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Author Topic: Women In Today's Coast Guard  (Read 50689 times)
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BuoyJumper
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« on: June 13, 2008, 09:35:57 am »



Press Release
Date: June 12, 2008
Contact: Levi Read

Coast Guard Physician Honored

JUNEAU, Alaska - A Coast Guard physician has been named the United States Public Health Service Physician's Professional Advisory Committee Clinician of the Year.   

Lieutenant  Cmdr. Leslie Wood, Senior Medical Officer  Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, was honored by the United States Public Health Service Tuesday at the Public Health Service Scientific and Training Symposium in Tucson, Ariz. The award was presented by Public Health Service Rear Adm. Steven K. Galson, acting Surgeon General.



"I am honored and surprised to receive this award," Wood said.  "But most of all, I believe in the mission and that is what makes it really special.  I also believe that the Public Health Service believes in the same mission as I do, in providing the best care at the earliest moment possible."

The award recognizes a physician who consistently achieves high standards in the practice of medicine and is able to find innovative ways of delivering quality medical care despite the constraints of budget and personnel.  Additionally the award winner is someone who is consistently looked upon as a role model by peers and is a valuable resource due to their extended length of service.

Wood graduated from the University of Maine in 1988 and went on to receive her medical degree from the University of Vermont in 1995. For more than eight years she worked as a staff physician at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka.  At Mt. Edgecumbe she standardized the care of both critically ill and trauma patients in the entire Southeast Alaska region by developing protocols based on nationally recognized standards. She also coordinated local, state and regional resources to provide education to remote hospital clinics and pre-hospital personnel.

In February 2007 she accepted her current position as a commissioned officer and senior medical officer of Coast Guard Air Station Sitka.

Most recently  Wood has been actively involved in improving the quality of care delivered aboard Coast Guard helicopters.  She implemented a needleless system for the administration of intravenous fluids and medications during transport to improve safety. She is also field testing new trauma and hypothermia treatment equipment.  Wood explained that she realized the need for better care and better technology aboard the helicopters while reflecting on her previous experience in the Emergency Room at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital.

"At my previous job I had a clean and controlled environment in which to work," she said.  "Now aboard helicopters, I don't have that luxury.  We are usually operating in the dark with all our extra survival gear and in a moving object sometimes in severe weather."

Wood is a certified U.S. Army Flight Surgeon and a NOAA dive medical officer.   In addition she maintains certification in wilderness advance life support, advanced trauma life support, pediatric advanced life support, and as an advanced cardiac life support instructor.  In addition to her Coast Guard duties, Wood is also the medical director of the Sitka mountain rescue team and fire department.   She also volunteers as a public safety diver on the Sitka fire department dive rescue team and as the emergency medical service physician sponsor for Hoonah and Pelican. 

Wood's commitment to improving healthcare in the region was on full display in November 2007 when, while off-duty, she assisted in saving the life of a 62-year-old patient in Haines.  Her medical knowledge and insight were critical to the aircrew's flight planning.  Using her air crew and multiple civilian medical technicians she was able to prepare the patient to be airborne in one hour, half the time originally projected.   Another hour was saved when she deemed it necessary to transfer the patient to Juneau instead of the original destination of Sitka.   

"In most places in America you look at the ‘golden hour' to save a life, in Alaska you look at the ‘golden day'," Wood said. "Pre-hospital care is vital because of all the remote villages in Alaska and transportation needs are greater than in most places."

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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2009, 10:51:51 am »



I'm every woman
Friday, March 20, 2009
Posted by PA3 Tara Molle at 2:08 PM

"Yes, the SPARS have a job to do too. Perhaps our jobs are not for the moment, so exciting as sending a depth charge over a cutter side or seeing a tell tale oil slick rise from a blasted sub. But they are vital jobs, which must be done. Vital jobs, done by women, so that men may fight.....You won't get to be an Admiral, but you may be the Admiral's secretary." Coast Guard SPARS commercial circa 1943.



It's hard to imagine that this was only a little over 60 years ago. I remember laughing the first time I watched this video because it seemed so incredibly unreal to me. And yet, it was very real and widely known that women knew their roles and that was that. Times have changed though and many women are no longer succumbing to the traditional view that a woman's place is at home or in the kitchen. They can and are able to serve right alongside with the men in all of the uniformed services.

Today I was able to attend a Women's Leadership Panel Discussion at Coast Guard Sector Seattle. There were six special guests who were chosen to speak based on their superior achievements while serving in the Coast Guard and also of course...for being women.



Capt. Sue Englebert, Commanding Officer for Sector Seattle; Captain Michele Bullock, Commanding Officer for the NOAA Marine Operations Center; Lt. Melanie Burnham, Commanding Officer of Station Seattle; Chief Petty Officer Laura Freeman, a damage controlman on board the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star; Chief Petty Officer Tanya Huneycutt, a marine science technician serving in the Port State Control Branch of Sector Seattle; and Coast Guard Auxiliarist Mary Ann Chapman, who serves in the position of Sector Auxiliary Coordinator all spoke on their experiences of being a woman in a man's world.

The conversations were complete eye openers for not just myself, but every woman who was in that room....and I am sure even for some of the men as well. The six women all spoke of different experiences and yet each story seemed to echo close similarities to one another. I can only speak for myself, but I know I have taken things for granted. The fact that I can do the job I do alongside the boys and possibly (if I would like) work up the ranks to become an Admiral? That was unheard of and I have to take a step back sometimes and learn to appreciate all of the women that paved that road for not just myself but all of the other women in every branch.

Personally, I understand some of the difficulties they have gone through. Definitely not to their extent but I know that I am a minority, especially for the fact that I am the only female in an office with 10 other male counterparts. However, we all treat each other with dignity and respect. There is no male or female, black or white and that is how it should be. In the end, the quality of a person is what should really count, not their gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.

This is a very passionate subject for many people and women have not been the only people who have been discriminated against. I realize that we have come a long way from the SPAR days and while significant positive changes have been made there are still times where it may seem as though we are looking through the glass ceiling. My only advice for women in my generation is to believe in yourself and take these incredible stories and words of wisdom from these extraordinary women and use them as stepping stones. Through the years they have sacrificed and dealt with hardships to bring us to where we are now. And for that, we are eternally grateful.

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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2009, 06:19:25 pm »



Feature Story Release
May 29, 2009
District 13 Public Affairs
Story and photos by:  Petty Officer Third Class Tara Molle

It's a dirty job and a woman can do it

Ponder this fact for a minute.

During World War II, the Coast Guard created the U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve, better known as the SPAR's (Semper Paratus Always Ready). The SPAR's mission was for women to take over administrative and secretarial positions so they can "release a man to sea." Women had their roles and that was that. Fast forward approximately 30 years and the Coast Guard opens all officer career fields and enlisted ratings to women in 1978.

Not that long ago was it?

Times have changed and for many women in 2009, they no longer submit to the traditional view that a woman's place is at home or in the kitchen. They can and are able to serve right alongside men in all of the uniformed services. Now the statement, "You work like a girl" has taken on a completely new meaning. What used to be more of an insulting and demeaning statement has become a remark that most women ignore.

Chief Petty Officer Laura Freeman, a damage controlMAN (DC) on board the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, homeported in Seattle, has been hearing that she "works like a girl" her entire life; and that's the way she likes it.

As a wife and mother, Freeman lives to stay busy and get her hands dirty while never losing her female edge at work. Freeman was one of the first females to advance to Chief Petty Officer in the DC rating. It is definitely not something she boasts about though; to Freeman, it is just doing a job she loves.


Chief Petty Officer Laura Freeman's uniform (above left) hangs in her state room along with her hard hat on board the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star May 13, 2009. Freeman was one of the first female chief's in the damage controlman rating.Chief Petty Officer Laura Freeman's words of wisdom (above right) she has collected over the years cover the wall of her stateroom on board the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star.

For Freeman, the most appealing element of becoming a DC meant the thrill of being able to build, create and fix things, especially when it comes to keeping her ship safe from flooding while at sea.

"The best part of being a DC is that there are little to no rules, so you can unleash the inner MacGyver in your heart and do whatever it takes within reason to make the flooding stop," said Freeman. "I would have to say that my experiences as a DC are the same as all others in the rating. Our rate is so diverse that everyone finds something that appeals to them whether it is welding, carpentry, fire fighting or construction. I love the rate because it is tangible, at the end of the day I can see what I have built, repaired or created."

If you were to have a conversation with Freeman about work, after awhile you might think you were listening to a guy talk about his daily experiences in "the shop"' However, a sweet feminine voice, long dark hair tied neatly in a bun, a little colored lipstick and just a touch of perfume gives her away.

"As a Chief now, I do not find it hard to be a female," said Freeman. "As a matter of fact, it is kinda fun to meet people and have them say, ‘You do really exist! I have always heard that there were females in our rate but I have never met one till now.' I just smile."

Being a woman in the Coast Guard wasn't always easy for Freeman. Time has changed and soothed the negative mindset many men used to harbor toward females in the armed services.

"When I was younger, there were many days when I wanted to quit but I always had a very strong support system that reminded me that as long as I do my very best every day that no one could ever ask more of me," said Freeman. "I have been fortunate to have others in my rate who cared about me for the person that I am and believed in me on the days when I could or would not believe in myself."

As Freeman speaks, her eyes seem to reflect those tough moments lived in the past and the hardships overcome.

"It has made the difference on those days when I wondered if the Coast Guard was still for me," she said.

Thankfully for the Coast Guard, Freeman decided to stay through the difficult days and watch her hard work pay off.


Chief Petty Officer Laura Freeman gets ready for another day's work in her stateroom on board the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star.  Chief Laura Freeman's welding helmet is personalized with her nickname "Dragon Lady" by one of her fellow shipmates.  

"Some of the hardest tasks have been the construction and pipe fitting work that I was fortunate enough to do at the industrial shops that I worked in, not because I was a girl but because there is lots of heavy lifting and climbing or tons of nailing," said Freeman.

Those were the best and worst days during her Coast Guard career. There were many times where Freeman would come home exhausted from a hard days work, but the knowledge of something built or fixed by her own hand made it all worth it.

"I always said that I would stay in the Coast Guard ‘til it was not fun any more and on the worst of days I ask myself, "What kind of day do you think the guy burning fries at a burger joint had?"The day that I feel like I have had a worse day than that guy then I will turn in my paper work to get out," said Freeman.

Freeman must be having some pretty good days for she has no plans of getting out anytime soon. The only downside for Freeman is working on board a cutter that is currently not at sea. The Polar Star has been sitting pierside in Seattle for the past few years awaiting overhaul and refurbishment funds. The ship is currently undergoing heavy maintenance and restoration to bring the ship back to the active Coast Guard fleet.


Laura Freeman prepares to weld on board the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star May 13, 2009.  

"As far as being on the cutters, I love it," said Freeman. "I truly miss the sunsets, late night watches and the comradery that you can only find while underway. As dysfunctional as you are, you are still one big family. Some of my best friends are those that I made underway on the cutters. You can never explain it to someone else."

For many Coast Guard members, being underway on cutters creates relationships that closely resemble that of a tight knit family unit. Even with the ship's comradery, times can be tough for the mother of three.

"Don't get me wrong, there is something to be said for going home every night and being there to see your children grow and open their birthday gifts," said Freeman. "I know first hand that being away from your family is hard for ALL parents, male or female."

Freeman does her best to keep a positive attitude on and off the ship and whether at home or at work. Her jovial personality is infectious and it seems to spread to the people around her, especially for the other women on the ship.

"For the other women that I mentor I just tell them to remember that, ‘attitudes are contagious,' both good and bad it will spread to the other people that you work with," said Freeman. "Double-check your facts and speak with purpose. You are a woman! If you do the best you can every day, then stand by that. Do not be afraid to ask for help but never let someone do your work for you."

Freeman plays the role of another female pioneer paving the road for the future generations of women in the armed services. Although she speaks modestly of herself, she never forgets the struggles and sacrifices she and other women before her had to make to get to where they are now.

Freeman lives by this motto, "You can never out grow the limitations that you place on yourself, so set the bar high."

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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2009, 10:23:49 am »

I was glad to see that Freeman said she doesn't forget the struggles of the women before her. My wife was in the CG in 1976 and wanted to be an MST onboard a ship. Unfortunately, back then, women weren't allowed on ships so they couldn't go into "sea-going" fields. In the late 1980's I was the non-rate detailer in MLC(Lant) and women who came out of boot and were assigned to me for further assignment, all went to ships first (so did the men). We did a review of the women (even before directed by the Commandant) about what fields the women went into from ships. 90+% went into "non-traditional" jobs from ships, in otherwords, jobs that weren't YN, SK, or RM.  Cool
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2009, 10:36:46 am »

I was glad to see that Freeman said she doesn't forget the struggles of the women before her. My wife was in the CG in 1976 and wanted to be an MST onboard a ship. Unfortunately, back then, women weren't allowed on ships so they couldn't go into "sea-going" fields. In the late 1980's I was the non-rate detailer in MLC(Lant) and women who came out of boot and were assigned to me for further assignment, all went to ships first (so did the men). We did a review of the women (even before directed by the Commandant) about what fields the women went into from ships. 90+% went into "non-traditional" jobs from ships, in otherwords, jobs that weren't YN, SK, or RM.  Cool

Interesting you should say that Walter.  One of our forum members Cuttercoasty is an MK1 presently serving on a 175-foot buoy tender in Maine.  Her previous assignment was the cutter Sherman.  I had an interesting discussion with her regarding her non-traditional job as an MK1 especially with her dad being a retired Coast Guard YNC.  I was surprised she hadn't followed in her father's footsteps and she explained that she has always had a strong mechanical aptitude and really enjoyed working with her hands.
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2009, 12:53:02 pm »

This is a really interesting thread, thanks for posting it.  Although I was never active duty, I was in the Coast Guard Auxiliary... and wanted to share this story with you.

Our flotilla was invited for a ride up the river on a black hulled tug.  While on board, I got talking with the chief.  I was telling him how much I loved the Auxiliary, and wanted to know if I could help out in any way.. maybe augment as crew.  He was really interested in my background of tall ship sailing, (I had worked as a deckhand, bosun's mate, and youth mentor) but told me that since his ship was an all male cutter, I couldn't do any overnights.  Infact, no non-commanding female had ever done overnights on an all male ship, so he thought it was going to be impossible.

I described the conditions on board the tall ships (they're co-ed berthing areas-- and pretty primative)..  and told him I wouldn't mind sleeping in the galley, or on deck.

To my amazement, somehow he got permission for me.  And let me tell you... it was such a great experience.  The crew went out of their way to help train me.. and even got me working through the PQSs.  On our overnight patrols, I slept in the office on a sleeping bag.. not a problem.

The Coast Guard is really progressive when it comes to women's issues.  They were the first service to admit women into the Academy.. and overall, I think they give women the best opportunities.  

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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2009, 02:14:25 pm »

Seems when people (male or female) get an opportunity to see what jobs are available, they make more intelligent decisions as to what route to take. When I first got the detailer job, I was assigning women and men to all the units (I handled medium and high endurance cutters in the Gulf and Atlantic and all support centers and comm stations). When visiting, I found that most of the female E2's right out of boot camp, on land units were working in the offices, even in my own backyard at Support Center New York. But those on ships were going to the non-traditional ratings when they went to A school.

Got a call to go over to the admiral's office and when I got there, he had the chief-of-staff read a letter from the commandant that concerned women in non-traditional fields. Fortunately for me, about a year before, I had started the procedure of everyone coming from boot camp went to ships first. So, I had some statistics to back up what we were doing. The admiral smiled and told the chief-of-staff to get a letter back to the commandant citing my stats.

It was simply exposing people to more jobs that the Coast Guard had and that helped them in deciding which schools to go to.  Over the years, there have been more and more women who have taken what we considered the non-traditional routes. This allows for, what I feel is, a better work force. Cool
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2009, 07:02:39 pm »



News Release
July 9, 2009
District 11 Public Affairs

Coast Guard master chief retires after long service


Master Chief Petty Officer Patricia Stolle above left, is presented the Legion of Merit by Rear Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, the former commander of the Eleventh Coast Guard District during a Eleventh District command master chief change of watch ceremony, Friday, June 26, 2009. Master Chief Petty Officer Terence F. Vanderwerf relieved Stolle as the district command master chief. A retirement ceremony was also held for Stolle today who served as an active duty member for more than 35 years and was the first enlisted woman in the Coast Guard to achieve the rank of master chief petty officer since the Coast Guard SPARs.  Master Chief Petty Officer Patricia Stolle (left) in the photo above right, receives her ceremonial retirement flag from Master Chief Petty Officer Leilani CaleJones, Friday, June 26, 2009.  (USCG photos by PO3 Erik Swanson)

COAST GUARD ISLAND, ALAMEDA, Calif. – Master Chief Petty Officer Patricia A. Stolle, a Petaluma, Calif., native, retired from the Coast Guard June 26, after serving for more than 35 years as an enlisted member.

A retirement ceremony was held for Stolle immediately following a change of watch ceremony where Master Chief Petty Officer Terence F. Vanderwerf relieved her as the command master chief of the Eleventh Coast Guard District located here.

Stolle joined the Coast Guard June 1974, just shortly after legislation was passed allowing women to join the regular Coast Guard in 1973. She attended basic training at Cape May, N.J., and upon graduation, attended Yeoman “A” School in Petaluma, Calif.

She totes a long list of historical accomplishments including, the first chief petty officer woman to serve at sea on a Coast Guard cutter and the first enlisted woman since the SPARS to be advanced to master chief petty officer. Stolle and Master Chief Petty Officer Diane Bucci were the first women to be selected for command master chiefs.


Master Chief Petty Officer Patricia Stolle, the former command master chief of the Eleventh Coast Guard District, speaks at her retirement ceremony.  Petty Officer 2nd Class Jessika Garay (right) passes the retirement flag to Petty Officer 1st Class Rikki Lake for presentation to Master Chief Petty Officer Patricia Stolle during her retirement ceremony.  (USCG photos by PO3 Erik Swanson)


Stolle assumed the duties as command master chief for the Eleventh Coast Guard District in June of 2006. She previously served as a command master chief for both the Eighth Coast Guard District in New Orleans, and the Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific located here. On July 1, 1993, Stolle was advanced to master chief petty officer while serving at the Personnel Reporting Unit in Yorktown, Va. Prior to becoming a command master chief, she was stationed at Coast Guard Training Center Petaluma, where she served as an instructor at the Chief Petty Officer Academy for five years.

Her awards include two Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal, two Commandant Letter of Commendation Ribbons with “O” device and a host of many others, including a letter of appreciation from President Barack Obama.

Stolle and her husband Douglas will be enjoying the next chapter of their life in Bothell, Wash.
 
News Release
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2009, 07:57:13 pm »

MCPO Patty Stolle deserves the honors. She has certainly been a mainstay in the Coast Guard and I wish her all of the success and best wishes in her future endeavours.  Cool
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2009, 01:23:21 pm »



Blog Release
Date: July 10, 2009
Contact:  District 8 Public Affairs
Blog Story:  Posted by PA3 Lehmann

The Mighty Nonrate

NEW ORLEANS, LA. — PA3 Casey Ranel and I were out looking for a story at ISC New Orleans when we came across the Cutter Brant undergoing their dockside maintenance. We wandered down and started talking with the crew and one of them pointed out this tiny blur moving up in the mast of the boat.

The Machinery Technician Chief Petty Officer (MKC) explained that it was their newest addition, SA April Mikaolajczyk. It was only her second week stationed with USCGC Brant and to the admiration of the more senior members, Mikaolajczyk had taken on the job of painting what is arguably the most dangerous section of the boat.

Instantly I'm interested. I ask the deck boss (a Boatswain's Mate First Class Petty Officer) if he would mind if I interviewed her, got his okay and this was the product of that conversation:



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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2009, 02:52:31 pm »



News Release
Date: July 10, 2009
Contact:  District 11 Public Affairs

Vice Admiral Jody Breckenridge new 
Commanding Officer of Pacific Area Command



Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, Vice Adm. David Pekoske, Vice Adm. Jody Breckenridge, Capt. Mark Smith and Master Chief Petty Officer Marvin Wells give a hand salute during a Change of Command ceremony on Coast Guard Island here Friday. The Change of Command ceremony is a time-honored tradition which formally symbolizes the continuity of authority as the command is passed from one individual to another.  Coast Guard Vice Adm. Jody Breckenridge above right, salutes Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, during a Change of Command ceremony on Coast Guard Island here Friday.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 3rd Class Melissa Hauck)

ALAMEDA, Calif. — A former Commander of the 11th Coast Guard District here assumed command of the Coast Guard's Pacific Area and Coast Guard Defense Forces West during a change of command ceremony held at 10:30 a.m. today at the base pier.

Vice Adm. Jody A. Breckenridge, who spent the last two years as the Coast Guard's Director, Strategic Transformation Team, Washington, D.C., replaced Vice Adm. David Pekoske, who is assuming the position of Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard.

During her tenure as commander, the Eleventh Coast Guard District stepped up its interagency collaboration leading to record drug seizures including the motor-vessel Gatun, the largest maritime interdiction in U.S. history, and the arrest of Francisco Javier Arellano Felix, head of the Arellano Felix Drug Cartel. Her prior flag assignment was as Commander Coast Guard Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific,  with responsibility for all mission support in the Pacific Theater.

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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2009, 02:53:54 pm »

iCommandant

Web Journal of Admiral Thad Allen
Monday, July 13, 2009

Colombian Partnership Results in Parallel Laws  
Fighting Semi-Submersible Threat

 
Columbian Naval Forces Commander, Adm. Guillermo Enrique Barrera and Vice Adm. Vivien Crea, Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard discuss the self propelled, semi-submersible vessel law during a meeting at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Thursday, July 16, 2009. The law, passed in Colombia, parallels a similar U.S. law designed to prevent the use of such vessels in the illegal narcotics trade.  Columbian Naval Forces Commander, Adm. Guillermo Enrique Barrera above right, presents Vice Adm. Vivien Crea, Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard with his personal command coin during a meeting at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 1st Class Kip Wadlow)

WASHINGTON — Colombian Naval Forces Commander, Adm. Guillermo Enrique Barrera Hurtado and Vice Adm. Vivien Crea, Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard met in Washington to discuss stopping semi-submersible drug trafficing.

Originally uploaded by icommandantCongratulations to Colombia for passing new legislation making it illegal to finance, construct, store, commercialize, transport, procure or use semi-submersibles or submersibles with illicit intent, susceptible to fines between approximately $246,340 and $17,243,800 and incarceration from six to 14 years.

A similar law, the Drug Trafficking Vessel Interdication Act, was passed in the U.S. in September and has already contributed to several successful prosecutions.

Colombian Naval Forces Commander, Adm. Guillermo Enrique Barrera Hurtado visited Coast Guard Headquarters yesterday and met with the Vice Commandant to discuss this and other ongoing counter-drug initiatives. We truly value their partnership in these efforts.

Related Posts:

Counter-drug Symposium of the Americas
Guest post on SOUTHCOM Blog: Transnational Threats Require Transnational Solutions
Presidential Meeting on Reduced Drug Use

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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2009, 02:55:15 pm »



News Release
Date: July 17, 2009
Contact:  District 1 Public Affairs
Photos:  PA3 Barbara L. Patton

CWO Cecilia Gentile and MCPO Thomas
Gentile retire with a combined 40 years service.



Chief Warrant Officer Cecilia Gentile above left is presented with a Coast Guard Achievement Award by Capt. Robert O'Brien, Coast Guard Sector New York's commanding officer, during a joint retirement ceremony at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, N.Y., July 17, 2009.  Master Chief Petty Officer Thomas Gentile receives a Coast Guard Achievement Award from Capt. Robert O'Brien, Coast Guard Sector New York's commanding officer.

 
Chief Warrant Officer Cecilia Gentile and Master Chief Petty Officer Thomas Gentile above left are presented with presidential letters of appreciation from Capt. Robert O'Brien, Coast Guard Sector New York's commanding officer.   Peggy Gentile middle above, reacts as her son, Master Chief Petty Officer Thomas Gentile, presents her with a Coast Guard Certificate of Appreciation and a bouquette of flowers at his joint retirement ceremony.  Chief Warrant Officer Cecilia Gentile and Master Chief Petty Officer Thomas Gentile above right, receive congratulations from Capt. Robert O'Brien, Coast Guard Sector New York's commanding officer.  

NEW YORK — Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Cecilia Gentile and Master Chief Thomas Gentile of Coast Guard Sector New York retire in a joint ceremony at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, N.Y., July 17, 2009.

The husband and wife team have served a combined total of more than 40 years on active duty in the Coast Guard, serving at locations in Florida, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Oaklahoma, Louisiana, Alaska, Maine and finally, New York.

Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City helicopter crew conducted a fly over at the event, following a performance by the Unites States Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard Silent Drill Team based in Washington, D.C.

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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2009, 03:47:09 pm »



News Release
Date: July 23, 2009
Contact:  District 9 Public Affairs

Brookfield native becomes
a U.S. Coast Guard officer



Cmdr. Charles Tenney, Chief of Prevention, Sector Lake Michigan,
administers the Oath of Office to Ensign Stephanie Waller at the
moorings of Station Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Thursday, July 23, 2009.
Waller graduated recently from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
in Kingsport, N.Y. and joined the Coast Guard as a commissioned
officer.
(U.S. Coast Guard/Photo by Lt. Kristie Salzmann)

MILWAUKEE — A Brookfield native took the Oath of Office as an ensign in the U.S. Coast Guard at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan Thursday morning.

Stephanie Waller, as a Cadet in summer 2008, spent two weeks at the sector to experience several aspects of the service and become familiar with all of its missions.  Subsequently, she sought a commission as an officer in the Coast Guard upon her recent graduation from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kingspoint, N.Y.

In August, Waller will attend a four-week training program to better prepare her for her future career as a military officer in the Coast Guard.  Upon completion of her training, her first assignment will be in the Prevention Department at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans.

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« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2009, 02:02:22 pm »

I came across this article on then Lieutenant Deborah Darminio, commanding officer of CGSTA Monterey.  
She is now a LCDR stationed in Alaska.  Nice to see her moving up in the ranks.

 
Woman On Deck
Lt. Deborah Darminio commands
Monterey’s Coast Guard station.

By Stuart Thornton


WOMAN ON DECK: Photo by Jane Morba: On Guard: Lt. Deborah Darminio
keeps eagle-eye watch over Monterey Bay.


MONTEREY — Lieutenant Deborah Darminio is the kind of person you would hope to be seated next to on a flight across the Atlantic or a drawn-out dinner party. While other strangers would probably talk about their grandchildrens’ accomplishments or their exciting careers in the software industry, Darminio would be able to tell you about seeing the Northern Lights, swimming in 29-degree water off Kodiak Island, and bouncing around in a 250-foot ship in 50-foot-seas off the Aleutians.

Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Darminio moved with her family to Chiniak on Kodiak Island, where her dad worked at a remote satellite tracking station. Without television or telephone, Darminio’s childhood was spent climbing trees and chasing wild horses.

Darminio admits that her upbringing in a maritime environment, along with her brother’s prodding, influenced her to join the Coast Guard in 1987. Even in boot camp, where some recruits wonder what the hell they’ve gotten themselves into, Darminio quickly realized that she was pursuing the right career. “It was fun,” she says. “I had a blast there. The military rigidness suited me well.”

After all the good times at boot camp, Darminio was transferred to the first of many rugged outposts when she was stationed at Cape Disappointment, Washington. According to the Long Beach Visitor’s Bureau in Washington State, this peninsula known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific” is a treacherous stretch of coast that has sunk almost 2,000 ships and taken 700 lives in the past 300 years.

Darminio says that large surf, poor visibility and ripping tides conspired to keep her very busy for her two and a half years at Station Cape Disappointment. One memorable experience came when she was in a 52-foot boat in 30-foot seas. “I never remember being scared,” she says of the turbulent experience. “I think you are focused on doing your job and hanging on.”

A few years later, Darminio was stationed at Cape Hatteras on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, an area dubbed the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

Regular hurricanes were among the biggest problems Darminio faced there—three different times, she had to coordinate the evacuations of about 80 Coast Guard families when Hurricanes Dennis, Floyd and Bonnie were poised to hit the narrow barrier islands. “It was extremely challenging,” she says.

Though the hurricanes created a fair amount of stress, Darminio says that the region’s isolated location made for a relaxed atmosphere most of the time. “I think that even after we left it took me a year to get my daughter to wear shoes again,” she says.

One of Darminio’s most exhilarating experiences in the Coast Guard came while she was attending a survival school off the coast of Kodiak Island. During a training session with the Navy SEALS, Darminio was the first to dive into the 29-degree water, wearing just her Coast Guard uniform, and swim to a thick, neoprene survival suit. She remembers exactly what she was thinking as she first hit the water. “Yeah, but I probably can’t say those words,” she admits.

On her way to the showers after the swim, she recalls being overcome by a massive rush of adrenaline. When the adrenaline subsided, she says she slept for 18 straight hours.

Another assignment off Kodiak Island was a stint on the Coast Guard cutter Storis , where she experienced 50-foot seas during one of the boat’s 30-day coastal patrols. Luckily, the rougher experiences were undercut with moments of incredible beauty, like the time she heard the Northern Lights crackle like crumpled paper off the Aleutian Islands.

Before transferring to Monterey in 2003, Darminio worked as the head of the Coast Guard’s Rescue Coordination Center in Juneau, Alaska. There she organized rescue resources for everything from plane crashes in the North Pole to Bering Sea boat bailouts.

Last July, Darminio transferred to Monterey and became the commanding officer of the local Search and Rescue Small Boat Station, a 48-person crew that covers the coastline from Ano Nuevo to Piedras Blancas.

After living in remote areas like Kodiak Island and Jonesport, Maine, Darminio had only one real concern about Monterey. “I was a little worried about the amount of people,” she says.

Now, the lieutenant thinks of Monterey as a small-town environment with big city amenities. And the weather here is not too shabby when compared to other places she has lived. “A bad day (here) is a good day in Alaska,” she says.

In addition to working for the Coast Guard, Darminio and her husband Joe run the Alaska Bush Safari Company, a business that takes clients into remote regions of the largest US state. But that’s a whole other story.

Original Article
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 09:39:54 am by BuoyJumper » Logged

  Save a Boat - Ride a Coastie ... 
"And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years" ..........Abraham Lincoln
My CGC Mesquite Photo Album (Click Here)                  MY COAST GUARD CHANNEL PAGE  (Click Here)
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