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.


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


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.


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.


U.S. Coast Guard Academy swabs from the Class of 2022 participate in the 2018 Mystic Flag Ceremony at the Mystic Seaport, Conn., July 28, 2018. During the fourth week of Swab Summer the companies at the Academy, and not on Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, travel to nearby Mystic Seaport, a national maritime museum in Mystic, for a presentation of the class flag to the swabs. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Foguth.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Fourth Class Cadet Bryan Landreth

Coast Guard members live by the core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty and cadets at the Coast Guard Academy live by the motto “Who lives here, reveres honor, honors duty.” Notice a pattern yet? Honor – a high standard of conduct that can neither be delineated by laws nor defined by regulation. It is this concept that brought Fourth Class Cadet Bryan Landreth to the Academy in which he has pledged to support and defend the Constitution of the United States not once, but twice. Landreth brings his experience from his time in the Coast Guard’s elite Honor Guard and Silent Drill Team to the Academy.


Petty Officer 2nd Class Rita Martinez, a yeoman stationed at Coast Guard Base Seattle, stands near the base pier, June 28, 2018. Martinez is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Military Service Award for how she has distinguished herself as a leader, mentor, advocate of diversity and integration of Latina women in the armed forces, and earned the respect of her superiors, peers and community leaders. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Petty Officer 2nd Class Rita Martinez.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: YN2 Rita Martinez

Petty Officer 2nd Class Rita Martinez, a yeoman stationed at Coast Guard Base Seattle, is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Military Service Award for how she has distinguished herself as a leader, mentor, advocate of diversity and integration of Latina women in the armed forces, and earned the respect of her superiors, peers and community leaders.


Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: MST2 Zac Edwards

Petty Officer 2nd Class Zac Edwards’s wedding to his wife Cindy was more exciting than he ever imagined. While taking photos after the ceremony, he noticed a teenage boy struggling in the current about 60 yards from Orange Beach, Alabama. With Cindy’s urging, Zac hurried to rescue the boy.


U.S. Coast Guard Fireman Dallin Matthews, a member of the Coast Guard Fire Department stationed at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, N.J., poses for a photo in front of fire engine 31 at the Coast Guard Fire Department at Training Center Cape May, July 30, 2018. Matthews pulled a woman that crashed her car into a tree at high speeds out of her smoldering vehicle near Higbee's Beach. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard Brahm.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Fireman Dallin Matthews

Coast Guard Fireman Dallin Matthews, a member of the Coast Guard Fire Department stationed at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, New Jersey, witnessed a woman crash into a tree. His training as a firefighter and quick thinking led him to safely extract the woman from her smoldering car and save her life.

“It’s a surreal experience. Being able to be a part of that individual’s life at such a critical moment for them, while they are absolutely alone and in need of help, is a life changing experience.” – Fireman Dallin Matthews


Don Johnson directs the Coast Guard Headquarters Chorus during an All Hands holiday concert in December 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Diana Honings.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Don Johnson

Don Johnson has spent 45 years of his life with the Coast Guard as an active duty member, civilian and volunteer. He currently works at Coast Guard Headquarters and is a beloved Coast Guard Headquarters Chorus director who has brought a respite for many during the workday through chorus practices or the occasional All Hands concerts. Johnson embodies the Coast Guard’s Core Values while finding ways to bring joy and good humor to those around him.


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