A Coast Guard helicopter recently landed on the Hampton University football practice field adjacent to Armstrong Stadium, serving as the kick off to this year's recruiting campaign for the Coast Guard College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI), or CSPI Scholarship.
The Coast Guard CSPI Scholarship program is for high-performing students who desire to serve as U.S. Coast Guard officers. Only students attending minority serving institutions may receive a CSPI Scholarship.
Coast Guard CSPI Scholarships include not only payment of full tuition, books, and fees for up to two years, but recipients receive a salary of $3,600 per month and full medical benefits while in school as active duty members of the Coast Guard. After college graduation, CSPI Scholarship recipients attend Coast Guard Officer Candidate School in New London, Conn.
Three HU students, Junior Jody Stiger and Seniors Michael Robinson and Sasha Edwards, are now on Coast Guard CSPI Scholarship. Over its 25-year history, more than 20 Hampton students have been selected for Coast Guard CSPI Scholarships and become Coast Guard officers.
Three prior Coast Guard CSPI Scholarship recipients were HU Class of '92 classmates Captain Jason A. Merriweather, Captain Michael E. Platt and Commander Scott R. Benson. Merriweather, currently the Executive Assistant to the Director of Coast Guard Human Resources, previously was Deputy Commander of Coast Guard Sector Charleston, S.C. Platt, prior to his current duties at the National War College, was the Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Air Station Detroit. Commander Benson recently retired from the Coast Guard and is now a member of the Detroit City Council.
The two most recent HU CSPI Scholarship recipients to graduate are Ensign Kiley Relf '13, and OT Jamar Upshaw '14. Relf is assigned to Coast Guard Sector New York as a Marine Safety Inspector trainee, and Upshaw is awaiting his orders to Coast Guard Officer Candidate School.
Yuri Milligan '97
To learn more about the Coast Guard's CSPI Scholarship program, visit www.gocoastguard.com/cspi. Students interested in the Coast Guard CSPI scholarship should begin the application process by Fri., Dec. 5 by contacting the Coast Guard Recruiting Office Hampton Roads in Chesapeake Va. at 757.312.0514, or by email at ARL-DG-CGRC-ROHamptonRoads@uscg.mil. HU students can also get more information on the Coast Guard and CSPI by contacting HU's Safety Officer Richard East, also a retired Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander, at firstname.lastname@example.org.