This episode features Tracy Mehr-Muska, a 1996 graduate from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. In this episode, you’ll hear how the Academy really challenged Tracy’s identity in a variety of ways; how several complicated situations ultimately resulted in her having to pivot her career out of the Coast Guard far earlier than she had initially planned; and how she eventually was able to translate the lessons she learned into meaningful work as a pastor with a special focus on working with people nearing the end of life. Enjoy the show!
KEY TOPICS OF DISCUSSION:
- Having an idealistic view of what the Academy and military life would be like
- Feeling like her identity was challenged in a variety of ways at the Academy
- Dealing with sexual harassment
- Feeling powerless
- Making the decision to leave the Coast Guard before he commitment was up
- Regret and shame over her decisions
- Building a life that utilizes the lessons she learned in a meaningful way
- Can you tell everyone where you’re from? What school you went to and when you graduated?
- Can you give everyone 1-2 lines about who you are?
1:52 PART I:
- What made you choose a Service Academy – and what made you specifically choose the U.S. Coast Guard Academy?
- Was it common at your school for people to consider going to an Academy?
- How did your family respond to your desire to attend an Academy?
- What did you think you’d be doing post graduation?
- Participating in the AIM program prior to attending.
- How was the application process for you?
7:15 PART II:
- If you had to sum up your time at the Academy in one word, what would it be?
- Tell me about your first day and first summer.
- How was the transition into the academic year?
- Do you feel like you made good connections during SWAB summer?
15:30 PART III:
- What were some of the highlights of your time at the Academy?
- Did any experiences give you clarity about what you wanted to do post-graduation?
- The highlight of great friendships she made with other women in her class.
- Let’s dive into some of the lowlights.
26:15:48 PART IV:
- Do you think you went into the Academy a little idealistic?
- Did you desire to stay at the Academy ever waiver?
- What was the plan as you approached graduation?
- Her short stint in the Coast Guard and her decision to leave.
38:48 PART V:
- What happened when you decided to suddenly get out of the Coast Guard?
- Finding a work environment that valued what she brought to the table.
- Going to seminary full time.
47:25 CONCLUDING THOUGHTS:
- What happened when you got out of the seminary?
- What’s next for you?
- How do you currently feel about your decision to attend an Academy?
- Do you have any parting words for listeners? Perhaps a key message to your fellow Service Academy sisters?
- What’s one random fun fact about you?
- Where can people reach you?
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