Cadet Blog: 2/C Heather Gaughan - Friday, February 21, 2020 - Fearless Female 1/C Chloe Plank

Submitted by Heather Gaughan on Thu, 02/20/2020 - 21:00

Not only is 3rd Safety Rate 1/C Chloe Plank, MTRA (Nantucket, MA) one of my closest friends, but she is also one of the most interesting people I know. Chloe has lived on Nantucket her entire life, having been born in Nantucket Hospital. Her parents always encouraged her interests, notably pottery, music classes, horseback riding, and sailing. Chloe started sailing when she was six, and as she got older, she narrowed down her interests to music and sailing. Tall ships are always brought to Nantucket, and the students of the island are taken sailing as field trips. This was an activity that Chloe always enjoyed.

When Chloe was in high school, the tall ship Lynx partnered up with her school for a week-long voyage. The Lynx held an essay contest to choose students to sail with them up and down the New England coast. Chloe won the contest, and sailing aboard Lynx was a life-changing opportunity for her. Chloe didn’t have the best high school experience, but her journey with the Lynx was the first time where she felt like she truly belonged.

Chloe originally wanted to attend Maine Maritime Academy to get away from home, but tuition was too expensive out of state. She had considered applying to King’s Point, but she didn’t want to have to fulfill a service obligation. Chloe had attended and enjoyed the Advanced Science Leadership Program (ASLP) at Massachusetts Maritime Academy when she was in middle school, so, in the end, MMA made the most sense. However, Chloe decided to take a gap year before her freshmen year.

In the fall, she went to Europe and visited with family there. In the winter, she worked on The Lynx. By springtime, she was spending a few months in India climbing the Himalayas. The first two days trying to reach base camp was the hardest thing she’d ever done. But “the only option to get out of where [she] was was to keep going.” Her experience in the Himalayas made her all the tougher for MMA’s Orientation.

When asked about her about favorite aspects of ship life, she responded: “At the end of the day, there’s a trust there. You’re trusting everyone on the ship with your life.” No matter who you’re working with, at the end of the day you are putting faith in the people around you.

According to Chloe, “encouraging girls needs to start earlier. Anyone can do anything in 2020, but girls need to be exposed to opportunities in childhood.” Chloe has actually recently accepted a position as a third mate with Military Sealift Command (MSC). Thank you, Chloe, for being the fearless female that you are.

Click on the video below.  You'll feel like you are sailing aboard the Lynz with Chloe!

Check out this video about Military Sealift Command! 

Chloe will be working aboard a similar ship in just a few months.


chloe in uniform on deck
large sailing ship with american flag
military sea lift logo