Gary Thomas, executive director of the Foundation for Coast Guard History's individual achievement award for his service on the tiger naming team to help identify relatives of former enlisted Coast Guard heroes.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Cmdr. Bill McKinstry

The Foundation for Coast Guard History presented an individual achievement award to Cmdr. Bill McKinstry for volunteering to serve on the fast response cutter naming tiger team. The team helps identify and locate relatives of former enlisted personnel heroes who were under consideration as possible FRC namesakes.


An Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew and Fijian navy Sub-Lt. Opeti Enesi, a Fijian shipriider, return from a patrol over the Fijian islands, Dec. 8, 2018. The Hercules was supporting a Fijian navy patrol boat during a law enforcement operation. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West.

Fijian shiprider joins Coast Guard aircrew on patrol

Almost a month after a bilateral shiprider agreement was signed by Michael Goldman, Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Suva, and Fiji’s Minister of Defense Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, a Fijian navy shiprider flew with a Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew over the Fijian Islands, Dec. 8, 2018.

The agreement, signed Nov. 12, 2018, allows Fijian officials to board United States’ assets and conduct law enforcement from them in Fiji’s territorial waters, and allows both nations to pursue common causes such as fisheries protection.


Tony Agresta, second from right, plays the trumpet with a band. Photo courtesy of the Agresta family.

A big band coastie and his Italian prisoners go to town in WWII

This is a story of a young seaman during WWII who befriended POWs over Betty Gable movies, played trumpet in the United States Coast Guard orchestra band in Charleston, South Carolina, and spent his later years performing with the likes of Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey. It’s not a story well-known, but a story worth knowing.


Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen presents the Secretary's Award for Diversity Management 2018 to Petty Officers 2nd Class Amad Hankins and Shango Indomitus at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2018. Hankins and Indomitus developed the Enlisted Professions in Connection Program (EPIC) and the Remote Mentorship Assistance Program to improve retention rates, recruitment and professional development for minorities in the Coast Guard's enlisted workforce. Department of Homeland Security photo by Tim Godbee.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Enlisted Professionals in Connection

When two junior petty officers found little opportunity for diverse enlisted members to network with similar like-minded members, they formed the Enlisted Professionals in Communication or EPIC. The traveled to nine different commands across the nation, worked with former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steven Cantrell and helped diverse and under represented minority members connect. For their efforts and initiative, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen recognized these two petty officer with the Secretary’s Award for Diversity Management.


Members of the disaster relief volunteer crew from Coast Guard Station Panama City, Fla., pose for a group photo with local resident, Mr. Clause, after assisting with clean up after Hurricane Michael. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Dragin.

Standing in the gap: Station Panama City

With ingenuity and no small degree of resourcefulness, Kannan and a small crew of station personnel managed to put together a disaster response trailer to get out to Coast Guard members’ homes to assess the damage. It didn’t take long to figure out how extensive the damage was and quickly set out to assist the city in helping residents. The recovery process continues but the crews have made a big impact so far.


Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Casey Lawrence and her spouse, Justin, also a Coast Guard member, stand with their children on Base Kodiak, Alaska, Nov. 3, 2018. Casey and her family enjoy all that Kodiak has to offer and they recently purchased their retirement home in Kodiak. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Charly Hengen.

Celebrating Military Family Month: It’s an Alaskan and family thing

Military families sacrifice a lot for their nation such as deployments, missing out on milestones and relocation. Military Family Month was created to celebrate the service and sacrifice of the patriots and families who make up America’s military. For one Coast Guard family, staying involved in the community and being active outdoors has helped Petty Officer 1st Class Casey Lawrence and her family stay resilient and loving the Alaskan lifestyle.


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


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