>Spending money was never this much fun

>I’ll never forget my first day at my first unit. I was checking in with the First Class Store Keeper and he asked me what I wanted to do in the Coast Guard. I immediately responded with “I want to strike BM”, no hesitation.

What he said next struck me to the core; “Why?”

A simple one word question and I had no real answer for him. The best I could come up with was “It looks like fun”.

After that one conversation with the SK1 and upon further meeting my BM1s, I realized that Boatswains Mate was not for me.

So what now? I looked at some of the other rates, but never stuck with anything longer than a day or two. Then one port call, while I was hauling on mooring lines, I saw our new SK2 out on the pier going through packages. I noticed she was always the first one over the brow whenever we pulled in, and she was always going on parts runs or sorting packages. I realized then, that was the job I wanted.

After some begging, pleading, and a lot of work on my own time, I was able to start striking Storekeeper full time. Those were the happiest of my E-3 days. I loved picking up the mail and packages and going on parts runs. I soon came to realize that I had the greatest job ever. Who wouldn’t enjoy spending the government’s money even if you’re not spending it on yourself?

I always felt like Santa when the parts came in too. I loved seeing people get excited when something they had been waiting for came in.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot more to being a Storekeeper than just picking up parts. We are also in charge of keeping an inventory of all the spare parts the ship has onboard. We help create and keep the ship on a budget. We also handle all of the ship’s property which consists of artwork, historical items, high end tools, computers, TVs, and gym equipment to name a few items on the inventory list.

Then there are all the purchases we make to ensure the ship stays operational which requires the knowledge of a great deal of rules; such as what you can buy and for whom and where you can buy this product.

In my opinion, Store Keeper is one of the most important jobs in the Coast Guard. Without the cooks we don’t get fed and without the Yeoman you don’t get paid, but without Storekeepers…you don’t get anything.

There is a saying that describes it best: “the Coast Guard doesn’t sail, soar or move cargo without Storekeepers”.

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