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Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City auditor Yeoman 1st Class Linda Linders, Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thomas J. Turney/The Daily Advance

Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City auditor Yeoman 1st Class Linda Linders, Thursday, February 20, 2014

Linders is the Coastie working behind the scenes

By William F. West

The Daily Advance

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Linda Linders may not be a Coast Guard member the public sees on camera after Air Station Elizabeth City completes a search and rescue mission, but she is important because she helps make sure the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed at the station.

Linders, 30, a yeoman first class, presently works as an auditor in the station’s administrative office. Her job is to help make sure that slightly more than 300 personnel assigned to the station are paid and that their records are kept in order.

“We kind of work sort of behind the scenes,” Linders said. “We’re still making sure everything is functioning for them so that they can go out and carry out their missions.”

“They’re the ones turning the wrenches and flying,” she said. “And so when they come in here, it feels really good to be able to reassure them that we’ve got it and we’ll take care of it.”

Linders said that she enjoys what she does at Air Station Elizabeth City and that she considers herself a people person.

“I like the customer service aspect,” she said. “I like helping people and people come in, looking for assistance. And we’re the experts on most of those issues.”

Linders said one nice part of her job is that, because of today’s rapid advancing technology, she does not have to handle larger, old time data- and word-processing machines.

She did note that there are humorous moments, such as when she and her co-workers see someone’s record still including carbon copy papers.

“It just makes me smile to imagine somebody typing that,” she said.

Linders is from Corpus Christi, Texas.

Corpus Christi, located in the southern coastal part of the Lone Star State, has a Coast Guard air station, but Linders, when she was younger, did not at first envision serving in the Coast Guard.

Rather, she said she chose the Coast Guard after deciding that attending Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi was not going to work out for her.

She said that she saw the Coast Guard recruiting station, approached the recruiter, joined and went on to complete boot camp training at Cape May, N.J.

Her first assignment was aboard a small boat, as part of an aids to navigation team based at Bayonne, N.J. Her job was to help pull aids to navigation devices out of the waters of New York Harbor and the Long Island Sound, clean and fix the devices and then reposition them.

After serving there for roughly two years, she went to Coast Guard Training Center Petaluma, Calif., which is northwest of San Francisco. Linders went there to be trained to work in administrative and human resources types of jobs.

From there, she reported to Sector Sault Sainte Marie, Mich., which is located just on the U.S. side of the Canadian border.

She worked there a couple of years, performing administrative and record keeping duties, but she said she was glad to bid farewell to that location because of the extremely cold winters.

She laughed when recalling that a visiting cousin, who was stationed at Kodiak, Alaska, remarked that Sault Sainte Marie was even colder than Kodiak.

Linders ended up getting a major change with her next assignment, at Coast Guard District 7, which is headquartered at Miami.

Linders was sent to work in a legal office that handled prosecutions in drug smuggling and immigration cases.

She also noted the office’s military justice side, which handled internal disciplinary cases. She said she was part of a team which did a lot of the behind-the-scenes processing of compiling reports. She noted she also worked in court reporting in military justice cases.

She served four years at Miami. “It was a great experience,” she said.

Linders said she and her husband, Darrell, enjoyed much quality time in southern part of the Sunshine State, including the picturesque Florida Keys.

Darrell Linders is a petty officer second class stationed at Elizabeth City. He runs the dunker at the Aviation Technical Training Center’s rescue swimmer training facility.

The facility, which cost $24 million, was dedicated in October 2012 to replace a 68-year-old swimming pool too small and too shallow to simulate rescue missions on storm-tossed seas. The dunker has two modules: one to simulate the cockpit and cabin of a helicopter; the other to simulate a Coast Guard small boat with an enclosed cabin.

Darrell Linders has received much attention locally and in the Coast Guard for his volunteerism in the Elizabeth City area. Linda Linders also noted her husband recently was honored as the ATTC’s enlisted person of the year.

“I’m very proud of him for that,” she said of the award from the ATTC.

The couple, which has been stationed at Elizabeth City since 2011, has two daughters. One is 10 and the other is 3.

Linda Linders has served in the Coast Guard for nearly 10 years. She said she wants to remain in the agency for another decade.

And she said she is quite happy with her career choice, noting, “I wouldn’t change it for the world.”