Guardians of 2010: October

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 October 2010.

AST1 Salvador Carire – October 1, 2010

AST1 Carire makes a speech

Carire accepts the Vice Admiral Thomas R. Sargent Gold Medal award. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard rescue swimmers are trained to put themselves in harms way to save others, but the decision to continue to search for a survivor in a hopeless situation putting your own life at risk is what sets them apart from the rest of us. Petty Officer 1st Class Salvadore Carire proved that he was one of the elite as he put himself in harms way to pull a survivor from an overturned life raft in heavy seas and frigid waters nearly 40-miles off the coast of New Jersey.

Carire ripped into the raft that cocooned a barely conscious, hypothermic survivor. With the 280-pound man in tow, Carire signaled the 6559 to lower the rescue basket. Carire stayed in the water, experiencing early stages of hypothermia himself, as the aircrew raised the fisherman safely into the aircraft and returned to hoist him. Once inside the aircraft, Carire used his medical training to treat the survivor and keep him conscious.

Click here to read more about Carire’s heroic actions.

The crew of the Amy Julie – October 8, 2010

Crew of the Amy Julie

The crew of the Amy Julie stands with Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp after they were presented with the AFRAS silver medal. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

We continued October with another amazing search and rescue case conducted by members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. There is perhaps no better example of the role that auxiliarists play in support of Coast Guard operations than the rescue performed by the crew of the Amy Julie when a surprise squall struck Buzzards Bay.

The crew of the Amy Julie decided that it was best to start checking on popular fishing and recreational boating areas. The crew’s plan to check the popular areas paid off, when the Amy Julie approached a fishing area and spotted a 17-foot center console boat submerged to the gunnels.

Click here to read more about how the local knowledge of an auxiliary crew saved three lives.

Mr. David Condino – October 15, 2010

Mr. Condino

Mr. David Condino worked tirelessly to reform international maritime policy. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The international maritime community has long struggled with balancing the realities of long ocean journeys with the need to keep our oceans free of trash. Over the past several years, David Condino has made a name for himself as a champion of marine environmental protection by helping the International Maritime Organization reform rules for dumping at sea.

A Master Mariner, Condino holds a license of unlimited tonnage and has sailed the world’s oceans thus creating a deep connection to all things maritime. Through his global travels, he has gained a firsthand perspective of how garbage thrown overboard affects the maritime environment.

Click here to read more about how this environmental hero is helping the international maritime community become a better steward of our oceans.

BM1 John Costabile – October 22, 2010

Costabile earns an automatic merit promotion to chief petty officer. Photo by PA3 Cindy Beckert

Costabile earns an automatic merit promotion to chief petty officer. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA3 Cindy Beckert

The Coast Guard’s small size and unique mission set lends itself to the development of leaders across the service. Our next two Guardians of the Week are such men.

Aboard the 270-foot Coast Guard Cutter Campbell, Petty Officer 1st Class John Costabile established himself as the kind of leader that inspires the crew from the commanding officer all the way down to the non-rates. He’s also one of the most successful drug interdiction boat drivers in the Coast Guard.

While his shipmates admire him, drug runners are dismayed by his tenacity and deep seated drive for operational excellence. In 2009 Costabile led 10 high-speed, close-quarter pursuits with go-fast boats, often requiring speeds in excess of 40-knots with challenging weather and in unfamiliar and poorly-charted waters.

Click here to read more about the qualities that make Costabile the most inspiring enlisted leader in the service and earned him an automatic promotion to chief. (Congrats boats!)

CDR Matthew Meilstrup – October 29, 2010

Cmdr. Matthew T. Meilstrup

Cmdr. Matthew T. Meilstrup

Coast Guard officers are expected to be good leaders and rely on the trust and respect of those who they command to accomplish the service’s many missions. As the recipient of the Captain David H. Jarvis Inspirational Leadership Award, Cmdr. Matthew Meilstrup, executive officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis, demonstrated the kind of leadership that inspired an entire crew.

“Cmdr. Meilstrup had tremendous respect for all of us,” said Lt. Heather Bacon-Shone, operations officer on Jarvis. “I think that’s because he first saw us as people, and secondly as shipmates, and only thirdly as cooks, chiefs, junior officers, boatswains’ mates, or firemen.”

Click here to read more about a Coast Guard officer that sets the example for everyone who wears the uniform.

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