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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Sept. 5, 2023

How you can be a STAR

By AJ Pulkkinen, MyCG writer

You heard the Coast Guard needs more recruits and you want to help. But how?   

Here’s the thing: you don’t need to be a recruiter. That’s why Coast guard Recruiting Command changed the Everyone Is A Recruiter program to the more aptly named Scout Talent And Refer (STAR) program.  

300 recruiters cannot be at every high school track meet, dance recital or community festival in the country. But, if you’re going to one anyway, wear a Coast Guard shirt and tell your story. Together the 55,000-person total workforce can raise awareness of what the Coast Guard is. Recruiters are trained to do the screening, administrative processing and waiver requests. You can help clear the awareness hurdle. 

How you can best help: Tell your story. Be authentic. It’s that simple.   

When gathered with other parents at your kid’s soccer game, tell the story of your best day in the Coast Guard. Tell them of your most challenging day. Tell them how the Coast Guard has impacted your life.   

When you are strolling through the airport waiting for your flight and someone asks you about your Coast Guard hoodie you happen to be wearing, be open to chatting with them about your experiences in the Service.   

You never know how a "So you’re in the Coast Guard” conversation can morph into a STAR referral, earning you $1,000, a Commandant’s Letter of Commendation (LOC), and a new shipmate. We all have stories –active duty, civilian, reserve, Auxiliarist or retiree– you can pitch in to help scout new talent for the Coast Guard.  

Do you have a friend back home from high school who is floundering, not sure what they want to do in life? Tell them your story. Tell them what opportunities you’ve had in the Coast Guard and opportunities that may interest them.  

“We often say that the Coast Guard is the best kept secret, but that is a problem for us,” said Capt. Tabitha Schiro, the incident commander of the Recruiting Incident Management Team. “We need talent scouts. Share your best CG story - the one that starts with ‘It was a dark and stormy night…’”  

If you get someone who seems to be a good candidate, refer them to your local recruiter. Read more about the STAR program and how it works.    

The demand for Coast Guard services have never been higher. The Coast Guard has 11 statutory missions and is all along the coastlines including the inland rivers and Great Lakes and abroad. A humanitarian, law enforcement, multi-mission maritime military Service, the 233-year-old Coast Guard protects, defends and saves. We need you to Scout Talent and Refer potential applicants so that we can continue the level of service our Nation demands and deserves.   

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