Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Lt. Brian Churchill

Last fall, the White House Fellows program accepted its second Coast Guard reservist in more than 50 years. Lt. Brian Churchill was honored to be selected for the WHF program; among others, the program accepted a neurosurgeon, several Ivy-league graduates, a software CEO and a Rhodes scholar. The program was established in 1964 to give young leaders the opportunity to get first hand, high-level experience with the inner workings of the federal government.


Historians believe this to be a rendering of the cutter Pickering. If so, it is the earliest known rendering of a U.S. revenue cutter. Illustration courtesy of Coast Guard Historian’s Office.

The Long Blue Line: Combat Cutter Pickering—lost 220 years ago, now an OPC namesake

During the Quasi War, U.S. naval authorities considered the Pickering one of their finest combat cutters. Today, 220 years later, Pickering will be recognized and remembered as one of the Coast Guard’s newest class of cutters. The cuttermen of Pickering and their heroic cutter will always remain a part of the long blue line.


Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Polar Scout Program Launches

The Coast Guard Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate partnered together to test the capabilities of small, inexpensive satellites – known as CubeSats – through the Polar Scout Project, including the launch of two CubeSats. The results of these tests will help improve communication in the Arctic environment, monitoring large areas for illegal activity, and helping to locate persons in distress at sea.


Tony Agresta, second from right, plays the trumpet with a band. Photo courtesy of the Agresta family.

A big band coastie and his Italian prisoners go to town in WWII

This is a story of a young seaman during WWII who befriended POWs over Betty Gable movies, played trumpet in the United States Coast Guard orchestra band in Charleston, South Carolina, and spent his later years performing with the likes of Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey. It’s not a story well-known, but a story worth knowing.


The Long Blue Line: Buoy Tender White Alder—lost 50 years ago, but not forgotten

On Saturday, December 7, 1968, White Alder was steaming down-bound on the Mississippi River. At approximately 6:30 p.m., it collided with the up-bound motor vessel Helena, a 455-foot Taiwanese freighter. The 133-foot buoy tender sunk in 75 feet of water with three of its crew surviving, the rest entombed in the sunken cutter.


A vintage photograph showing Fessenden after the cutter’s 1883 conversion to an iron hull showing the coal smoke blowing forward from a tailwind. (Historic New England)

The Long Blue Line: William Fessenden—the man and his cutters

In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Maine Senator William Fessenden to be the 26th Secretary of the Treasury. Fessenden was faced with the Federal Government’s insatiable demand for funding for the war effort. With the aid of private Civil War financiers, Fessenden developed successful short-term loans holding generous interest rates that became popular with northerners. Named for this important public servant, Revenue Cutter Fessenden was one of two vessels contracted by the Treasury Department.


Japan Coast Guard Rear Adm. Tsuguo Awai, the deputy director general of the Administration Department, presents 150th anniversary lighthouse stamps to Rear Adm. Meredith L. Austin, the U.S. Coast Guard deputy for operations, policy and capabilities. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Capt. Mary Ellen Durley.

Japan Coast Guard marks 150th marine aids to navigation anniversary

The Japan Coast Guard presented commemorative stamps commissioned to mark the 150th anniversary of Japan’s first lighthouse during an official visit with the U.S. Coast Guard Nov. 16.


Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen presents the Secretary's Award for Diversity Management 2018 to Petty Officers 2nd Class Amad Hankins and Shango Indomitus at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2018. Hankins and Indomitus developed the Enlisted Professions in Connection Program (EPIC) and the Remote Mentorship Assistance Program to improve retention rates, recruitment and professional development for minorities in the Coast Guard's enlisted workforce. Department of Homeland Security photo by Tim Godbee.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Enlisted Professionals in Connection

When two junior petty officers found little opportunity for diverse enlisted members to network with similar like-minded members, they formed the Enlisted Professionals in Communication or EPIC. The traveled to nine different commands across the nation, worked with former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steven Cantrell and helped diverse and under represented minority members connect. For their efforts and initiative, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen recognized these two petty officer with the Secretary’s Award for Diversity Management.


A computer rendering of the Coast Guard’s new Offshore Patrol Cutter. Rendering courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding Group.

The Long Blue Line: Argus – first “Heritage” Class Offshore Patrol Cutter

Named for the 100-eyed giant of Greek mythology known as “the all-seeing one,” Argus was one of the first vessels completed of Alexander Hamilton’s fleet of 10 revenue cutters. Argus will soon be the first of the “Heritage” Class of Offshore Patrol Cutters that will become the mainstay of the Coast Guard’s ocean-going fleet. These cutters are meant to provide multi-mission capabilities similar to the first 10 revenue cutters.


Members of the disaster relief volunteer crew from Coast Guard Station Panama City, Fla., pose for a group photo with local resident, Mr. Clause, after assisting with clean up after Hurricane Michael. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Dragin.

Standing in the gap: Station Panama City

With ingenuity and no small degree of resourcefulness, Kannan and a small crew of station personnel managed to put together a disaster response trailer to get out to Coast Guard members’ homes to assess the damage. It didn’t take long to figure out how extensive the damage was and quickly set out to assist the city in helping residents. The recovery process continues but the crews have made a big impact so far.


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