Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: AETC Erin Simone

Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander of the 17th Coast Guard District, presents a coin to Petty Officer 1st Class Erin Simone, an avionics electronics technician. Simone was recognized for her commendable actions and leadership example earning her the 2014 Douglas A. Munro Inspirational Leadership Award. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Diana Honings.

Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander of the 17th Coast Guard District, presents a coin to Petty Officer 1st Class Erin Simone, an avionics electronics technician. Simone was recognized for her commendable actions and leadership example earning her the 2014 Douglas A. Munro Inspirational Leadership Award. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Diana Honings.

The name Douglas Munro is steeped in honor and history. Munro, the first and only Coast Guard member to receive the Medal of Honor, displayed all the characteristics of a great leader: inspiring and motiving others, selfless devotion to service, commitment to the development of others, and countless more. Munro’s efforts transcend time and place.

It is only fitting, then, that the Coast Guard honors his namesake with an award given to those who embody Munro’s leadership skills and professional competence – the Douglas A. Munro Inspirational Leadership Award.

The award recognizes a Coast Guard enlisted member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and professional competence to the extent of their rank and rate. The most recent recipient of the award, Chief Petty Officer Erin Simone, has done all this and more.

In a recent ceremony, Simone was recognized as the 2014 recipient of the Douglas A. Munro Inspiration Leadership Award by Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander of the 17th Coast Guard District. Upon receiving this award, she was also meritoriously advanced to Chief Petty Officer from Petty Officer 1st Class.

“It is a great honor and privilege to receive this and to be recognized by Rear Adm. Ostebo, my command and my supervisors as deserving such an award,” said Simone. “I cannot begin to express my gratitude. It came as a complete surprise that I was even nominated.”

Over the past year, Simone, and avionics electronics technician, has demonstrated innate professional competence by acting as H60 night supervisor, training petty officer and avionics shop supervisor. She successfully oversaw all training and operational requirements of 70 personnel, ensuring completion of more than 1,000 qualification requirements for various aircrews.

Chief Petty Officer Erin Simone, an avionics electronics technician assigned to Air Station Kodiak, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Chief Petty Officer Erin Simone, an avionics electronics technician assigned to Air Station Kodiak, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

“Often asked to take the reins in the absence of a Chief, her attention to detail and dedication to the Aviation Maintenance program has been critical in the success of Air Station Kodiak,” said her supervisor, Chief Petty Officer Jason Strauch.

Simone led a six day deployment to a remote are in Kotzebue, Alaska, where she served as watch captain and direct representative for the $20 million aircraft and the six member crew. She also served as watch captain during a search and rescue case west of the Aleutian Islands, coordinating logistics for five independent aircrafts. After three days and more than 30 flight hours, the case resulted in one life saved and safe recovery of the aircraft and aircrews.

Simone’s contributions and commitment to the Coast Guard extend far beyond her primary duties at the air station.

As a leading member of the Kodiak Leadership and Development Council, she spear-headed an effort to plan, produce, and execute the first ever Kodiak Women’s Leadership Symposium. Within the symposium, she volunteered as a team leader/mentor for the medical advocate focus group, educating member’s of all genders and ranks about women’s health issues.

She has mentored junior enlisted members through countless difficult situations, truly embracing the concept of servant leadership. To spread the word about the avionics electronics technician rating, she volunteered her time at a local event, teaching new Coast Guard members about her duties and past experiences.

Simone is also an active participant of the Kodiak Coast Guard Enlisted Association, where she volunteers and participates in multiple fundraisers while providing assistance for local organizations, including Special Olympics Kodiak and the Kodiak Area Chief Petty Officers Association.

To further her passion for being a member of the medical field, she completed her certification as a registered nurse at the University of Alaska. During her off-duty hours, she volunteered at a local medical clinic, amassing more than 55 hours of volunteer service.

“Simone has always embodied professionalism and adaptability both on and off duty,” said Strauch. “Her volunteerism and selflessness have consistently set an impeccable example for her subordinates and peers alike. She’s excelled as a Victim Advocate, Coast Guard Enlisted Association member, college student and mother. We’re extremely proud of Chief Petty Officer Simone’s accomplishments and look forward to her being a part of our [chief’s] mess.”

Do you know someone who embodies the Coast Guard Core Values of Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty? Please submit your nominations using the “Submit Ideas” link on the right.

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