Guardians of 2010: August

Each week Coast Guard Compass honors members of the Coast Guard family as “Guardian of the Week” for their devotion to duty and contributions to our service. As we close out 2010, we’re looking back over the year to celebrate the contributions of the Guardians of 2010. Today, we revisit those recognized in August 2010.

LTjg Amanda Bazinet – August 9, 2010

LTjg Amanda Bazinet stands on the bridge of CGC Escanaba with her father, a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

LTjg Amanda Bazinet stands on the bridge of CGC Escanaba with her father, a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Anyone who has spent time at sea knows that there are those who thrive above decks and those with a unique ability to keep the engines running. It is a rare occurrence for a military officer to succeed in both worlds given the demands of life afloat, but that is exactly what Lt. j.g. Bazinet did aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba.

One of the steepest learning curves for a junior officer on a cutter is watch qualification, usually as an engineer or deck watch. The former entails learning how to operate all of the mechanical components on board the ship, the latter places the officer in charge of the operation of the entire ship. Most officers qualify in one or the other. Bazinet did both.

“It’s not unheard of,” said Cdr. Edward Westfall, Escanaba commanding officer, “but it’s not very common either.”

Click here to read more about this outstanding junior officer.

The crew of CG 6565 – August 13, 2010

CG6565 rescue

Ann Baxter, the survivor who was rescued by the crew of the CG6565, receives medical treatment at Hilton Head International Airport aboard a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter Thursday July 15, 2010. U.S. Coast Guard photo

The designation “Guardian of the Week” is usually reserved for an individual, but sometimes a crew – in this case an aircrew, demonstrate such exceptional teamwork that we honor them all. The crew of Coast Guard rescue helicopter 6565 turned what could have been a fatal case into your typical Coast Guard rescue.

Many (search and rescue) responders describe trying to find a person in the water at altitude like trying to find a needle in a haystack. And the conditions that day made the case even tougher – no position certainty and no information on what, or who was in the water if anything or anyone. All the crew knew was they needed to go check it out.

The persistence, dedication and excellent local area knowledge of the aircrew paid off. In only the first pass, flying at 200 feet or about 20 stories up, Lt. (Jeff) Jacobs inexplicably, spotted a woman in the water.

Click here to read more about the determination of a team to succeed and the life saved as a result.

SKC Dave Curran – August 20, 2010

Dallas Ervin fighting a pink salmon on Chiniak Creek

Dallas Ervin, a participant with Project Healing Waters fights a pink salmon on Chiniak Creek.

A shared love of fly fishing led Chief Petty Officer Curran to honor the loss of his brother Carl, an Army National Guardsman killed by an IED in Iraq, by sharing the sport that meant so much to both of them with disabled veterans returning from war.

“My time spent sharing my hobby is like giving the trip I had promised to my brother,” said Curran.

Curran worked tirelessly with Project Healing Waters to plan a weeklong fly-fishing excursion on the American River near Kodiak for five disabled military members and veterans.

Click here to read more about Chief Curran’s tribute to his brother and all of our fighting men and women overseas.

Master Chief Steven Hearn – August 27, 2010

Admiral Papp and Master Chief Hearn

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., the 13th Gold Ancient Mariner of the Coast Guard congratulates Chief Petty Officer Steven Hearn, the new Silver Ancient Mariner at a change of watch ceremony. Coast Guard photo by PA3 David Weydert.

Over the past 220 years, the Coast Guard has evolved to face new threats to our national security and advanced the way the world protects people at sea. Yet, in all that time, one thing hasn’t changed – Coast Guardsmen have always battled the sea to save lives and prove their mettle. With more than 22 years spent serving at sea, Master Chief Hearn is considered the Coast Guard’s Silver Ancient Mariner, a designation held only by the “saltiest” of those to go to sea as a member of our service.

The Gold and Silver Ancient Mariner awards, established in 1978, honor the officer and enlisted member who personifies the dedication and professionalism associated with long service at sea and has the distinction of being called a “Cutterman” longer than any other active duty member.

Click here to read more about what it takes to live a lifetime of sea stories.

Congratulations to all of the Guardians of 2010! Come back tomorrow as we pay tribute to the Guardians of the Week for September 2010.