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    Faces of Maple: Seaman Michael Wills

    Faces of Maple: Seaman Michael Wills

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Jose Hernandez | Seaman Michael Wills stands for a photo while aboard USCGC Maple (WLB 207) in the...... read more read more

    Seaman Michael Wills, originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, joined the Coast Guard in 2020. He is now part of the deck department aboard the USCGC Maple (WLB 207) and came straight from boot camp in Cape May.

    "I didn't have any college or anything, I was still making ends meet, and I was getting bored," Wills said. "I was tired of working at bars and restaurants. I had been doing the same thing since I was 16. I was ready to switch it up, and I wanted to join the military. There's no Coastie in my family. I'm the first, and now my family name has hit every military branch."

    Wills was aboard for Maple's recent dry dock maintenance period in Brooklyn.

    "The ship had an oil leak from the controllable pitch propeller on the propulsion shaft when I reported in," he said. "We were in homeport for about three weeks and then towed to Brooklyn where we had a crazy ordeal with the towing evolution. We had to do an emergency detach from the towboat, and I had only been here for about a month, so that blew my mind. Once we arrived safely in Brooklyn, we were scheduled for ten days in dry dock, and it turned into 45.”

    He recently participated in Exercise Argus, the Danish Joint Arctic Command's annual joint large-scale Exercise Argus in Southern Greenland. Deployed forces demonstrated U.S. Coast Guard capabilities to build partner capacity and expertise in search and rescue, incident management, and marine environmental response. These efforts solidify key strategic relationships while achieving mutual Danish, Greenlandic, and U.S. goals in the North American Atlantic Arctic and Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

    After five months of being aboard the Maple, Wills has become part of the Maple family.

    "So far, I love every minute of it; I'm having a good time," he said. "My favorite part about being on the Maple is the size of the crew; you know everyone by first name. The teamwork and camaraderie of the crew are what I like the most. You know everyone has your back."

    Wills wants to go to Information System Technician A-school, and as soon as he's done with school, he wants to go back on a cutter.

    "I 100 percent want to be on a boat," he said. "Being underway can be challenging, but I love it. I feel the most alive out here. I'm just so excited to be out in the water; that magic hasn't worn off for me yet. Hearing all the sea stories from my dad made me want to be out here."

    Wills plans to stay in the Coast Guard and make this a full 20-year career, then using his schooling to work in private sector IT once he retires.



    Date Taken: 06.24.2021
    Date Posted: 07.19.2021 13:16
    Story ID: 401189
    Location: ATLANTIC OCEAN
    Hometown: ATLANTIC BEACH, NC, US
    Hometown: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, US

    Web Views: 18
    Downloads: 0