, misfire!

Speaker 2: We're going to do some random safety inspections, make sure that they have everything that they're supposed to have.

Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Chris Chambers: Just coming back into port, you have the port ambassador that wants to make sure that everything's in compliance with our federal regulations. Our main concern is the safety of the public, so you want to make sure they have the right safety gear on board. There was no violation, so they were free to go and return to base.

The rank starts in the Coast Guard when you graduate full count you're a Seaman. After Seaman, you become a petty officer. After petty officer, you have the chief and then the master chief. That's the highest rank you can obtain in this side.

Being in the Coast Guard, it pays for all my college. The pay in the Coast Guard varies. You have your base pay. On top of that you have your housing allowance, your clothing allowance, a food allowance — all that is added on top of your base pay.

Coming to port!

It's a great sense of accomplishment, being in charge where people depend on me and they come to me for advice, leadership or mentorship.

Chief Warrant Officer Jim Dubea: Chambers has become one of the go-to guys for his supervisors. When there's a problem, when there's something, he's the high man. He's the go-getter, the "hard charger," as we like to say in the Coast Guard. He cares about his job. He cares about the missions that he's given.

Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Chris Chambers: I hope to join a police department and one day, hopefully, you know, join a federal agency. Being in the Coast Guard has made me a better person, a lot stronger person.

Well, there you have it, thanks for checking out a day in my life, a boatswain's mate 2nd class in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Speaker 1: The Coast Guard offers a variety of exciting job opportunities, from security and intelligence to aviation or engineering, to one that might be right for you. To find out more, head to