SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- Rear Adm. Joseph Castillo, Commander of the 11th Coast Guard District, takes the helm of a 41-foot utility boat from Station Los Angeles-Long Beach in the Port of Los Angeles Monday, Aug. 17, 2009. Rear Adm. Castillo is in the Los Angeles area conducting unit visits with Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach. U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 3rd Class Cory J. Mendenhall.

Lumping people together; it’s only human

I suppose I was lumped into a few categories in my Coast Guard career – mostly for the good – although there were a few who just couldn’t seem to see any value in me. I never did understand why. Fortunately, several people took me under their wing, at several stages in my career, because they saw potential and a strong work ethic underneath the rough edges I displayed.