WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN - Throughout history nations have maintained their thorough control of the seas, from the Royal British navy that reigned for nearly 300 years, to the Imperial Japanese navy of the early 1900’s, and today the U.S. Navy.
Not to be forgotten in the discussion of defense and freedom of the seas, is the U.S. Coast Guard.
Together, the Navy and Coast Guard create the sword and shield of America’s maritime strategy. Even though the Coast Guard specializes in drug interdiction and search and rescue, it is also their responsibility to augment the Navy’s mission abroad whenever needed. To do this, the Coast Guard must maintain qualified surface warfare officers, a privilege given to roughly 100 of the Coast Guard’s 5,000 commissioned officers. This process involves Coast Guardsmen being stationed on and embarking Navy vessels.
Among these chosen few is Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Jacob Christopher Hauser, from North Salem, N.Y., currently embarked aboard Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63).
“The Coast Guard sends about two or three officers per year into the Navy’s fleet,” said Hauser. “In which time we learn everything Navy surface warfare officers learn, so that we may seamlessly integrate with the fleet when called upon.”
Hauser has sailed with two Navy ships, and six Coast Guard vessels, holding a number of jobs including assistant navigator, fire control officer, public affairs officer, and is a qualified “cutterman,” the Coast Guard equivalent to a Navy surface warfare officer.
Working closely with Mr. Hauser during his time aboard Stethem is Lt.j.g. Colcord Moore, the ships navigation officer and qualified surface warfare officer.
“Mr. Hauser and I have worked together on general navigation during his time on board,” said Moore. “His Coast Guard cutterman qualification is similar to the Navy’s surface warfare qualification, but it deals less with warfare tactics and more with Coast Guard regulations and maritime traffic laws.
“Hauser brings something special to the table, with his expertise in celestial navigation, which would be crucial in a GPS denied environment. He held training for the entire wardroom and I think we all took away a lot from it. His time aboard has really been a testament to how much our branches can learn from each other.”
Hauser spoke on his views of the similarities and differences between the Navy and Coast Guard.
“Navy Sailors have made a strong impression on me since I’ve been working alongside them,” said Hauser. “They are incredibly hardworking people, and each a subject matter expert in their respective rates. I believe we all share the hardest job in the world, and that is going to sea. The drive Sailors show, even when separated from their loved ones by miles of ocean is incredible. I’m proud to be a Coast Guardsman, and I’m proud to be able to say that I have sailed with of the United States Navy.”
Stethem, operating from Yokosuka, Japan, if forward deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operations and is underway supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.