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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Dec. 9, 2021

New Officer Recruiting Corps., CGA graduate Andre M. Douglas enters astronaut program, New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Volleyball Athlete of the Year

By Nicole Bertrand, MyCG Writer

The Coast Guard is making further strides in its Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan through creation of dedicated Officer Recruiting Corps. Over the next five years, the Coast Guard is projected to commission approximately 500 officers annually, over half of whom will come through non-Academy programs. To better access the richness of American society
to recruit a world-class workforce, the Coast Guard has established a dedicated Officer Recruiting Corps. This team focuses on the sustained outreach necessary to attract the best of America’s diverse population that reflects the people we serve. As noted in the Coast Guard’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan and in alignment with the Coast Guard Strategic Plan,
having the world’s most diverse and inclusive Coast Guard is critical to our ability to succeed in an increasingly complex maritime environment. The Corps will serve all non-Academy
officer programs, including Officer Candidate School and Direct Commission Officer Programs, with a special emphasis on supporting the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) at minority-serving institutions (MSIs). CSPI is a scholarship program specifically for motivated college sophomores, juniors, and seniors attending MSIs who demonstrate outstanding academic performance and leadership potential and want to serve their country in the Coast Guard. Lt. Tia Grandville, based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, is one of four recruiters. “I love people,” said Grandville. “I love going back to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and sharing my experience working in the Coast Guard. It helps for potential recruits to see someone that looks like them.” Grandville routinely engages in Coast Guard outreach, networking with HBCUs/MSIs, and community involvement, as in the recent First Responders and Military Appreciation Day/Senior Day football game between Norfolk State University and South Carolina State University. Present at the event, among others, were Rear Adm. Keith Smith, deputy commander, Atlantic Area and Capt. Samson Stevens, commanding officer, Sector Virginia.

Bravo Zulu to CGA graduate Andre M. Douglas for selection to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) two-year Astronaut Candidate Program. Douglas is one of 10 chosen from a pool of more than 12,000 applicants competing for a chance to join NASA’s astronaut corps and take part in its human spaceflight program. He is scheduled to report to the Johnson Space Center in Houston Jan. 2022, to begin training in spacecraft systems, spacewalking skills, teamwork, and a variety of other subjects. After graduating from the Academy in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Douglas was selected for the Marine Engineering Post Graduate Degree Program. He attended the University of Michigan, graduating with dual Master of Science degrees in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. In 2015, Douglas received the Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) award in the Most Promising Engineer category for distinguished service as a naval architect and marine engineer, electrical staff engineer, and Salvage Engineering Response Team (SERT) duty officer in the Coast Guard. Douglas also earned a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate in systems engineering from the George Washington University. He currently serves as a space-systems engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he worked on maritime robotics, planetary defense, and space exploration missions for NASA. Upon completing the program, Douglas will join Cmdr. Bruce Melnick and Capt. Dan Burbank as the third Coast Guard Academy alum to become an astronaut.

Congratulations to CGA senior Amanda Dake who was named the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Volleyball Athlete of the Year.  Amanda Dake earns first team all-conference honors for the second time in her career and she becomes just the second player in program history to earn NEWMAC Athlete of the Year honors. Christine Rostowfske was the 2006 NEWMAC Athlete of the Year. She led the NEWMAC with 68 aces and was fourth in the conference with 331 kills and was third on the team with 230 digs. Dake finished her career with 966 kills, 812 digs, and 149 aces, while juniors Sophia Galdamez and Noelle Tursky were named to the second team. Galdamez was second on the team and ninth in the NEWMAC with 272 kills, while adding 112 digs and 26 blocks to earn all-conference honors for the first time. Tursky led the team and was third in the NEWMAC with 823 assists and she was second on the team with 246 digs and third on the team with 43 blocks to go along with 99 kills. She was the 2019 NEWA Division III Freshman of the Year and earns All-conference honors for the first time this season. The Coast Guard Academy Bears finished 17-8 and advanced to the NEWMAC semifinals.