Shipmate of the Week – BM2 Hannah Amos-McDowell

Petty Officer 2nd Class Hannah Amos-McDowell, center, stands with Coast Guard Vice Commandant Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara, right, and Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Whittington, executive petty officer of Aids to Navigation Team Panama City, left, after being presented the 2012 Master Chief Petty Officer Pearl Faurie Leadership Award at the 2012 Joint Women's Leadership Symposium. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Hannah Amos-McDowell, center, stands with Coast Guard Vice Commandant Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara, right, and Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Whittington, executive petty officer of Aids to Navigation Team Panama City, left, after being presented the 2012 Master Chief Petty Officer Pearl Faurie Leadership Award at the 2012 Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

A young woman, who grew up watching Coast Guard boats in action along the waterfront of her hometown, walked into her local recruiting office with a desire to serve.

The recruiter asked what she was interested in and she simply stated, “I want to handle boats, and I want to be in search and rescue.”

Crewmembers from Aids to Navigation Team Panama City give hand signals while working a buoy. ANT Panama City is just one of many ANTs stationed across the United States responsible for keeping boaters safe. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Renee C. Aiello.

Crewmembers from Aids to Navigation Team Panama City give hand signals while working a buoy. ANT Panama City is just one of many ANTs stationed across the United States responsible for keeping boaters safe. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Renee C. Aiello.

The young woman was Petty Officer 2nd Class Hannah Amos-McDowell who has grown from someone eager to serve into a shining example of leadership in America’s Coast Guard.

Amos-McDowell still finds herself performing the same duties she was passionate about when she joined in her role as the operations petty officer at Aids to Navigation Team Panama City, Fla.

Life at any aids to navigation team can be exhausting, with a constant stream of daily operations, and ANT Panama City is no exception. Amos-McDowell is responsible for planning and scheduling all operations for the unit; for a station responsible for more than 500 aids, that’s a lot of operations.

Adding to the complexity of the station’s mission, the majority of the buoys the crew works with are along portions of the Intracoastal Waterway – a 3,000-mile stretch along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States.

The Intracoastal Waterway is vital for the nation’s commerce, with thousands of barges hauling goods through the waterway each year. The waterway is not just for commercial use however, and hundreds of recreational boaters transit its waters every day.

ANT Panama City watches over each buoy or aid, ensuring recreational and commercial boaters stay safe. The work is arduous and the hours long, but Amos-McDowell says the crew enjoys working with the small group of dedicated professionals in what she calls “a family atmosphere.”

“Our command really cares about our individual needs and our families. They take each of our situations differently to help us individually,” said Amos-McDowell. “As the command takes care of me, I take care of my people as well.”

€“Crewmembers from Aids to Navigation Team Panama City move into position to drop a buoy. The ANT services 527 buoys and navigation markers between Santa Rosa Sound and St. Marks.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephen Lehmann.

€“Crewmembers from Aids to Navigation Team Panama City move into position to drop a buoy. The ANT services 527 buoys and navigation markers between Santa Rosa Sound and St. Marks. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephen Lehmann.

Amos-McDowell follows the example set by her current leadership and reflects on inspiration from past mentors to lead.

“I try to be there for all of the junior enlisted because I remember when I was more junior and I remember looking up to my mentor and saying ‘I want to be that strong female for others the way she was to me,’” said Amos-McDowell. “I want to make sure younger women feel comfortable and can come to me with issues.”

“I try to take all my life lessons and experiences from within the Coast Guard – both good and bad – and turn it into a positive,” added Amos-McDowell.

While taking care of the mission and her people, Amos-McDowell also finds time to help out the local community. She has volunteered more than 320 hours with various local organizations, inspiring the entire unit to help out in their own ways.

“Helping the community is just as important in helping our unit at our everyday duties. We do everything from helping the Humane Society and local homeless shelter to outreach programs at the local high school and educating about boating safety,” said Amos-McDowell.

Amos-McDowell may have joined the Coast Guard to be a boat driver, but she has gone on to become something more meaningful – a leader.

Do you know a Shipmate that has done something great for the service, the missions or the public? Please submit your nominations using the “Submit Ideas” link on the right.

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8 Responses

  1. Patti Fritchie says:

    Congratulations Hannah, so proud of you for this accomplishment.  Really proud of you and for you.  BZ.  Hugs, Patti Fritchie USCG Auxiliary Panama City Beach.

  2. Danny McMonigle says:

    And we are proud to have her!!!    Great job, Boats!!

    Danny Mac
    BM2, Coxswain 1975.

  3. excoastie says:

    Bravo Zulu Bosun

  4. Beachmutts says:

    capable young woman doing a vital job,, Thanks for stepping up Bos’un…

  5. LT Heidi A. Bevis (Funkhouser) says:

    Hannah, I am so proud of you!  I hope I was one of those that helped you become the obviously great leader that you are now.

    LT Bevis

  6. retiredF&S says:

    Great Job Bos’n!! Keep up the Great Job!!

  7. ETC Magaro, ESD Panama City says:

    Congrats, you deserve this and more. Now turn to!

  8. Wilson D Usma says:

    Congrats Hannah!! It seems like yesterday when we were on Eagle together. Time flys.