After a long, four-year journey, members of the Class of 2022 are scheduled to graduate from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy May 18 and become the future leaders of the service.
The first graduates of the Academy’s Cyber Systems program will head to Cyber Command, and a number of others will report to sector commands or to Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla., to attend flight school.
But the majority of these newly commissioned officers, more than 200, will report to cutters stationed across the country, including First-Class Cadet Tarran Johnson from Jonesboro, Ga.
A mechanical engineering major, Johnson was a member of a capstone project team developing a prototype three-dimensional reaction wheel for a CubeSat, a type of miniaturized research satellite. Reaction wheels are used to stabilize and orient satellites in orbit and are key for imaging, remote sensing, and communications.
He recently received a Modern Day Technology Leader Award at the Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) conference, which recognizes rising stars in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
In addition, as the chair of the Academy’s National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) chapter, Johnson is developing a mentoring program through the NSBE to mentor junior cadets with the goal of retaining them in engineering.
Johnson will report to the Coast Guard Cutter Seneca, a 270-ft. medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Va., to serve as a student engineer.
A stand-out athlete, student, and member of the corps of cadets First-Class Cadet Brielle Pearce from Jupiter, Fla., was featured in the ESPN Veterans Day special highlighting the Academy that was broadcast on the network Nov. 11.
Co-captain of the women’s soccer team and vice president of the class of 2022, Pearce was repeatedly named to the Board of Trustees list, the highest honors list at the Academy, for excellence in academic, military, and athletic performance.
To make the list, a cadet must simultaneously attain a term grade point average above 3.15, be in the top 25% of their class in military performance and obtain a score of 270 or higher on the physical fitness examination.
Pearce, a naval architecture and marine engineering major, will report to the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton, a 418-ft. legend class cutter homeported in Charleston, S.C., as a student engineer.
During his time at the Academy, First-Class Cadet Juan Acevedo-Perez served as president of the Diversity Peer Educator (DPE) Council, one of the many cultural organizations within the corps of cadets.
The Coast Guard Academy’s DPE program was established in 2017 and is made up of cadets who volunteer to create an inclusive and embracing climate for other cadets to discuss pressing issues like race, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, and equality. They can also address emerging concerns and offer training opportunities to help provide needed skills and tools.
Earlier this year Perez coordinated the first Inter-Academy Affinity Council Summit and advised cadets at the Air Force and Naval Academies as their respective institutions developed similar programs.
“I felt I had the responsibility to help highlight some of the challenges and experiences we faced, so they could learn from us,” Perez said. “On the other hand, I learned new things from the other service academies that will hopefully be implemented by my successors here.”
Perez, a government major from Orlando, Fla., will serve as a deck watch officer aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba in Portsmouth, Va.
As a busy summer transfer season gets underway this summer, Coast Guard members will be reporting to their new assignments all across the nation. Among them will be a group of newly commissioned officers, represented by these three future leaders, who are prepared to carry out the missions of the service.