New Coast Guard commander at Fort Pierce Station
continues longtime mission along the Treasure Coast
Most women in their early 20s are just figuring out
what to do with their lives. But Lt. j.g. Karida
Harris, 24, was recently promoted to commander
of the USCGC Ibis stationed at the Fort Pierce Coast Guard
Station establishing her as one of the youngest commanders
and only the second African American woman to achieve
such an honor.
“I knew from a very early age that I wanted to join the
armed forces, but I wasn’t sure which one,” Harris explained.
“I had the desire to do something that had nothing to do with
money and everything to do with helping others. I considered
the Navy, but when I learned about all the opportunities
that the Coast Guard offered and the duties they performed, I
knew it was for me.
“I love the smaller service where everyone knows everyone
and they truly care about each other. Plus, while other
services spend a lot of time preparing, we do our exciting
jobs, like rescuing people and patrolling our shores, each and
Harris was raised in a working-class neighborhood in Baltimore,
Maryland, where she lived in a modest home with her
mom, dad, five sisters and two brothers.
The U.S. Coast Guard Station in Fort Pierce is located on South Hutchinson Island which provides quick access to the Atlantic Ocean via the Fort Pierce Inlet.
BY KERRY FIRTH