The former top enlisted Coast Guard member blasted Congress and the Trump administration in a Military.com op-ed, saying he is “ashamed” of the lack of leadership as a partial government shutdown heads into week five, leaving Coast Guard members without pay.
Steven Cantrell, the master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard until last year, co-wrote the piece with his former deputy Leilani Cale-Jones.
They wrote that they have a “bitter taste” when they see people who are getting paid using the Coast Guard payroll to play politics.
“We worry about those young families with special needs, and about the new recruit who will graduate into the service knowing they will stay put until a budget is passed and who may be thinking to themselves that raising their hand to support and defend our Constitution was possibly a mistake.”
Coast Guard members have not been paid since the end of the year, which Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz has also spoken out about.
Then-Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steven Cantrell at Training Center Yorktown, Va., in January 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist Andrew Winz