Pryor Miller’s journey from land-locked Dallas to service aboard a U.S. Coast Guard vessel began with a soccer ball.
Born and raised in Preston Hollow, Miller attended Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, and as a high school senior, scored a college recruitment offer from the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.
Now, after four years in the Academy, Miller is an ensign, a commissioned officer, stationed in Alameda, California, where he serves aboard Waesche, a national security cutter.
“Being from Dallas, I didn’t know a lot about the Coast Guard,” Miller said. “I sent an email to the soccer coach at the Coast Guard Academy. He started recruiting me, and then I went to visit and fell in love with the place.”
Although recruited for soccer, he chose the Academy due to his desire to serve.
“Ever since I could really remember, I had this interest in wanting to serve,” Miller said. “For the Coast Guard specifically, they have a very humanitarian mission, so it’s different than all the other services. Our main priorities are guarding the coast but also search and rescue.”
“Our main priorities are guarding the coast but also search and rescue.”Ensign Pryor Miller
In early-June, Miller was stationed in Alameda. He will be living in the Bay Area for the next two years. As an entry-level commission officer, his duties will include driving the ships and law enforcement boarding.
He described the school year at the Coast Guard Academy as like any other college. Miller took 18- 21 hours of credit each semester as well as playing soccer.
However, he did have one course each semester called nautical science, which taught necessary skills such as how to drive a cutter and use a chart.
“We got exposure to training during the school year, but it wasn’t as heavy as it was during the summer,” Miller said.
Summers would entail on the job training as well as leadership skills. His first summer, Miller spent six weeks on the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, a 300-foot sailing vessel, and five weeks on a cutter in Virginia. The following summers included working with incoming classes, as well as more on the job training.
“For anyone who doesn’t know what the Coast Guard is or what the Coast Guard does, it’s not a bad thing,” Miller said. “I was one of those people five years ago. The Coast Guard is an awesome service, and they do a lot of things for the safety and well-being of the U.S.”
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