Army captain now a Coast Guard ensign — and happy about it
By JIM SULLIVAN | The Daily News of Newburyport, Mass. | Published: June 27, 2017
NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (Tribune News Service) — Andrew Grady started the day a captain and ended it an ensign, but he's happy about that.
"Usually, it goes the other way," Grady said. "I've got to work my way back up the ladder."
A captain in the U.S. Army until Sunday night, Grady, 30, served eight years as a Ranger, with deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.
On Monday morning, he walked into the Custom House Maritime Museum and was sworn in as a U.S. Coast Guard ensign.
While his decision may seem curious to some, with his wife, Coast Guard Lt. Dana Grady, stationed in Boston, Andrew Grady said a demotion — and a switch in his branch of service – was the best way to keep the family together.
Having met while they were students at Norwich University, the Gradys were married in fall 2014. The Army tends to move its officers further inland and with his career moving along, Grady knew that when it came to his marriage, it was time to make a decision.
"The long-term benefit of staying in the Army was good for the job but not so good for the relationship," he said. "I looked at things and said, 'If I keep going, I am going to be stationed inland while she is going to be on the coasts.' The juice isn't worth the squeeze."
Grady had met all his contractual obligations, so he finished his time with the Army last week, then was commissioned into the Coast Guard on Monday – with his wife administering the oath of office.
"We have been through a lot over the last couple of years," Dana Grady said. "But our resolve has grown us closer together. The Coast Guard is really great about the dedication to family. Most people let their job kind of run everything. Then, at the end of a 20-year career, they don't have a family. Whether the Army would have allowed us to do that, I don't know. But this is a better avenue in which to get there."
Lt. Grady will now be joined by her husband stationed in Boston, and the couple know where they will call home, for at least a little while.
"This guarantees the next three years we will live together." Andrew Grady said. "We can be a family, instead of living as geographic bachelors."
On hand to make sure the oath was administered properly, Coast Guard recruiter Corey Landante was more than happy to receive the new ensign Monday.
"This is a great catch," Landante said. "There are certain programs with the Coast Guard that offer entrance in from different services. Do we see it a lot? No. Is it available? Yes."