Senior Chief Petty Officer Peter MacDougall recalled the dark and stormy nights he went out into, knowing his wife could hear the helicopter take off from their house, imagining the anxiety it caused her. He spoke about the close calls. He spoke about survivors he rescued from the grip of the sea, and the men and women he served alongside who made each of his 40 years of service special.
“Joshua James exhibited a commitment to excellence that permeates the Coast Guard to this day,” said Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger. “He embodied the Coast Guard’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty and the guiding principles articulated in our new Commandant’s Direction long before we ever wrote them down.”
Today, the last Coast Guard 41 foot utility boat, 41410, was retired in a ceremony that took place in Grand Haven, Michigan. This boat has been one of the Coast Guard’s most successful boat platforms, saving tens of thousands of lives over the boat’s 41 year service history. Below, we highlight the history of this asset through the eyes of a father and daughter that each spent time serving on the Coast Guard 41 foot boats.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft announced today the Coast Guard will name a cutter in honor of Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III who died on Dec. 2, 2012, while carrying out law enforcement operations near Santa Cruz, California. The Commandant personally informed the Horne family earlier today a fast response cutter will bear Terrell’s name in honor of his sacrifice and faithful service in defense of his nation.
July 16 marked the 100th anniversary of the traveling inspection staff, originally created under the Steamboat Inspection Service. These travelers are highly experienced marine inspectors and investigators that help to measure the effectiveness of existing programs and policies.
A much different sort of chaos greeted Coast Guard veteran Edward DiGiovanni on Easter Sunday in April 1945. DiGiovanni, then 18, was aboard the USS LST-884, a tank landing ship operated by his unit, heading toward Japan’s Okinawa Island. Just weeks earlier, DiGiovanni and the ship’s crew had participated in the U.S. invasion of Iwo Jima during the closing months of World War II. DiGiovanni stood at the bottom of the hill as a group of U.S. Marines raised the country s flag atop Mount Surabachi, as depicted in the now-famous photograph.
Brewster began serving as an officer in the Revenue Cutter Service in 1797, about the time the Quasi-War with France began. By 1801, he received his captain’s commission and began serving as skipper of cutter Active, out of New York. He remained in the service until a year after the end of the War of 1812. All of cutter Active’s missions during the War of 1812 were carried out under his command.
If 60 years of sea duty is a long time, then 60 years of performing aids to navigation maintenance in Southeast Alaska qualifies as an eternity. Imagine working with wind whipping down the straits and narrows, with snow blowing so thick that visibility is more about what you can feel than what you can see. Picture living with the trappings of civilization separated by bays and rivers and mountains and every other obstacle the Last Frontier can muster. Tasked with a mission immeasurably crucial, if humbly unnoticed, to the people who live there, this is the life of the Coast Guard Cutter Elderberry and its crew of eight.
June 18 marks the 25th anniversary of the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative Program. CSPI is a fully funded scholarship program open to students of all races and ethnicities, which may pay up to two academic years of college tuition and books. While in the program, officer trainees are provided with valuable leadership, management, law enforcement, navigation and marine science skills and professional development training. Upon graduation from college, officer trainees attend Officer Candidate School and are commissioned as ensigns in the Coast Guard. In honor of this milestone, we highlight one of the program’s initial candidates, Capt. Robert Smith.
On Nov. 23, 1942, legislation approved the implementation of the United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve. The women who joined were more commonly known as SPARs – an acronym derived from the Coast Guard’s motto, ‘Semper Paratus, Always Ready’ – and formed the foundation for women serving today. On March 9, 1945, Olivia Hooker headed to boot camp. While women had been heading enlisting for months by then, one thing was unique about Hooker – she was one of only five African American females to first enlist in the SPAR program.