African-American History Month: HS3 Qarina Moss

Petty Officer 3rd Class Qurina Moss, a health services technician, poses for a photo at the medical clinic located on Base Kodiak, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Qurina Moss, a health services technician, poses for a photo at the medical clinic located on Base Kodiak, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker.

African-American History Month is an annual celebration in February to recognize the achievements and central role by African Americans in U.S. history.
In honor of African-American History month, five members of Coast Guard 17th District will be featured throughout the month.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Qarina Moss, health services technician, Base Kodiak Medical Clinic.

Qarina Moss was born in Belize, Central America. Her family in Belize are a part of the Garifuna, descendants of West Africa, Central Africa, Island Carib and Arawak. Moss moved to the United States at the age of one, and was raised in Virginia Beach, Va. She then moved back to Belize to attend high school, before moving again to Virginia. Once back in the U.S., Moss aspired to attend college and earn a degree in science, but found it too financially straining. That’s when she decided to enlist in the Coast Guard.

Since joining the Coast Guard, Moss has been stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell in Alameda, Calif., Station Georgetown in Georgetown, S.C., before attending the health service technician A-school in Petaluma, Calif. Her first unit as a health services technician is the medical clinic at Base Kodiak.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your career?

I’ve learned that everyone thinks and acts differently, which makes the job more interesting and probably more effective. Also, I’ve learned to appreciate different cultures and backgrounds. It amazes me how different people are but can still work together and get the job done.

How has being a part of a sea-going service impacted your life?

It has allowed me to accept individual differences and cultures, and that helps me do my job as an H.S. For example, people don’t like to use medications and when they see their situation is getting worse, that’s when they decide to come in. Yes, it makes my job a little bit difficult, but I also have to respect their culture and it gives me the patience to effectively treat them. Also, I was a fireman for two and a half years and I’ve learned to perform a number of things ranging from changing oil on a small boat to painting buildings and cutter structures. All of those experiences have taught me responsibilities in shaping the person I am now.

African-American History Month is a time to celebrate the positive influences and traditions that African Americans have enriched our nation with. What does it mean to you to celebrate this month in the Coast Guard?

Celebrating African-American History Month in the Coast Guard means to me that the we acknowledge the hard work and success of the people of the African-American culture. Celebrating this month is a time when the nation can show appreciation for how the African-American culture has impacted the nation in positive aspects, because those are what has made the country we live in the wonderful country it is now.

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