Corey Daniel Reseburg’s first trip to the nation’s capital will be tough to top.
An apprentice at the SIU-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education, Reseburg on March 4 participated in an Oval Office ceremony where President Trump signed an executive order aimed at facilitating military veterans’ entry to the U.S. maritime industry.
A U.S. Army veteran, Reseburg was one of 18 people standing behind the president as he signed the order. Attendees also included Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby, Deputy Maritime Administrator Richard Balzano, and other mariners.
Reseburg, 32, appreciated the experience but wasn’t overwhelmed by it.
“I’d never been to D.C. before,” he recalled. “Just to be able to go the Oval Office and meet the president was quite the opportunity. Standing there in the office, there’s a lot of history. I felt honored, and it felt like the president was happy to sign the order and support veterans coming into the industry.”
Reseburg said that although his time at the White House was “short and sweet, probably 15 to 20 minutes,” he got to meet “quite a few people.” That list included Chao, a longtime friend of the SIU and supporter of American maritime.
“I got to speak with her, which was pretty cool,” Reseburg noted. “I also got to meet Admiral Buzby and got to see some colleagues from the Great Lakes.”
Asked about his nerves, the Jacksonville, Florida, native replied, “I was a little nervous to speak to everybody and meet them for the first time, but not really very much. Being with a group of people, it wasn’t so bad.”
He said Trump handed out markers from his desk that he uses to sign bills, and Buzby got a signed copy of the executive order (one supported by the SIU).
As for his post-Army career choice, Reseburg is optimistic. He separated from the service in 2008 and then “had been working dead-end jobs for a while,” Reseburg said. “I met a guy and asked him what he did for a living. He gave me the number to the SIU and the rest is history.” The connection wasn’t purely luck, though. Reseburg said that, living in a port city, “I had always had an interest” in the maritime industry. “I guess living in Jacksonville, seeing those big ships, I wondered, how do I get there?”
His training at the school in Piney Point, Maryland, is “moving right along,” he said.
He’s unsure which department he’ll choose but is “leaning engine.”