LIGHTNING RELEASES 03/04/14 –Incline Village, NV – As America prepared for revolution, it was the merchants who formed our country’s first navy to fight the British. Today, those merchants comprise the Merchant Marine, the fleet of civilian-owned merchant vessels that transport goods and services and serve as an auxiliary to the Navy to deliver troops and supplies when called upon in times of war. Indeed, the Merchant Marine remains critical to the security of our country, earning its unofficial designation as the “invisible service.”
“We’re the logistics force,” says Captain Susan Orsini. “Wherever the Navy is, that’s where we are. We contribute a lot and we’re not known, but we take pride in our anonymity.”
Captain Susan Orsini is a 25-year veteran of the Merchant Marine and only the second female master with Military Sealift Command. Orsini took an unusual path to the Merchant Marine. A self-described small-town girl from Colorado, Orsini spent a year in the Philippines as part of a student-exchange program where she was exposed to the country’s vibrant seagoing culture. While studying abroad, she was accepted to the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Her first assignment found her boarding the Mercy, a hospital ship bound for Operation Desert Shield.
“I used to read a lot, and books would take me all over the world,” recalls Orsini. “Now I was able to see the world and it was beautiful and dramatic and satisfying, but most importantly, we were doing something of service.”
As far as being one of the few women in the Merchant Marine, Orsini says that was never her goal.
“When you are assigned to a ship you have a minimum of a six month commitment to that ship, so when someone shows up to relieve you, you don’t care if they’re a woman or they have three legs or they’re orange, because that means you get to go home,” says Orsini. “Whether they’re entry-level or a master, everyone on the ship has a lot of responsibility. It’s an interrelated community. I don’t think I’ve done anything special. I just went out and did my job.”
Close-Up Talk Radio will feature Captain Susan Orsini in a four-part interview with Jim Masters on March 6th, March 13th, March 20th and March 27th at 12pm EST.
Listen to the show www.blogtalkradio.com/closeuptalkradio. If you have a question for our guest, call (347) 996-3389.