Meet the Polar Star crew – DC3 Courtney Will

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Courtney Will, a damage controlman deployed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, is responsible for cutter maintenance and ensuring the safety equipment is working properly, Feb. 3, 2017. The Polar Star’s crew conducts this deployment as part of the yearly operation to provide needed supplies to the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic research stations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Courtney Will, a damage controlman deployed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, is responsible for cutter maintenance and ensuring the safety equipment is working properly, Feb. 3, 2017. The Polar Star’s crew conducts this deployment as part of the yearly operation to provide needed supplies to the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic research stations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley.

DC3 Courtney Will is deployed aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star as part of its mission to assist in the annual resupply of U.S. Antarctic Program research stations. The National Science Foundation manages the U.S. Antarctic Program.

Background:
Name/rate/rank: DC3 Courtney Will
Number of trips to Antarctica: one
Unit/department: Damage Control

Q. Where is your hometown?
A. Mauriceville, Texas

Q. How long have you been in the Coast Guard?
A. Five years as of Feb. 14th

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Courtney Will, a damage controlman deployed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, is responsible for cutter maintenance and ensuring the safety equipment is working properly, Jan. 12, 2017. The Polar Star’s crew is responsible for providing a safe channel through the Antarctic ice for the resupply ships that visit the station. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Robert Kuhl.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Courtney Will, a damage controlman deployed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, is responsible for cutter maintenance and ensuring the safety equipment is working properly, Jan. 12, 2017. The Polar Star’s crew is responsible for providing a safe channel through the Antarctic ice for the resupply ships that visit the station. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Robert Kuhl.

Q. Why did you join the Coast Guard? Why do you stay/what keeps you motivated?
A. I wanted to serve my country and my father did not want me to join the Navy. When I told my father that I wanted to join the Coast Guard, he cried and told me how proud he was of me. My family has an extensive history of serving in the Navy, including my father, grandfather and great grandfather. They are the biggest support system I have.

Q. What is your unit history?
A. Boot camp, Sector Field Office in Galveston, Texas (worked as a non-rate in the Damage Control office), DC “A” School in Yorktown, Virginia and Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star.

Q. What are some of your responsibilities on Polar Star?
A. I ensure the sewage system is running and examine all emergency response equipment to verify that it is working and ready (this includes water pumps, hoses, fire fighting protective equipment and other essential gear). We inspect the ship for watertight integrity, including maintenance of water tight doors and hatches. We take these proactive measures to ensure the safety and security of the ship if there were ever a flooding emergency.

Q. What do you do on a typical day?
A. We are ready to respond to and fix anything that breaks (rattles apart) on an average day. If it requires welding, we are on the case. If the doors need adjusting, we take care of it. If the sewage backs up, we are responding to it.

Q. What’s your most memorable experience on Polar Star? Why?
A. I got to weld the d-rings on the mast for the ship’s pennants while in the shipyard. I was lifted up by a huge crane while it was super windy. However, to be able to see that my work that day still holds up in harsh Antarctic conditions, especially as a new welder, is something I am proud of!

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Courtney Will (left), a damage controlman deployed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, ensures the working condition of onboard safety equipment with members of Polar Star’s crew, Jan. 12, 2017. The Polar Star’s crew conducts this deployment as part of the yearly operation to provide needed supplies to the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic research stations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Robert Kuhl.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Courtney Will (left), a damage controlman deployed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, ensures the working condition of onboard safety equipment with members of Polar Star’s crew, Jan. 12, 2017. The Polar Star’s crew conducts this deployment as part of the yearly operation to provide needed supplies to the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic research stations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Robert Kuhl.

Q. Why is this mission (Operation Deep Freeze) important? How do you/your crew contribute?
A. We are supplying this amazing community of researchers and staff and support their efforts with the food and fuel they need for an entire year. Being on this boat and coming all the way from Australia, we experienced what it is like to not have access to fresh vegetables and milk. I can only imagine what it is like to be in Antarctica for such long periods of time without such necessities.

Q. What do you do for fun when not on duty (on or off the ship)? Hobbies?
A. Back in Seattle, I do a lot of exploring. I am new to the Pacific Northwest and I am enjoying a lot of hiking. I like to lose myself in the woods and work my way back. I love the adventure of being in nature. If I can find an adventure, I am all for it! I also like experience new places both on and off the boat.

Q. Anything else you’d like for us to know/include?
A. I would not be where I am today without the love and support of my parents. I want them to know how grateful I am for helping me become the person I am.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Courtney Will, a damage controlman deployed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, is responsible for cutter maintenance and ensuring the safety equipment is working properly, Feb. 3, 2017. The Polar Star’s crew is responsible for providing a safe channel through the Antarctic ice for the resupply ships that visit the station. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Courtney Will, a damage controlman deployed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, is responsible for cutter maintenance and ensuring the safety equipment is working properly, Feb. 3, 2017. The Polar Star’s crew is responsible for providing a safe channel through the Antarctic ice for the resupply ships that visit the station. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley.

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