Meet the Polar Star crew – Seaman Allison Follett

Seaman Allison Follett, a deck department crew member aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, stands for a photo in front of the ship while standing the in port watch while the cutter was visiting Sydney, Australia, Dec. 31, 2016. Follett is one of more than 140 crew members who make up the crew of the 399-foot heavy icebreaker, which is homeported in Seattle. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley.

Seaman Allison Follett, a deck department crew member aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, stands for a photo in front of the ship while standing the in port watch while the cutter was visiting Sydney, Australia, Dec. 31, 2016. Follett is one of more than 140 crew members who make up the crew of the 399-foot heavy icebreaker, which is homeported in Seattle. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley.

Seaman Allison Follett 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: Seaman Allison Follett
Schooling: Biology Degree from Colorado State University
Unit/department: Deck Department, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star

Q. Where is your hometown?
A. Littleton, a suburb of Denver, Colorado

Q. How long have you been in the Coast Guard?
A. 3.5 months

Q. Why did you join the Coast Guard? Why do you stay/what keeps you motivated?
A. I wanted to do something different than what I was doing; I wanted something with more opportunities. I really, really love to travel and the Coast Guard pays me to see places like Sydney and Antarctica. We really have a good group of people aboard, and that atmosphere helps build a positive environment and location to work.

Q. What is your unit history?
A. This is my first unit right out of boot camp. I graduated boot camp on November 4th, 2016.

Q. What are some of your responsibilities on the Polar Star?
A. Helm and lookout while underway. When we’re in port, basic maintenance, including painting the ship and an in-port gangway petty officer of the watch. I would like to work towards becoming a Boatswain’s Mate of the Watch. I’m still looking at all available rates to decide what path I would like to take in my service career.

Q. What do you do on a typical duty day?
A. Underway, we have been working on drills including fire, flooding, man overboard, and abandon ship. We also spend lots of time spent studying and learning the ship’s systems.

A whale shark swims near the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star during a swim call held south of Hawaii, Dec. 22, 2016. The Polar Star is conducting 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 Senior Chief Petty Officer Craig O’Brien.

A whale shark swims near the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star during a swim call held south of Hawaii, Dec. 22, 2016. The Polar Star is conducting 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 Senior Chief Petty Officer Craig O’Brien.

Crew members of the 399-foot Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star enjoy a swim call in the tropical waters south of Hawaii, Dec. 22, 2016. The Polar Star is conducting 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 Senior Chief Petty Officer Craig O’Brien.

Crew members of the 399-foot Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star enjoy a swim call in the tropical waters south of Hawaii, Dec. 22, 2016. The Polar Star is conducting 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 Senior Chief Petty Officer Craig O’Brien.

Q. What’s your most memorable experience on the Polar Star? Why?
A. Swim call with a whale shark in the middle of the ocean with nothing below us for thousands of feet! We got to jump from the ship and swim with a small (8-10’) whale shark. It was an amazing experience!

Q. Why is this mission (Operation Deep Freeze) important? How do you/your crew contribute?
A. I think it is really cool; I get to go to Antarctica. How many people get to say they get paid to go there and see penguins, visit McMurdo and assist the research missions there? I studied biology in school, so I can’t wait to get to talk with the scientists there and see what they do.

Q. What do you do for fun when not on duty (on or off the ship)? Hobbies?
A. I really enjoy hiking and swimming. Growing up in the Rockies, I really enjoyed getting out in the wilderness. Aboard, I am focused on staying shape as well as spending time with my shipmates.

Q. Anything else you’d like for us to know/include?
A. I like being on this boat, because it gives me a good opportunity to learn about the many rates in the service, allowing me the opportunity to make a better choice for what I would like to do next.

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