This month’s commemoration of women’s history highlights the achievements of women in the Coast Guard and celebrates their qualities of character, courage and compassion. The Coast Guard is unique among others in that women joined the professional ranks in the Lighthouse Service decades before the Civil War. They were typically hired when their husbands or fathers, who were the keepers, fell ill or passed away. But there were a few who obtained an appointment in their own right.
Children grow up aspiring to become astronauts, police officers and doctors. For some, the decision is hard to make. For others, the choice is easy – the decision to serve their country and be a part of a mission designed to safeguard its communities. Coast Guardsmen were all children at one time and have made the decision and commitment to serve. The Coast Guard is comprised of citizens willing to raise their right hand and commit to serving their country’s water.
The only square-rigger in U.S. government service, Coast Guard Cutter Eagle has offered generations of Coast Guard Academy cadets an unparalleled leadership experience at sea. For nearly two decades, Auxiliarist George White has been part of that leadership experience. White, a member of the all-volunteer Coast Guard Auxiliary, served as a mentor to cadets aboard the sail-training vessel and was recently presented the Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award in recognition of his outstanding service.
When the Coast Guard Academy hockey players boarded the bus after a game against the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., the thought never crossed their minds that their lives were about to flash before their eyes. The events that would unfold were some they’d only seen in the movies.
President Obama intends to nominate Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft as the 25th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard
Moments ago, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced President Obama’s intent to nominate Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, currently Pacific Area commander, to be the next commandant of the United States Coast Guard in an all hands email to DHS personnel.
It’s your birthday; you’re hanging out with your family and friends. There are candles, birthday cake and presents. Relaxing right? Chief Warrant Officer Paul Zado’s first birthday underway as a Coast Guardsman was a little different. He was a petty officer hanging on for his life inside Coast Guard Cutter Planetree’s galley as 20-foot waves tossed the 180-foot long cutter. Plates flew from the dishwasher, scattering like a flock of seagulls. He couldn’t even hear his own voice over the bellowing storm.
“Our Way” is proficiency in craft, proficiency in leadership, and disciplined initiative. You will see it among our heroes from that long blue line of Coast Guard men and women who have served our country almost since its inception. You also see it everywhere today, embodied by several special guests who joined me for the Address from throughout our Service. Indeed, important things like proficiency remain the same, despite change.
The Coast Guard’s Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team was embarked aboard the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Kidd in support of the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. Together, with their defense partners, the six-member law enforcement team led fisheries enforcement programs designed to assist Pacific island nations with bolstering their economies through the management and protection of vital fish stocks. Due to the historic significance of the South Pacific, these servicemembers thought about the magnitude of their setting; they were transiting waters that were host to some of the most famous battles in U.S. military history.
What are Coast Guard crews to do with ice, snow and blizzard-like conditions? Train. Crews at Station Cleveland Harbor recently completed two weeks of ice-rescue training led by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Vitou.
For Coast Guardsmen engaged in an active search for people in distress, who may be on the verge of panic, fright or worse, they have to be cool and calm, regardless of the state of seas, the boat or their own mind. Response crews must be ready and capable to take the helm of a Coast Guard boat and pilot it home, even the newest members.