Where Are They Now

Once a Spartan, Always a Spartan 

Making Waves had the opportunity to connect with Lieutenant (LT) Carey Lewis, Cyber Strategy Exercise Support Lead for the U.S. Coast Guard and NSU Alumni class of 2012. LT Lewis is currently stationed at CG-791, Office of Cyberspace Forces in which he is responsible for planning and coordinating cybersecurity exercises to prepare and protect the Coast Guard and Ports nationwide from cybersecurity incidents.  

During his time at NSU, LT Lewis was an esteemed STARS Scholar, STEM Mentor, and participated in Intramural basketball. In addition to his 15+ hours of coursework, he worked part-time for the City of Norfolk as a Radio Communications Technician. LT Lewis also shared with us his fondest memory while at NSU, “…it was November 4, 2008, and the night Barack Obama was elected to office. The entire campus celebrated all night—students, professors, and law enforcement. This experience really solidified my time at NSU; it was truly a family with wanting everyone to succeed.” Though that was a joyous occasion for us all, 2008 was also a year that devastated America. LT Lewis recalled the stock market crash and the negative impact on employment across the nation; “seeing my peers graduate and having difficulty finding work motivated me to look into the military.”  

The Coast Guard College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) is for motivated students who want to serve their country. LT Lewis found out about CSPI through his cousin, CDR Deon Scott (USCG ret.). “CSPI provides college sophomores and juniors with valuable leadership, management, law enforcement, navigation and marine science skills and training, while fully funding up to two years of college,” said LT Lewis. CSPI is a scholarship program and is exclusively offered to students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). While enrolled in school, a CSPI Officer Trainee is enlisted in the Coast Guard. Students receive a salary, housing allowance, entitlements, and the benefits of being an active duty service member. Upon graduation from college, Officer Trainees attend Officer Candidate School earn their commission as Officers upon successful completion. “This program allowed me to focus on an education with knowing that I would have a guaranteed career after graduation and it provided me with the tools needed to succeed on campus and after. The memories and people, I’ve met in my career have had a profound impact on my life.” 

As a Coast Guard Officer, LT Lewis’ career has been demanding, yet rewarding. He’s had the opportunity to travel to many different places and help those in need. His most engaging tour was during his assignment to the Coast Guard Incident Management Assist Team from 2015-2018. “I deployed to support three National Security Special Events (NSSEs) to include the United Nations General Assembly, a Papal Visit, and the Republican National Convention. In addition, I responded to Hurricane Maria, a CAT 5 hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico and has been regarded as one the worst natural disasters to affect the island.” For this lifelong Spartan, he appreciates the diverse workforce, sense of community, advanced education and training opportunities, and adventure the Coast Guard Provides.  

For any students who are interested in the CSPI Scholarship, LT Lewis leaves you with this, “At first it might seem overwhelming to think about all the requirements needed to join. But in the end, it is without question you will be proud to be a part of the United States Coast Guard.” Interested students may visit www.gocoastguard/CSPI or contact the local Officer Recruiter, LT Tia Grandville at (757) 297-7050 to learn more about the eligibility requirements for the CSPI Program.