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My Coast Guard
Commentary | April 5, 2023

Solicitation: Coast Guard scholars, invited to an amazing EU-NATO event, encourage members to apply now for a prestigious advanced education program

By Lori Pastro, Communications Specialist, Mission Support Integration Office (DCMS-5)

Are you ready to take your career to the next level? If you are a high-achieving Coast Guard member, consider applying for an advanced education or postgraduate opportunity.

  • Officers: Your application window for postgraduate programs just opened. You’ll need to submit your materials by May 11.
  • Enlisted: Your application window will open in April. Specific guidance will be shared via an ALCGPSC message.

The Coast Guard’s Prestigious Scholarships Program, which is jointly managed by the Advanced Education (AE) Program in FORCECOM’s Career Investment Division (FC-CI) and the 

Coast Guard Academy, sets aside four training allowance billets (TABs) annually for Fulbright and several other scholarships (e.g., Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Schwarzman, and Gates). These programs are designed to cultivate academic excellence across all majors and encourage scholarly achievement.  

Just a few weeks ago, Lt.j.g. Gregory Gaskel and Lt.j.g. Aidan Uvanni traveled to Belgium and Luxembourg to attend the annual seminar on the European Union (EU)-North American Treaty Organization (NATO) as part of the Coast Guard’s Fulbright Scholars program. They were two of only 40 grantees invited from a pool of more than 2,000 Fulbright scholars! Although the Fulbright Scholarship has typically been offered to second- and first-class cadets, the opportunity was recently expanded to allow new officers to participate.

“It was an eye-opening experience,” Gaskel said about the opportunity to engage directly with diplomats from key EU institutions and NATO. “Alongside fellow Fulbright grantees from across Europe, we gained insights into vital international organizations, which will serve us well throughout our Coast Guard careers.”

Gaskel and Uvanni learned about the EU’s and NATO’s structures and functions while visiting the U.S. Embassy to Luxembourg, the European Court of Justice, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the U.S. Mission to the EU, and NATO Headquarters.  They also explored varying cultural perspectives on how these organizations impact the academic, professional, and personal lives of people from many nations.  

Uvanni pointed out that international education and awareness are crucial elements of military leadership development. “The Fulbright’s mission of promoting mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchange directly aligns with the Commandant’s intent to be a more adaptive and connected Coast Guard,” said Uvanni, who became an officer in May 2021 and was assigned to the Cutter Polar Star prior to beginning the program.  

Coast Guard participation also helps strengthen international partnerships and include the service in conversations where it might not currently have a presence—which is vital as the global demand for Coast Guard services continues to grow.  

Moreover, these scholastic opportunities align with the U.S. Coast Guard Strategy 2022 tenets, “Transform Our Total Workforce” and “Advance Our Mission Excellence,” by raising the level of individual military professionalism and technical competence and providing developmental incentives that improve recruitment and retention.

If you’re interested in the Fulbright or other advanced education scholarship, you’ll need to be accepted by the sponsoring scholarship commission before FC-CI can assign you into one of the four TABs.