USCG PO3 Marty Alves Cruz participates during the Small Unit Leader Course. Alves is the first enlisted "Coastie" to attend a course at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.
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SGT Juan Salazar Pulid facilitates during Small Unit Leader Course for multinational and sister service students.
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USCG PO3 Marty Alves Cruz participates during the Small Unit Leader Course. Alves is the first enlisted "Coastie" to attend a course at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – USCG PO3 Marty Alves Cruz participates during the Small Unit Leader Course. Alves is the first enlisted "Coastie" to attend a course at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. (Photo Credit: Milton Mariani Rodriguez) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT BENNING, GA – One of the key pillars of WHINSEC is Inter-service, Inter-agency, Multinational integration as part of our educational process. To that extent, WHINSEC’s leadership is always seeking ways to continue to expand its reach across sister services, other governmental entities and partner nations.

Last year, during the Command and General Staff Officer Course, U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Nathan M. Borders became the first “Coastie” (as USCG members call themselves) to attend WHINSEC.

This year, USCG Petty Officer Third Class Marty Alves Cruz became the first enlisted Coastie to be a student, as he became part of the Small Unit Leadership Course.

“Our unit Master Chief sent an email, with information about the course and telling us that it was a great opportunity for us to take this class. This class could be a stepping-stone for future petty officer courses, or chief petty officer courses,” said Alves.
Talking about the course and being from the Coast Guard, Alves had this to comment, “Being from the Coast Guard is totally different in a way, but still, the only thing that changes is the mission. We carry the same doctrine; we all have the rules, regulations; only the mission changes. This course is a great opportunity to meet and work with folks from other countries, U.S. sister services.”

In attendance at the Combined Graduation was USCG Command Master Chief Aaron L. Zimmer, Command Master Chief Seventh District. Based in Miami, Florida. Zimmer wanted to personally congratulate Alves on his accomplishment. At the same time, get his impressions of the course and the experience as a whole.

When asked his thoughts on having Coast Guard members at WHINSEC, Zimmer said, “It is a magnificent opportunity for our young enlisted. I find the Human Rights, Rule of Law, and the leadership blocks of instruction are essential on our line of work. Today, we have our first enlisted Coastie here, but many more will come to learn and share experiences at WHINSEC. We operate in an increasingly complex and joint environment within Central & South America, as well as the Caribbean Basin. The earlier in a career we can expose service members to other services and partner nations, the more effective the total force becomes.”