Guardians of 2010: November

Each week we honor 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 November 2010.

Auxiliary Commodore Nicholas Kerigan – November 5, 2010

Commodore Kerigan and Commodore Vass

Outgoing Auxiliary National Commodore Nicholas Kerigan and incoming Commodore Jim Vass. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

We kicked off the month of November by looking back at the two-years Commodore Nicholas Kerigan led the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Kerigan oversaw a complete reorganization of the 31,000-plus volunteer force while supporting major operations including the Haiti earthquake response, Operation Arctic Crossroads, and the Deepwater Horizon Response.

Kerigan, a member of the Auxiliary since 1992, was busy leading from the top, but showed his constant dedication to all Auxiliary members by his wealth of qualifications. Kerigan maintained qualifications as coxswain, air observer, vessel examiner, instructor and a qualification examiner.

Click here to read more on the outstanding contributions of Commodore Kerigan.

Ed Kruska – November 12, 2010

Adm. Papp and CWO Kruska

Adm. Bob Papp, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard presents retired Chief Warrant Officer Ed Kruska with a commemorative coin for his efforts in honoring veterans. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

A recently retired Chief Warrant Officer, Ed Kruska spent a good portion of his career promoting our service and the memories of those who have worn the uniform. While serving as the editor of Coast Guard Reservist magazine, Kruska published a story about Coast Guard monuments across the United States urging Coast Guardsmen nationwide to pay their dues to those who served before them. That story was the inspiration for Coast Guard Flags Across America.

“It is an honor and privilege to commemorate the service of Coast Guard veterans that guarded our coasts in peace and defended our Nation in war,” said [Adm. Bob] Papp, adding, “With Flags Across America, Ed Kruska has established in our service a powerful way for us to observe these manners of our profession with dignity and admiration.”

Click here to read more about this special veteran who reminds us all that when thinking about the brave men and women who have served, it is not enough to utter words of praise, but to live by those words.

Christine Greiner – November 19, 2010

Ombudsman of the Year

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael Leavitt and Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Bob Papp present the 2009 Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year Award to Christine Greiner. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

As we headed into Thanksgiving Week, we found ourselves expressing our gratitude to Mrs. Christine Greiner, Ombudsman for the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis homeported in Honolulu, Hawaii. As ombudsman, Greiner is quite literally the key link between the crew of the 378-foot cutter and the family members left behind when the ship deploys.

“Ombudsmen volunteer their time and talents to create a community for unit family members left behind,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael Leavitt praising the efforts of all Ombudsmen. “Their hard work and dedication allows members of the Coast Guard to continue to focus on mission execution while being secure in the knowledge that things are running smoothly on the home front.”

Click here to read more about this dedicated Coast Guard spouse and the work she does to keep her unit Always Ready.

LTJG Steven Lewis – November 26, 2010

LTJG Steven Lewis

LTJG Steven Lewis was the landing safety officer, working with Coast Guard and Navy personnel, during the delivery of supplies to the cruise ship Carnival Paradise. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The international response to the Carnival Splendor, the cruise ship left adrift more than 100 miles off the coast of California by an engine fire, made for great television news and some interesting challenges for Coast Guard responders, including one ensign whose training and ingenuity were put to the test by this unique rescue mission.

Landing a U.S. Navy SH-60 Seahawk helicopter on a Panamanian-flagged cruise ship presented unique challenges. Adding to the complexities of the operation was the need to communicate with multiple entities including the aircraft commander, supply chief and on scene commander. Lewis used his training and experience to assure the team that it could be done safely – besides, the Lido deck was at least twice the size of the VERTREP area on Morgenthau.

Click here to read more about how a quick-thinking ensign saved the day by getting critical food, water, and medical supplies to the stranded passengers of the Carnival Splendor.

Congratulations to all of the Guardians of 2010! Come back tomorrow as we wrap up our tribute series with the Guardians of the Week for December 2010.