The Coast Guard Electronic Charts Team receives the Award for Excellence from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen at the DHS annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., Nov. 7, 2018. (From the left) Secretary Nielsen, Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Walter, Mike Sollosi, Courtney Mallon, Stephen Jones, Douglas Scheffler and Acting Deputy Department of Homeland Security Secretary Claire M. Grady display the DHS Award for Excellence. Department of Homeland Security photo by Tim Godbee.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Electronic Charts Team

Congratulations to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Electronic Charts Team for your accomplishments and earning the DHS Award for Excellence! The team is part of the service’s efforts to make American waterways safer, more efficient and more resilient by helping the Coast Guard make a decision that allows mariners to meet legal obligations without paper charts. This decision is estimated to save the maritime industry more than 450,000 hours and $30.5 million a year over 10 years.


A Veterans Day rescue and remembrance

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy honors Academy graduates who are considered service heroes. This year, the Academy inducted Lt. Mark Feldman into the Wall of Gallantry for saving the lives of two plane crash survivors near Detroit on Veterans Day in 1986.


Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Air Station Kodiak crew – Capt. Frank Erickson Award winners

The Coast Guard recently recognized an Air Station Kodiak aircrew with the Capt. Frank Erickson Award. The award is presented to a rotary-wing aircrew that has demonstrated exceptional performance while engaged in search and rescue operations. Earlier this year, the crew flew through excessive winds to medevac a patient off a Navy vessel and made a daring landing upon the Coast Guard Cutter John Midgett (WHEC-726) at over 230 mph ground speed and 16- to 18-foot waves. They were able to transfer the patient to awaiting emergency medical services personnel with their never-ending resolve to save a life.


Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Auxiliarist Joe Giannattasio

Joe Giannattasio has worn many hats in his life. Restaurateur, pharmaceutical company representative, purveyor of fine ice cream and mini golf – but it’s for the hats he wears in the Coast Guard Auxiliary he was selected to be the Coast Guard Auxiliary Member of the Year, out of 24,000 people


Coast Guardsman performs at World Series

If you watched Game 5 of the World Series, as tens of millions of people did, you’d have spotted a familiar blue uniform at the start of the game.


Lt. Marvin Peña, Health Safety and Work-Life Deputy Regional Practice Manager for the 17th Coast Guard District, reminisces on his childhood, fleeing the war-torn El Salvador and finding citizenship in the United States, Oct. 9, 2018. Peña joined the U.S. Coast Guard as a U.S. resident in 1996, earning citizenship in 2000. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Lt. Marvin Peña

Lt. Marvin Peña and his family escaped a life of hardship in El Salvador during a time when civil war raged in South America. He enlisted in the Coast Guard and became a health services technician and worked his way up the ranks from seaman to lieutenant. Today he is the Health Safety and Work-Life Deputy Regional Practice Manager for the 17th Coast Guard District in Alaska and strives to educate his own children of their heritage and instill the same worth ethic he developed from his own parents.


Marker at Arlington National Cemetery honoring Merrill Hoover. Courtesy of Tom Varner.

The Long Blue Line: Merrill Walter Hoover

In the early morning hours of April 10, 1943, Seaman 2nd Class Merrill Walter Hoover sounded the alarm that an oncoming freighter was in the direct path of the CG-72010 he and his shipmates were patrolling aboard in Chincoteague, Virginia. The crew of the freighter, a steamship named Colytto, and CG-72010 made it out alive but Hoover’s body was never recovered. Hoover went in harm’s way and sacrificed his own life to save the lives of his shipmates and was posthumously awarded the DeMolay Medal of Heroism in 2016.


U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Carrillo, 37, of El Paso, Texas, poses for a photograph, Oct. 7, 2018, approximately 650 north of Barrow, Alaska. Carrillo is a marine science technician stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB-20) and serves as a liaison between the ship's command cadre and a team of scientists conducting research in the arctic. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi.

Out of his native element: El Paso native trades desert sands for Arctic waters

In 2015, Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Carrillo, a marine science technician, stepped off a 420-foot icebreaker and onto the North Pole for the first time. The barren and frigid landscape was vastly different from the desert sands he grew up with more than 4,000 miles away in El Paso, Texas. Due to a bad back, Carrillo deviated from law enforcement to marine science, which eventually led him to join the small community of Arctic blue nose polar bear sailors.


U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Shannon Eubanks poses for a photograph, Oct. 3, 2018, about 715 miles north of Barrow, Alaska, in the Arctic. Eubanks is a crew member aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB-20) and serves on the ice rescue team to protect crew members and scientists conducting work in the Arctic. The Healy is underway in the Arctic with about 100 crew members and 30 scientists to deploy sensors and semi-autonomous submarines to study stratified ocean dynamics and how environmental factors affect the water below the ice surface for the Office of Naval Research. The Healy, which is homeported in Seattle, is one of two ice breakers in U.S. service and is the only military ship dedicated to conducting research in the Arctic. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi.

Vermont native takes on the Arctic ice

When Shannon Eubanks graduated high school in Barton, Vermont, she did so surrounded by people she had grown up with for years. Little did she know at the time, she would later surround herself with a similar close-knit group of people on a polar icebreaker in the Arctic Ocean. Each summer, Eubanks deploys in the Arctic with a team of scientists to assist them in conducting scientific research. As a boatswain’s mate aboard the ship, she is in charge of piloting the ship’s small boats, standing watch on the ship’s bridge and supervising a small workforce of enlisted members. With the lives and safety of her fellow shipmates at stake, it’s a responsibility Eubanks doesn’t take lightly.


A neighborhood outside Panama Beach City, Fla., recovers after Hurricane Michael tore through the area in October 2018. Courtesy photo.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Lt. j.g. Aaron Black

Lt. j.g. Aaron Black answered the call for help when a shipmate he had only met once asked for help after Hurricane Michael tore through his neighborhood outside Panama City Beach, Florida. Black and other officers from Coast Guard flight school in Pensacola brought tools, fuel, water and food, and helped patch four roofs, cleared debris and damaged trees from the roads and yards. Black and his team’s selfless acts and tireless dedication made a true impact to his shipmate and others in the neighborhood.


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