Meet Your Coast Guard Reserve

This is the seventeenth post of a month-long question and answer series, introducing members of the Coast Guard’s Pacific Northwest Reserve Force and recognizing their contributions to our country and community.

Chief Boatswain’s Mate Jordan Gere
U.S. Coast Guard Reserve
Port Security Unit 313 (Everett, WA)

Breanna Jordan Sounders

Q. Where is your hometown?
A. I was born in Missoula, Montana, but I was raised and spent most of my life in Snohomish, WA – a small town about 45 minutes North of Seattle.

Q. How long have you been in the Coast Guard? Prior AD, prior service?
A. I have been in the Coast Guard for 10 years, all as a reservist.

Q. Why did you join the Coast Guard? Why do you stay/what keeps you motivated?
A. I joined the Coast Guard to help people, which may sound like a canned response. But I grew up boating, fishing and being around the water. I loved the fact that the Coast Guard was about saving lives, helping people and keeping them safe.

Q. Have you been deployed since joining the reserves? If so, where and when?
A. Yes, I am currently deployed. Before this, my first deployment was to Kuwait with Port Security Unit (PSU) 313 in 2010 – 2011. I have also been to South Korea in support of Operation Foal Eagle – CJLOTs (Combined Joint Logistics over the Shore) and helped augment Coast Guard Station Bellingham during the Vancouver Olympics.

IMG_0782Q. What are some of your responsibilities while on duty?
A. Currently, I serve as the assistant boat chief for Port Security Unit 313 during this deployment. I assist with the 24/7 operations of Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (AT/FP) for Joint Task Force (JTF). I also assist with Distinguished Visitor Runs (DVs), transport of individuals and commissions.

Q. What do you do on a typical duty day?
A. There is no such thing as a typical day on this deployment. I am either underway for AT/FP, transports, DV runs, etc. Every day is different.

Q. What’s your most memorable experience since joining the Coast Guard?
A. Being able to travel to different places and meet different people, although saving someone’s life or assisting a boater in distress is very rewarding.

Q. What is your occupation outside of the Coast Guard? Where?
A. I am a middle school special education teacher in Snohomish, WA. I am also a high school assistant wrestling coach and a middle school head wrestling coach.

Q. How do you balance Coast Guard and civilian life? Any challenges?
A. Balancing the Coast Guard and civilian life can be very difficult at times, especially when you are gone for long periods of time. Luckily, I have an employer who is very supportive in my military career. In my role as a chief, I am constantly working on Coast Guard work at home, making sure members are ready for drill, fielding any questions that come up during the month and checking in with everyone.

Q. Are there any skills you’ve learned through the Coast Guard that you apply to your civilian career and vice versa?
A: A lot of my coaching background plays into how I am as a leader and as a teacher. Skills from my Coast Guard career or my civilian career often benefit the other. They are very complementary.

Q. How does being in the reserves impact the service as a whole?
A. The reserves are a huge component to the Coast Guard service as a whole. We bring a lot of valuable skills and mindsets to the services. Reserves have civilian careers as mechanics, engineers, teachers, police officers, firefighters, etc. that bring a whole new perspective to what and how we do things in the Coast Guard.

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