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    Our Voices, Our Coast Guard- LT Tia Grandville

    Our Voices, Our Coast Guard

    Photo By Patrick Ferraris | Lt. Tia Grandville walks down the hall of Gilliard Elementary School with a student....... read more read more



    Story by Patrick Ferraris 

    U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters   

    March is Women’s History Month. This observance stands as a reminder of the strength that the Coast Guard has gained through the contributions and efforts of our women members who serve as part of an exceptional and diverse workforce. This series of interviews highlights just a few of the remarkable women in the Coast Guard and the stories behind their service.

    Name: Lt. Tia Grandville
    Duty Title: Marine Casualty Investigator
    Duty Location: Sector Mobile, Mobile AL.

    What inspired you to join the Coast Guard?

    I come from a family of Military Service men and women, as well as Community Service Leaders, so I have always had a passion to serve and give back. However, it wasn’t until college when I learned about the Coast Guard, or what I like to refer to as the “Armed Forces Best Kept Secret.” I attended Spelman College’s annual career fair and came across the Coast Guard table, spoke with the recruiters and instantly became intrigued. Further, learning about the many other Spelman women and Black women who have and are currently making an impact in this organization just inspired me even more. To know how diverse the Coast Guard is and knowing what these women have accomplished, I knew I wanted to be a part of that.

    What is meaningful to you about currently serving in the Coast Guard?

    Being a woman, and specifically a Black woman, in the Service is very special right now. During my 9 years in the Service, I have seen an increase in women recruitment, more diverse Coast Guard Academy and Officer Candidate School graduating classes, Black women attaining the rank of Capt., the commissioning of a cutter named after the 1st African American Female Master Chief Petty Officer, revising the grooming standards to be more inclusive, and so much more. Women are playing increasingly important roles in the Service I love to see this shift happening. The Coast Guard is also special in the sense that women can join and choose whatever rating they desire. Seeing all of the women in leadership roles and those who are making an impact will only draw in even more passionate and dedicated women in the future. Lastly, I appreciate the Coast Guard’s various policy updates and the RAND studies for identifying and addressing ways in which we can retain these phenomenal women.

    What does the phrase “Stronger Together” mean to you?

    As a woman, a Black woman, and a mother, the phrase “Stronger Together” means so much. Ultimately, it means that it takes a village – it takes the support of each member to work together in order for our Coast Guard to be the best it can be. First, it is important to recognize the gender diversity within the Coast Guard and understand that the support from our male shipmates plays a pivotal role in addressing gender inequity and unleashing the potential of women to be change makers. I would charge our male counterparts to support us and help amplify our voices, encourage our ambitions, and give us credit when it’s due. It is also important to recognize and understand (or learn to understand) the challenges our underrepresented members face. Currently, there is so much discussion about systemic discrimination, racism, extremism, and sexism within the military; in order for us to be “Stronger Together,” members and leaders must take action and invoke change.

    Do you have a mentor that has inspired you or impacted your Service?

    On the outside looking in, people see me as this “go getter” who has it all together, but I didn’t do it alone. I owe a lot of my accomplishments and successes to my mentors and support system. I have several mentors both within and outside the Coast Guard who inspire me every day to be the best Coastie, Officer, and individual. For women specifically, it’s important to have mentors that not only offer career guidance and advice, but who also provide that support and encouragement we all need. Women face a lot of unique challenges and it helps to have someone that you trust and can talk to about certain issues. It’s important to have mentors who don’t look like you. I have gained a wealth of knowledge from having a diverse mentor group.

    The Coast Guard has a history of strong women members. How have those members helped pave a path for you in the Coast Guard?

    To the SPARs (United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve) who broke barriers and started it all, the resilient women who have overcame adversity, the strong ones who have spoken out against harassment and discrimination, the Female Firsts, and to the women change makers…I honor you and I thank you. The actions and voices of these women have helped pave a path for me in the Coast Guard and I can’t wait to see where my path takes me as I continue this journey.

    What excites you about the future for women in the Coast Guard?

    The future looks bright for women serving in the Coast Guard. We continue to accomplish our personal and professional goals, excel at accomplishing the mission, and show people just how “tough” we really are. One day, one of us will make Commandant, and I can’t wait to see it.


    Date Taken: 03.25.2021
    Date Posted: 03.25.2021 12:38
    Story ID: 392267
    Location: US

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