In Her Element

Melissa GomesARCTIC OCEAN – Seaman Melissa Gomes, a Seattle native, prepares to select fresh vegetables to be served with the evening meal Aug.13, 2009, on the Coast Guard Cutter Healy.

Gomes graduated food service specialist class A-school in April and is scheduled to be promoted to Petty Officer Third Class in October.

The daughter of two former Coast Guard food service specialists, she says the Coast Guard provided her the most direct path to her chosen profession and that she is ready to face the challenges that come with being a cook on a large cutter. “I know that cooking for so many people is a big job but it’s exactly what I want to do,” Gomes said.

Gomes worked at a restaurant for nearly a year before she joined the Coast Guard but was never afforded the opportunity to work in the kitchen. “The fact that I could begin cooking as soon as I finished my training is what I found so appealing about joining the guard,” she said.

Petty Officer Second Class Candice Morrison, a food service specialist, says she believes that Gomes has a bright future ahead of her. “She works hard and is learning quickly,” Morrison said. “I think her positive attitude is what will set her apart during her career,” she said.

When asked what her favorite part of her new career is, she didn’t hesitate. “Being able to serve others while I am doing what I enjoy most is the absolute best part of the job,” she said.

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Patrick Kelley)

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