Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Cmdr. Rebecca Drew

Written by Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Leake

Cmdr. Rebecca Drew received the Capt. Edward R. Williams Coast Guard Award for Excellence in Diversity for her efforts in extending the opportunities of the Coast Guard to underrepresented groups. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Cmdr. Rebecca Drew received the Capt. Edward R. Williams Coast Guard Award for Excellence in Diversity for her efforts in extending the opportunities of the Coast Guard to underrepresented groups. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard has long prided itself on being a model for diversity in the Armed Forces. However for some, this outreach effort is more than a policy – it’s a part of their profession and a core tenant of their character.

Coast Guard Cmdr. Rebecca Drew is one of those people, a standout individual, who was awarded the Capt. Edward R. Williams Coast Guard Award for Excellence in Diversity for her efforts in extending the opportunities of the Coast Guard to underrepresented groups.

“This award publicly reinforces the Coast Guard’s commitment to recruiting a workforce that represents the dynamic and diverse tapestry of talents inherent within our society,” said Drew.

Drew, who joined the Coast Guard in 1995, said she was honored be chosen to represent a great team of people.

“In the Coast Guard it’s difficult to accomplish great things as an individual,” she said. “There may be a few front people representing the efforts of dozens, even hundreds of Coast Guard members, all supporting small tasks that aggregate into major accomplishments. It was humbling to be selected to represent the great team, which furthered our recruiting efforts.”

Drew’s contributions to the Coast Guard can be succinctly summed up by her award write-up.

“Cmdr. Drew fosters an environment where people from all walks of life feel respected, inspired and appreciated to assure Coast Guard mission success,” the award reads.

Drew partnered with the local recruiting office to increase throughput of officer applications by expanding the reach of interview panels and creating a standing list of junior officers to conduct interviews. She served as the interview panel president to a dozen interviews and offered a positive professional experience for all of the applicants. Her commitment to recruiting helped to bring in highly qualified applicants that reflect American society.

Drew also created an inclusive environment that was inspirational and she created a people-first environment while clearly focusing on mission execution.

Cmdr. Rebecca Drew conducts training. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Cmdr. Rebecca Drew conducts training. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Amherst, Massachusetts, native’s efforts extend beyond increasing the awareness of the Coast Guard to new populations within America. Her leadership was also instrumental in turning around the Fifth Coast Guard District’s diversity and inclusion training program.

“We had zero training complete,” Drew said. “Shifting all my working priorities, I developed an aggressive training schedule and brought the Fifth District to become 2nd in the nation for training completion.”

Drew said she was first drawn to the Coast Guard’s marine safety mission, but it was the culture of empowering individuals to make a difference that led her to stay for 18 years.

“We are a flexible and dynamic force that accomplishes great missions while maintaining an unparalleled degree of public trust and respect that is recognized globally,” said Drew. “That is one of the many reasons I love the Coast Guard.”

Do you know someone who embodies the Coast Guard Core Values of Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty? Please submit your nominations using the “Submit Ideas” link on the right.

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