David's Top JCOC Experiences, No. 9: Don't Forget the Coast Guard

When people picture our military, it's not the branch that most think of first. But the Coast Guard is tasked with keeping us safe in ways that have less to do with conflict and more to do with our everyday lives.

Motley Fool Staff
Motley Fool Staff
Oct 3, 2016 at 5:37PM
Financials

The Joint Civilian Orientation Conference is designed to give non-military members a deeper understanding of what the U.S. Armed Forces do and what they are -- their capabilities, culture, history, and more. It's a fascinating program, and David Gardner wants to share with his listeners a few things he learned from it. In this segment of the Rule Breaker Investing podcast, he discusses his day with the branch of the military dedicated to keeping U.S. waters safe, rescuing people in trouble at sea, interdicting smugglers, and more.

A transcript follows the video.

This podcast was recorded on Aug. 24, 2016.

David Gardner: No. 9: Number nine was the next day. It was Tuesday, Aug. 16, when I got to do something I've never done in my entire life, and that is spend half of a day with the U.S. Coast Guard. You know, a lot of us think, when we think of armed forces, of probably the Army or the Marines (or the Navy or the Air Force, depending on who you are), and I know that anybody who's been in any of those enjoys friendly rivalry with the others and would be surprised that I didn't mention them first.

The Coast Guard, though, often doesn't get thought of in the same regard, and it's partly because the Coast Guard actually has more of a law enforcement function for Americans. They are out there patrolling our coasts. If you're an American, they're keeping you safe, especially if you live near the coast. Frequently they're just out there pulling people out of the ocean who have fallen out of or sunken their own boats, so there's a big "save lives" component.

For those who serve in the Coast Guard every day, they are, of course, also interdicting drug dealers and all kinds of stuff happening south of Florida, which is where I found myself that particular afternoon just being able to learn more about the Coast Guard and the efforts that they make to keep us safe.

They're on a beautiful Coast Guard Cutter. It was the [USCGC] Joshua Appleby. An afternoon that had encroaching thunderstorms dramatically playing off behind us as we watched 29- and 45-foot boats go through the motions of showing how they interdict smugglers, which was really impressive to me. So, congratulations to all those in the Coast Guard. I have more appreciation for you, now, and I think, yes, you can stand shoulder to shoulder with any of the other four armed services.

I also had a really wonderful conversation with the vice admiral of the Coast Guard back up here in Washington, D.C., Sandra Stosz. Sandy spent lunch with a small group of us, and what an intelligent and charming leader the Coast Guard has in Sandy Stosz.