Meet the Polar Star crew – YN2 Sarah Laicer

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Sarah Laicer, a yeoman aboard the Cutter Polar Star, sits on the frozen Ross Sea during ice liberty off the coast of Antarctica, Jan. 11, 2017. Crew members were given a few hours of ice liberty to take photos, play games and stretch their legs after a wee- long transit from Australia to Antarctica. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Sarah Laicer, a yeoman aboard the Cutter Polar Star, sits on the frozen Ross Sea during ice liberty off the coast of Antarctica, Jan. 11, 2017. Crew members were given a few hours of ice liberty to take photos, play games and stretch their legs after a wee- long transit from Australia to Antarctica. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley.

YN2 Sarah Laicer 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: YN2 Sarah Laicer
Married/Kids: Married for five months to another Coast Guard member (CS1 Alfred Laicer) / stepson is four years old
Number of trips to Antarctica: Second and final trip, as we are transferring to Kodiak this year.
Unit/department: Ship’s Office / Admin

Q. Where is your hometown?
A. Lamar, Colorado, but I’ve been away for almost 10 years. My family has since moved to Arcadia, Florida.

Q. How long have you been in the Coast Guard?
A. 11 years in April

Q. Why did you join the Coast Guard? Why do you stay/what keeps you motivated?
A. Both of my parents were in the Coast Guard (they met in the service)! I always heard them talking about it and, one day, I just decided to do it. My mother was the first female radioman (would be OS today). She was also the first radioman instructor at “A” school in Petaluma, California. I also enjoy the travel opportunities that the Coast Guard offers, like here in Antarctica.

Q. What is your unit history?
A. Station South Padre Island, TX from 2006-2008; YN “A” School, Coast Guard Cutter Midgett in Seattle from 2008-2011; Air Station Barbers Point, HI 2011-2015; and joined the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star crew in 2015.

Q. What are some of your responsibilities on Polar Star?
A. I’m currently qualified as an underway quartermaster of the watch, and other qualifications aboard. Additionally, I work with the crew on their administrative needs. I’m also one of the damage control petty officers aboard who assist the damage control technicians in maintaining the ship’s essential response equipment.

Q. What do you do on a typical duty day?
A. I augment the quartermaster of the watch rotations, I work in the ship’s office on administrative issues every day and I take care of the damage control petty officers’ responsibilities on the ship. Also, I assist with shipboard morale, including the ship’s newsletter, year book and other events.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Sarah Laicer, a yeoman aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, stands the bridge watch during icebreaking operations off the coast of Antarctica, Jan. 10, 2017. Crew members are authorized by the cutter’s command to wear their red ball cap once the cutter enters the Antarctic region. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Sarah Laicer, a yeoman aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, stands the bridge watch during icebreaking operations off the coast of Antarctica, Jan. 10, 2017. Crew members are authorized by the cutter’s command to wear their red ball cap once the cutter enters the Antarctic region. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley.

Q. What’s your most memorable experience on Polar Star? Why?
A. I would say all of the “first times”…to see the ice, to have ice liberty, to be near penguins, to have those first moments…those are the memorable moments. The penguins, though, are great to watch. They are so entertaining and are the best part of being down here!

Q. Why is this mission (Operation Deep Freeze) important? How do you/your crew contribute?
A. To be able to support the ongoing research efforts and their study of the effects of the environment is a noble mission. We get to help preserve an ongoing effort to better know our planet. We contribute by having a willing and positive crew that works together to ensure the mission can be done. You overcome all the little challenges and continue o get the job done.

Q. What do you do for fun when not on duty (on or off the ship)? Hobbies?
A. I like to play videogames and I email my husband A LOT. I try to work out on a regular schedule, so I can work around other crew members who all like to use the same equipment. I would also like to learn to start knitting. One of these days, I will learn to knit.

Q. Anything else you’d like for us to know/include?
A. One thing that was an interesting lesson to learn…always wear sunscreen in Antarctica. With the snow reflecting the light, you will get sun, and, if you are not ready, you will get burned!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,