By: Abby Ridgel, Contributing Writer
From Centralia to Panama and Costa Rica to Honduras, Centralia High School(CHS) Alum and native, Kyle Haskell, has seen it all during his time in the United States Coast Guard.
Haskell graduated from CHS in 2018 and in August of the same year, started his career in the United States Coast Guard. Haskell works as an Operations Specialist Second Class (OS2), where he operates and maintains communications, navigation and RADAR equipment.
Haskell always knew he wanted to serve, but eventually decided on the Coast Guard because of the variety of jobs within this branch.
In preparation for the Coast Guard, Haskell talked to recruiters and studied required informational booklets before going to boot camp. During boot camp, Haskell was tested on both his physical and mental aptitude. After graduating boot camp, Haskell used his knowledge and memorization skills to apply information during important day to day operations.
Haskell has performed a variety of missions including search and rescue, counter narcotics operations, migrant interdiction operations, fisheries enforcement and icebreaking in the Atlantic ocean. While in the Coast Guard, Haskell has accumulated a variety of titles including: Basic and Advance Damage Control, Helmsman, Lookout, Ice Rescueman, Gangway Petty Officer of the Watch, Security Watchstander, Anti-Terrorism Force Protection Watchstander, Marksman Pistol, Marksman Rifle, Cutter Rescue Swimmer, CIC Watchstander and CIC Watch Supervisor.
When asked about his experience with the Coast Guard, Haskell said, “My experience has been eye opening to say the least. Being from small town Missouri, I never thought the Coast Guard did anything more than save lives along our shores. My first unit I was on was a 399’ ice breaker, breaking ice in Antarctica; you can imagine my disbelief! We sail with navies around the world and stand toe-to-toe in contested water with our adversaries. There is more than meets the small town eye in the Coast Guard, the sky's the limit here.”
When his next contract is up, Haskell will have served seven years. He is still undecided on where his Coast Guard career will take him, but said that, “I would recommend the Coast Guard to those looking for a challenge, hard work and some awesome stories too.”