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My Coast Guard
Commentary | April 21, 2021

Tour a National Security Cutter (CGC Midgett)

Storm the deck of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett, stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii, then join the crew for some ice cream in the mess deck. 

Key Terms

  • Communications Watch Stander- Someone who is responsible for receiving response calls and making sure we stay in communications with those who need help.  The Watch Stander helps calm people in trouble on boats using a radio or on land. They make sure to write down all the information that they can in order to help people quickly and successfully.   They are also the person who tells the CG team where to find the people who need help.   
  • Distress call- A call made from someone who needs help from the Coast Guard   
  • Position- The Coast Guard will always ask someone who has asked for help their position or their  location, so we can find them to help them.  
  • Brief- A Brief is typically a spoken report to others who need information.  It is where the Coast Guard passes information to others or is information that we receive.   
  • Asset- Something worth value. The Coast Guard will recover all sorts of assets as well as protect assets if needed.  
  • Mariner- Someone who lives, works or travels by sea.  A Sailor   
  • Deck department- The department of a Coast Guard shop that is responsible for maintaining and ensuring Coast Guard vessels do their jobs.  This team of people makes sure everything on a vessel that is on the outside of a ship works.    
  • Storekeeper- This person is responsible for ordering equipment and things to help all Coast Guard members   
  • UMIB- Urgent Mariner Information Broadcast- This is a radio message for all the boaters in the area that is sent out by the communications watch stander that states something has happened on the water and to be on the lookout to help those who need help.  
  • SAR OPS- Search and Rescue Operations   
  • SMC- Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator- When a case happens, this is the person who starts making the rescue plans in order for the Coast Guard to help those who need help.   
  • RTB- Return to Base. 
  • OS1- Operations Specialist 1st Class- A position within the Coast Guard   
  • PA3- Public Affairs Specialist 3rd Class- A position within the Coast Guard   
  • ME2- Maritime Enforcement 2nd Class-  A position within the Coast Guard   
  • Ships- A ship is a watercraft over 65ft   
  • Boat- A watercraft under 65ft   
  • Tows- When a boat breaks down and can’t get back to where they came from the Coast Guard will hook a line to your vessel and drag you besides them to get them back to where they came from.    
  • Channel- Some areas of water are deeper than others and a channel is considered the deepest area. For those who drive the vessels it is important to know how deep channels are so you can make sure your vessel won’t hit the bottom of the body of water.    
  • Marine inspectors- Someone who goes around to check vessels to ensure they are safe to sail.    
  • Investigations division- A department in the Coast Guard that investigates why problems and accidents happen 
  • BM1- Boatswain mate 1st class -A position in the CG who is in charge of the deck department to ensure all materials are in working order   
  • Buoys- A marker that makes the lines inside a waterway. They are like the white and yellow lines on the roads we drive on but on the water.  
  • ATON- Aids to Navigation – A department in the CG that is responsible for making sure the buoys are in the right spot on the water so people can navigate safely.   
  • STA – Station  
  • Cutter – A vessel 65 feet or bigger   
  • CO- Commanding Officer. The person who is in charge  
  • Port- Where vessels go in and out to load goods, refuel, and get supplies.   
  • Moring Up- When the vessel is tied to the pier. This is like the action of parking your car   
  • Port side- Left side of boat   

More from the Midgett

Coloring Book

Learn more about Coast Guard missions