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xx Miniature Mauler in the Culinary Corner
« Thread started on: Oct 25th, 2009, 10:45am »

From stories ranging from classic opera, such as Barber of Seville, to modern comics like Batman, the idea of living on two sides of the fence have always intrigued and entertained. Count Almaviva dresses as a poor student with a group of musicians by day while Bruce Wayne takes on the cape and cowl of a crime fighter by night. For one Coastie, he has adopted the same manner of lifestyle. At work, he wears the uniform of a cook. Outside however, he wears the trunks and gloves of a boxer. For him, the grass is always green.

Growing up in Davao City, Philippines, Petty Officer 1st Class, Arlo Ciencia, the Food Service Officer for Coast Guard Station Golden Gate, developed a love for boxing. When he moved to the states in 2000 and enlisted into the Coast Guard, the idea of combining his devotion to duty and love of punching things never crossed his mind. Originally wanting to become an aviation maintenance technician, Ciencia later decided on becoming a food service specialist.

After being stationed on the Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau as a cook for four years, he had his chance to put on the gloves when he was transferred to the CGC Blue Shark in Everett, Wash.

Ciencia began his training at a local gym in 2005 while stationed on the Blue Shark. During sparring practice, his coaches soon noticed his potential when he stepped into the ring against people many times his size. After knocking out a 160 lb opponent, his coaches convinced him to try a real fight.

He waited for eight months as his coaches searched for a challenger who would accept the fight. And when he got his chance, Ciencia met his opponent with full force. However, Ciencia dealt with a challenge he had no experience with, his nerves in the face of the public.

"You get nervous in front of a thousand people when it's just two guys and the referee," said Ciencia.

He lacked experience, and when the bell rang it soon showed. His opponent sprung forward, hoping to take Ciencia out early in the fight. It wouldn't take long before the fight was over. Fifty-five seconds into the first round of the fight, Ciencia proved that while he may still be green, he certainly isn't yellow. After four hits to the head of his opponent, the fight was over before it reached the one-minute-mark.

"He was on the ground longer than our fight," said Ciencia

His next fight was similar, ending in a KO for his opponent with surprising speed. "I just started knocking people out," said Ciencia. However, this came with an unexpected recoil. Fights became difficult to find as nobody wanted to compete against him due to his brutal reputation as being a heavy hitter. Ciencia was forced to step out of his normal weight class and move up one.

The two fights to follow resulted in two loses by decision for him. This, along changing his duty station after three years, proved to trouble him. However, he refused to give up. Returning to his original weight class of 112, he entered the 2009 Washington State Golden Gloves Boxing Championship, winning each fight by decision and taking home the title.

Along with his dedication to boxing, Ciencia is able to provide a unique outlook to his menus. With the strict diet to which he must adhere, he gives all members of his unit nutritious meals that keep his fellow shipmates fit and healthy for the rigorous days they must undergo. Furthermore, he is tasked with managing the station's food budget and inventory.

Along with the dietary influence he brings, Ciencia's example is something that inspires others of his unit. His job as the supervising cook allows him to share experience as well as his determination with his peers.

"He looks out for his subordinates, and makes sure we're squared away and thatís what I like about him," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Hazen, a cook at the station. "He's always there to back us up."

While Ciencia's primary duties keep him away from the galley, he always manages to find time to help out. He can always be found in the galley, teaching his junior petty officers how to manage a galley and serve the best meals possible. He does this by not only being the best boss possible, but by being a friend to all people he works with.

"He's my boss, but he's also my best friend here," said Hazen.

Ciencia's dedication to physical fitness also proves to inspire his co-workers. With his engaging personality, he motivates others to join him during his daily routine. Whether it's running or shadow boxing, he is able to encourage many members to improve their own personal fitness.

"He'll ask you if you want to go for a run," said Chief Warrant Officer Mark T. Allstott, Commanding Officer of Station Golden Gate, "Myself included, and I'm a hard one to get to run."

Even while limited to the 87 feet of the Blue Shark, he managed to still keep in the best condition possible. Making use of what little space he had to jump rope, shadow box, do push-ups, and even running in place inside his berthing.

"I remember one time I had a fight and we were underway that night. Mr. Luke Slivinski, my CO, let me go on a smallboat ride to homeport and I fought that night, and then headed right back to the boat to finish the rest of the trip. I even managed to win that fight having been underway five days before that," said Ciencia.

While underway, he was troubled with staying in top physical condition while being limited by a lack of the equipment he was use to. Ciencia continued to remain in the best of possible conditions, even seeking the permission of his CO to exercise on the fan tail when the seas were not too rough.

Ciencia now lives in Vallejo, Calif. with his wife and one-year-old son. While his family life has changed how much he is able to train, he still has high hopes for his future in boxing. He deals with the daily difficulties of managing his strenuous workout along with his work and family well.

"He's a family man, and really enjoys his sport," said Allstott, "For me, it would be very difficult to balance all of those traits and he does it quite well without missing a beat."

Having shown his ability to hold his own inside the ring, he hopes to make boxing his job for the Coast Guard. With his current record of 8-2 he is eligible to try out for the Navy Boxing Team and join other service members who compete to test their mettle against other servicemembers If his current record is a preview to his future of boxing career, his involvement with the Navy Boxing Team will prove his fighting spirit, iron will, and bring pride to the Coast Guard.

"I think I have a pretty good chance," said Ciencia, "I mean, I have two titles, the 2009 Ringside World Championship and 2009 Washington Golden Gloves."
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