Proudly representing the Coast Guard as part of The Long Blue Line, Cmdr. Holly Harrison became the first female to command a Coast Guard vessel in a combat zone and subsequently became the first female to receive the bronze star medal.
Continuing on their journey to study the geochemistry of the world’s ocean, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Healy became the first U.S. surface vessel to reach the North Pole unaccompanied.
In studying the historical record of by-gone days, scholars often come across men and women whose deeds are long forgotten by the nation they once served. Such is the case of Charles S. Root, one of the bravest and most accomplished engineering officers in Coast Guard history, who distinguished himself early in his career as a heroic lifesaver.
Recently, Latina Style Inc. recognized Coast Guard Capt. Dr. Maria-Paz Smith and Coast Guard employee Marilyn Fajardo as the awardees for the Latina Style Meritorious Service Award. Both Smith and Fajardo demonstrated themselves as leaders and advocates for diversity and the full integration of Latina women throughout the Armed Forces and the Federal Civilian workforce.
Passing over vast regions never seen by the human eye, discovering new landforms, exploring unknown and un-mapped areas of the Russian arctic in an Indian Jones-style adventure in 1931, Lt. Cmdr. Edward “Iceberg” Smith proved that polar exploration could be accomplished safely and comfortably with the aid of airship technology such as the Graf Zeppelin.
Capt. John Henriques is best known for behing the first superintendent of the Revenue Cutter Service School of Instruction and forerunner of the modern Coast Guard Academy. Read more to learn more about this cutterman and his importance to the Service and its officer corps.
Demonstrating exceptional qualities as a swab, one Coast Guard Academy cadet was chosen as the top-performer who most embodied the training values taught to him since reporting-in day.
The Coast Guard’s Silver Lifesaving Medal is awarded to those who risk their lives to rescue or endeavor to rescue any other person from drowning, shipwreck or other perils in the water. Ensign Roland Blake is one of those people.
For many individuals it takes a lifetime to learn the skills of leadership, while others come to it naturally. African-American Charles Walter David, Jr., namesake of Fast Response Cutter David, knew instinctively how to lead others despite barriers imposed by the segregated society of mid-20th century America. David served in the United States Coast Guard early in World War II, when the military services barred African Americans from the officer ranks and limited them largely to non-senior enlisted ratings.
With one of the most gender-diverse crews in the Coast Guard, Healy is a showcase of strong, inspiring and high-performing women outgunning expectations and old stereotypes. Healy is a testament that when a talented and diverse crew comes together, nothing, not even 10 feet of solid ice, can stand in their way.