This morning, we were honored to host Damage Controlmen 2nd Class Kyle Johnson as he was sworn into the United States Coast Guard. His family was on hand to celebrate in this special re-enlistment ceremony, which took place Friday morning in our 760,000 gallon Ocean Realm exhibit, home to a variety of fish, sharks, rays and sea turtles.
Kyle was sworn in (underwater!) during a ceremony officiated by Lt. Commander David Reinhard, who stood outside the exhibit. Kyle communicated with Lt. Reinhard with the help of an Aga mask, a specially-designed piece of equipment that allows divers to talk underwater.
Adventure Aquarium has always held a special place in Kyle’s heart, since his father Jim Johnson served as a driver instructor here in the 1990’s. An avid diver himself, Kyle has 11 years of experience under his belt, not only during deployments, but also off the New Jersey coast and in Puerto Rico. He’s currently completing his dive master certification.
A Coast Guard officer for 10 years, this was Kyle’s third time re-enlisting. Coast Guard re-enlistment is done on an individual basis because each officer is on their own contract, and can pick the location and time for their swearing-in ceremony.
Watch the full ceremony here: