Lt. Holly Harrison aboard Coalition warship USS Milius. Coast Guard Collection.

The Long Blue Line: Holly Harrison – Bronze Star Recipient of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Holly Harrison became commanding officer of the Coast Guard Aquidneck in 2002 where she took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom becoming the first Coast Guard woman to command a Coast Guard cutter in combat. Under her command, Aquidneck and Harrison’s dedicated crew conducted innumerable maritime interdiction, search and rescue, escort and combat-related operations earning Harrison the Bronze Star Medal, of which she was the first woman in service history to achieve.


The Long Blue Line: First Coast Guard female recipient of bronze star medal

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.