What group impacts more than 73 million boaters nationwide? The National Boating Safety Advisory Council. The National Boating Safety Advisory Council is a civilian advisory board comprised of 21 members with expertise, knowledge and experience in recreational boating safety. Mandated by the Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, the council provides broad-based input to the Coast Guard on recreational boating safety issues.
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.
As a member of Maritime Safety and Security Team Seattle, Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Ball has seen his fare share of challenging missions. But one recent exercise had Ball far outside of his comfort zone during the Mangudai Warrior Challenge at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
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.
Coast Guard Cutter Forward recently completed an international naval exercise to build partnerships between 15 nations. Who was the key to connecting those partner nations? Seaman Juan Garcia-Perez. As a dual citizen of the United States and Colombia, and a fluent Spanish speaker, Garcia-Perez was the lead communicator for maritime forces during Forward’s participation in UNITAS 2013.
For many, the morning commute to work involves traffic delays, routine routes and mile upon mile of repetition. But for one Coast Guard member, a morning commute turned into a moment to save a life.
Coast Guard members display various awards, ribbons and badges they have earned throughout their careers upon their chests. From pilot wings to marine safety pins, the insignia worn on a uniform can tell you a lot about a servicemember’s career. One member, though early in his career, has something rare on his Coast Guard uniform – the coveted Army Air Assault Badge.
A line of strong thunderstorms moved through west Florida in late September, bringing with it 45-knot winds and heavy downpours that significantly reduced visibility. Although command center watchstanders issued marine information broadcast, the storm caught many boaters off guard. Phones rang off the hook and radios blared with transmissions from distressed boaters. By storm’s end the watch team responded to the highest volume of distress calls in the sector’s history, answering more than 60 reports of distress. It was a night of remarkable dedication to duty by watchstanders at St. Petersburg; it was a night they dubbed SARmageddon.
Air Station Sacramento executes a wide range of Coast Guard missions for the Eastern Pacific Area; from the entire west coast of the United States, areas west of Canada and south along the Baja California coast. Carrying out missions such as search and rescue and marine and environmental, the air station maintains a 24-hour immediate response capability, with a “ready” crew on duty at all times. One of the dedicated crewmembers who stands this watch is Auxiliarist Ron Clark.
Coast Guard Cutter SPAR is a sea-going buoy tender that sails the waters of the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea. The patrols are long, the work is hard and the days are cold. Keeping the crew motivated, not to mention their stomach’s full, is Petty Officer 1st Class Brittany Smith.