Top enlisted Coast Guardsman visits Training Center Cape May

Coast Guard Training Center Cape May News
CAPE MAY, N.J. – The Coast Guard’s senior most enlisted member completed a two day visit with recruits and staff at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May and its tenant commands Wednesday.

Master Chief Petty Officer Michael P. Leavitt, the 11th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, toured the facility, met with high-performing Coast Guardsmen, and received briefings regarding numerous aspects of recruit training. Leavitt also held an “all hands” meeting with more than 200 crewmembers from the training center and its 13 tenant commands.

“Training Center Cape May is an incredible place where some outstanding men and women do some of our service’s most important work – train future Coast Guardsmen,” said Leavitt. “I’m always impressed by the quality of our new servicemembers who graduate here and the professionalism and competency of the staff that trains and supports them.”

Master Chief Petty Officer Michael P. Leavitt, the 11th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, addresses Coast Guardsmen stationed aboard Training Center Cape May, N.J., during an all hands meeting Dec. 4, 2013. Leavitt, the Coast Guard's senior enlisted member, met with the Coast Guardsmen as part of a two-day visit to the Coast Guard's only enlisted basic training facility. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Jennifer Nease.

Master Chief Petty Officer Michael P. Leavitt, the 11th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, addresses Coast Guardsmen stationed aboard Training Center Cape May, N.J., during an all hands meeting Dec. 4, 2013. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Jennifer Nease.

Leavitt and his wife, Debbie, also visited Training Center Cape May’s housing to see upgrades to the approximately 170 units over the past several years, which have included remodeled kitchens, central heat and A/C, new high-efficiency hot water heaters, expanded storage facilities, and much more. Training center staff also briefed the Master Chief on future projects to improve parking and outdoor recreation areas for the Coast Guard families in housing. Leavitt also toured Bruckenthal Hall, the housing for unaccompanied or single personnel, which will undergo an $800,000 rehabilitation project in fiscal year 2014.

The Coast Guard’s top enlisted member addressed a number of issues at the all hands meeting including the status of the service’s proposed physical fitness requirement, which recently underwent beta testing at a number of Coast Guard units around the country including Cape May. Leavitt said the next step is to develop a standardized fitness test that includes the right combination of exercises and is as gender neutral as possible.

“For those who would say physical readiness is not part of their job, I would say your job could change at any moment in this organization,” said Leavitt. “Deepwater Horizon and Superstorm Sandy proved that. During both those incidents of national significance, all rates and all ranks were deploying and recovering boom, carrying and routing dewatering pumps, and other mission essential response activities; therefore, all rates and ranks need to be ready to respond when their nation calls for help.”

Leavitt also addressed sexual assault in the Coast Guard. He condemned not only the actions of perpetrators, but he also encouraged to proactively intervene and avoid a bystander mentality at all costs.

“We as Coast Guardsmen cannot ignore this important issue and have to continue to talk about, be on the lookout for one another, seek to earn the trust of our shipmates and the American people, and do everything in our power to eliminate sexual assault from our service.”

The office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard was established by legislative action on Aug. 27, 1969, to provide the Commandant with a personal adviser and assistant in matters affecting the enlisted members of the Coast Guard, both active and reserve, and their families. The MCPOCG must be a living example of the Coast Guard’s Core Values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty. Individuals who are selected to serve in this prestigious position must possess the highest standards of professionalism and personal integrity.

For photos from this visit, click the above picture.

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