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: The First Lady Harriet Lane and WMEC-903

Just over 160 years ago, at a time when women remained relatively invisible in public life, Harriet Lane was the nation’s most politically powerful and celebrated woman. She was the first woman to receive the title of “First Lady” during her time in the White House, and she was the first female namesake of a cutter.


Beverly Kelley, first woman to command a U.S. military vessel, on the bridge of the 95-foot cutter Cape Newhagen. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Long Blue Line: Officer Candidate School and female trailblazers in the Coast Guard’s officer corps

Since the 1970s, women in the Coast Guard have come a long way with female service members occupying every active duty role formerly reserved for men. During this period, female graduates of the Coast Guard’s Officer Candidate School helped shape the Coast Guard and pioneered the role of their gender in the service, the federal government and the nation as a whole. They have made the U.S. Coast Guard into a better institution for all men and women and they will continue to play an important role in leading the service in the 21st century.


Charting your course while helping others navigate theirs

Closing out Women’s History Month, the Fifth Annual Bay Area Women’s Leadership Symposium brought together presenters and participates from a diversity of experience, background, and specialties.


Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Capt. Carola List

There is an exclusive club within the U.S. Coast Guard and Capt. Carola List belongs in it. She’s earned her place as one of only five female captains to hold a command position. List is an accomplished aviator, leader, and pioneer for women everywhere. Her legacy of selfless devotion to her country, her service, and her crew, make her a strong and respected role model for anyone.


The Long Blue Line: A brief history of women’s service in the Coast Guard

Over the course of its nearly 230-year history, women have played a major role in the United States Coast Guard and its predecessor services. Coast Guard women have helped shape the service and pioneered the role of their gender in the federal government and the nation as a whole.


The Long Blue Line: Vivien Crea—aviator, leader and trailblazer for women in the military

Like a true Coast Guardsman, all Vivien Crea wanted was a fair shake. Throughout her career, Crea earned the respect not only of women in the Coast Guard, but all service members who came to know her. She was a humble member of the long blue line who led the way for women int he Coast Guard and America’s armed services.


Catherine Moore

Restless nights, resolute watch: The exemplary life of Catherine Moore

Moore is officially credited with saving 21 lives while keeping the light on Fayerweather Island. “I wish it had been double that number,” said Moore about her rescues.


Women’s History Month: Honoring the legacy of military women

Since the late 1940s women have been serving and defending our nation with great pride, honor and valor. Ida Lewis, keeper of the Lime Rock Light, was credited with saving 18 lives, though it may have been as high as 36. Army Spc. Monica Lin Brown, a healthcare specialist, became the first female during the war in Afghanistan and only the second female since World War II to receive the Silver Star Medal, the United States’ third-highest medal for valor.


women in command

Women in command

2013 marked an unprecedented year in Coast Guard aviation with four of its 28 aviation units commanded by women. Prior to these assignments, the service had, at most, only one female aviator in command at a time. The first was retired Vice Adm. Vivien Crea who assumed command of Air Station Detroit in 1992. Following the trail blazed by Crea, the women who fill these roles today are as diverse as the aircraft they fly and the missions their units execute every day.


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