>I would like to start with thanking the crew of the USCGC SHERMAN for selecting me to join them on their fall southern patrol. It has been an honor and a privilege to be able to serve with this crew. They have been very supportive in this always tough environment of being away from family. My name is OS1 Richard Stulce. I was selected as a TAD member to join the crew of the SHERMAN and assist in the cutter operations department. I am currently stationed at Sector Anchorage, where I will eventually continue Search and Rescue case coordination as an Operations Controller. I have served previously on USCGC SENECA as CIC Supervisor, SECTOR PORTLAND, OR as an Operations Controller, and STA Castle Hill, RI as a non-rate. I would like to thank my unit and division at SECTOR ANCHORAGE as well for providing me with this opportunity.

Since I have reported to SHERMAN I have been welcomed with open arms. The day I reported, we immediately jumped into a Fast Cruise, followed by a nice weekend before getting underway for a couple of days. I have always been a jump in head first kind of guy and this unit is no exception. I am extremely comfortable in this environment. After a successful shakedown cruise we were privy to some nice relaxing time off. As I had already left my wife in Anchorage, I knew what everyone was preparing for.

It is always rough to leave family behind but I think it is something special to see people come together to be able to make things happen. The crew of the SHERMAN came together as one, and as if they did it every single day, we got underway safely and without incident. Before we knew it we found ourselves out on the briny blue. Now of course the weather down here is quite different from Anchorage. On day one we conducted an abandon ship drill and after I finally found the way to my boat, just after being piped I might add, I found myself sweating profusely in my ODU coat. I guarantee you it could not have been hotter than 72 degrees outside at this moment, and with us having a nice cool sea breeze, I had no excuse. After we were underway for a couple of days I was introduced to the crew and I received my USCGC SHERMAN cover and temporarily retired my SECTOR ANCHORAGE cover. I keep it on the hook down in CIC to remind myself that although it is extremely hot down here, when I return it will be the same degree only in negative Fahrenheit. Its not like people didn’t know me anyway, I was the only first class that couldn’t get it through his head that we sat at the front of the mess deck instead of the back. Nevertheless it was nice to be welcomed and things have been fantastic.

Trying to get settled into the underway routine is always fun. Some people believe they have better relaxation than they do at home. I am inclined to agree with that to some regard. It wasn’t long after we departed the states that things started to pick up. It was a nice beginning to the patrol and while we worked very hard to do the best we could, we were rewarded handsomely. After making a couple of changes to our schedule we were given the opportunity to go to Acapulco, Mexico. After spending a couple of days there and a getting a nice little base for a tan (or sunburn if you want to be technical) we were able to again depart without incident and continue upon our merry way.

I will continue to try and update as I can with particulars. I appreciate you taking the time to read this. Had I done it sooner I probably could have saved some length to it. I wish everyone the best back home for both myself and the family members and friends of those onboard SHERMAN.
OS1 R.L. Stulce