Crewing the cutters: Pandemic complicated recruiting, says Coast Guard

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Closed schools and mitigation protocols have complicated recruitment for the U.S. Coast Guard over the two years of the pandemic, said members of the recruitment apparatus, even as other services are dealing with their own paucity of recruits.

While that has hurt numbers, the Coast Guard is also looking at increasing the quality of recruits, seeking people with more life experience or technical skills, said Cmdr.. Andrea Smith, executive officer of Coast Guard Recruiting Command.

“We are definitely, in comparison to pre-COVID numbers, we are not doing as well,” Smith said in a phone interview. “Meeting a Coastie is still the best recruiting tool for us and that is

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