One of the greatest tests of the Coast Guard’s ability to surge forces in response to a major contingency occurred five years ago today when the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon exploded and caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico. In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, the Coast Guard responded along with others in the maritime community. While the collective response saved 115 people from the rig’s crew, 11 lives were tragically lost.
One of the world’s most famous war-time leaders, Winston Churchill once noted, “In battles two things are usually required of the Commander-in-Chief: to make a good plan for his army and, secondly, to keep a strong reserve.” Since its creation by Admiral Russell Waesche, the 8th Commandant of the Coast Guard, on February 19, 1941, the Coast Guard Reserve has time and again proven itself to be that strong reserve capability to which Churchill referred.
Coast Guard reservists are required to serve one weekend a month and two weeks a year. One New Jersey-based reservist is devoted to saving lives, in and out of military uniform. Chief Petty Officer Jay McChesney, a reservist from Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet, N.J., is a qualified coxswain and a registered nurse.
At the heart of The Citadel, an institution rich with military tradition and leadership since it’s founding in 1842, is its corps of cadets. Amidst the sea of grey cadet uniforms is one member who stands out with his Coast Guard blue – Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Gelwicks Jr. Gelwicks is the first Coast Guard officer to be employed at The Citadel and is currently the Bravo Company tactical officer with the Office of the Commandant.
“By his outstanding leadership, expert planning, and dauntless devotion to duty, he and his courageous comrades undoubtedly saved the lives of many who otherwise would have perished. He gallantly gave up his life in defense of his country.” So ends the Medal of Honor citation for Signalman 1st Class Douglas A. Munro, the only member of the nation’s oldest continuous sea-going service to be awarded America’s highest military honor. Today the Coast Guard paid tribute to this legendary hero, designating its new headquarters the Douglas A. Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building.
As a conservation biologist, I work for the preservation and conservation of natural resources. As a reserve marine science technician, I get to extend my work from the terrestrial side to the ocean side. Living in Hawai’i the ocean is a part of our daily lives and is valued by the people who live there. Being a member of the Coast Guard Reserve allows a seamless blend of my two jobs.
Today, the Coast Guard Reserve consists of nearly 8,000 dedicated men and women who support the Coast Guard roles of maritime homeland security, national defense – domestic and expeditionary – and response to natural and man-made domestic disasters. Reservists are always ready to mobilize with critical competencies in boat operations, contingency planning and response, expeditionary warfare, marine safety, port security, maritime law enforcement and mission support.
Maintaining navigational aids essential to the safety of Southern Californians is the crew at Aids to Navigation Team San Diego. With just five active duty members the unit is responsible for navigational aids in the San Diego area that serve as a constant vigil for safeguarding those on the water – from the sailor to the cruise ship passenger. With such a small crew, the unit relies on three reservists who are assigned there for larger operations and to assist with daily missions. With such a small team guiding mariners, each person’s contributions are hugely important. But perhaps no one does it with as much pride as Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Dalager.
The Csisar family’s Coast Guard legacy began in 1958 when the cost of gas was just 24 cents a gallon. Now, with the price of gas much higher, the tradition continues; altogether, the family has seen their loved ones contribute more than 54 years to the Coast Guard.
Written by Rear Adm. David Callahan, director of Reserve and Leadership. Today marks the 71st anniversary of the Coast Guard Reserve. Since its founding, the Coast Guard Reserve has been a flexible, responsive and cost effective workforce that has maintained […]