By Michael S. Lockett
Juneau Empire 

Coast Guard looks to step up recruitment amid pandemic constraints


February 16, 2022

Closed schools and mitigation protocols have complicated recruitment for the U.S. Coast Guard over the two years of the pandemic, officers said. “We are definitely, in comparison to pre-COVID numbers, we are not doing as well,” said Cmdr. Andrea Smith, executive officer of nationwide Coast Guard Recruiting Command.

“Meeting a Coastie is still the best recruiting tool for us, and that is increasingly difficult because of the pandemic,” Smith said in a phone interview.

The problem is exacerbated in Alaska, said Chief Petty Officer Colin Rankin, in Anchorage, made more complicated by t...

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