Chief Master-at-Arms Paul Struss
SANTA RITA, Guam – Like many young college students, Chief Master-at-Arms Paul Struss, assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40), wasn’t sure which path to take after walking across the stage at graduation.
“I didn’t know what to do with my degree,” said Struss, a native of Long Island, N.Y. “Everyone tells you to go to college, but where do you go from there? I had a history degree and wanted to be a part of history, so I joined the Navy. One enlistment lead to another and here I am.”
With just over 10 years in the Navy, Struss learned he was selected to become a security officer through the Navy’s limited duty officer (LDO) program March 2.
The limited duty officer program provides commissioning opportunities to qualified senior enlisted personnel and Chief Warrant Officers. LDOs are technically oriented officers who perform duties in specific occupational fields and require strong managerial skills.
Struss expressed the LDO promotion has given him a lot of things to think about. Transitioning from a sea based security position to one on shore will bring many changes, and he said he’d like to receive mentorship from base security.
Mentorship has played a huge role in shaping Struss’ career. He emphasized a strong support system is key to being successful in the Navy.
“It’s really hard to accomplish anything by yourself,” said Struss. “It comes down to others around you. I definitely owe a lot to my wife, Caitlin J. Struss. My wife stood by me through a lot. It takes a very special person to go through deployments and support you.”
Struss stressed mentorship at the professional level was important in helping him reach his goals as well. He said his mentors Lt. Clayton McCarl and Ens. Eric Uhden and many other people encouraged him to apply for the LDO program.
“A lot of folks said I was selling myself short,” said Struss. “It hit a tone with me. In the words of Wayne Gretzky, ‘You miss every shot you don’t take’. So I figured I might as well see what happens. I would have never done it without the help of others.”
Throughout his career, Struss has experienced his share of setbacks along with his triumphs. In 2011, when his Perform to Serve reenlistment was denied, through no fault of his own, he never gave up on continuing his Navy career.
“Instead of just quitting and feeling sorry for myself, I fought it tooth and nail,” said Struss. “I wanted to be in the Navy. I deserved to be in the Navy. The key thing is that I didn’t quit. I didn’t accept no for an answer. If you really want something, you have to fight for it.”
Struss said he’s been very fortunate in his 10 years in the Navy. He emphasized it all came down to never giving up, fighting for what he wanted and listening to mentors. He said you’re never too old or too senior to ask for advice.
“Always be respectful and humble,” said Struss. “Always remember where you started.”
Frank Cable is forward deployed to the island of Guam and conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels in the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operations. For more information on Frank Cable, find us on Facebook at USS Frank Cable (AS 40), or http://www.csp.navy.mil/frankcable.
For further questions, please contact USS Frank Cable Public Affairs Office (671) 343-2545 x6418 or media@AS40.navy.mil.
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