A celebration of heroism

The next ten namesakes for the Coast Guard’s newest Fast Response Cutters were honored at a recent ceremony and dedication dinner. The namesakes honored during this ceremony and the next names that will be displayed across the transom of the newest ships will be: Raymond Evans, Winslow Griesser, Richard Patterson, Joseph Tezanos, Rollin Fritch, Lawrence Lawson, John McCormick, Bailey Barco, Benjamin Dailey, Donald Horsley and Jacob Poroo.

Coast Guard Vice Commandant Adm. Peter Neffenger greets the family of Master Chief Petty Officer Donald H. Horsley at the WWII Museum in New Orleans, Nov. 14, 2014. The event honored the namesakes of the newest fleet of Coast Guard Fast Response Cutters. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets.

Coast Guard Vice Commandant Adm. Peter Neffenger greets the family of Master Chief Petty Officer Donald H. Horsley at the WWII Museum in New Orleans, Nov. 14, 2014. The event honored the namesakes of the newest fleet of Coast Guard Fast Response Cutters. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets.

Written by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets

What’s in a name? Just as names are passed down for generations to honor a family’s legacy, the namesakes of Coast Guard cutters serving across our nation carry robust historical significance.

In the case of the Coast Guard’s new Sentinel Class fast response cutters, the namesakes not only carry defining moments for the service’s history, but honor the legacy of enlisted service members that truly define what it meant to serve their country.

Families and descendants of 10 legendary Coast Guard heroes gathered at the World War II museum in New Orleans on Friday to celebrate the naming of 11 new Coast Guard fast response cutters.

The event, attended by senior Coast Guard leadership and representatives of Bollinger Shipyards, honored the heroism of the Coast Guard members the new cutters are named for.

Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, speaks at the dedication dinner, which honored the namesake of the next 10 fast response cutters. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets.

Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, speaks at the dedication dinner, which honored the namesake of the next 10 fast response cutters. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets.

Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, spoke on the importance of naming the cutters after enlisted heroes.

“A cutter takes on a unique identity and it takes on a personality for the men and the women and the crews who serve on it; it takes on the character and it takes on the quality of its name…the name on that ship ties us to a long line of history,” he said. “We named our fast response cutters after our heroes, people we revere.”

With 10 fast response cutters already patrolling our nation’s waters, the value this new class of cutters has added to the Coast Guard fleet has already been proven to be invaluable.

“Fast Response Cutters are saving lives, stopping smugglers and protecting our environment,” said Neffenger. “They are carrying forth the inspiring legacy of their namesakes and they are vital to the success of our 21st century Coast Guard.”

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steven Cantrell, explained the importance of remembering the Coast Guard’s past heroes.

“The Coast Guard has always been an organization made up of ordinary people, doing extraordinary things,” he said. “These heroes demonstrated exceptional courage in the face of enemy fire, harrowing storms and tumultuous seas. Each one endured these dangers at great personal risk…their actions span more than 125 years. One can’t help but feel a sense of awe, when we think of the enormity of what they must have encountered.”

Master Chief Petty Officer Steve Cantrell speaks at the fast response cutter dedication ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets.

Master Chief Petty Officer Steve Cantrell speaks at the fast response cutter dedication ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets.

At the end of the evening, a presentation was made for each of the Coast Guard heroes, detailing their accomplishments and heroism in the service. The family members of the heroes were given a model of their relative’s fast response cutter.

“The names that will reside on the transom of these wonderful ships will inspire a generation of Coast Guard heroes that will always know their heritage, always know their history and they will always pay appropriate respect to the enlisted heroes that came before them,” said Cantrell.

Named after Coast Guard enlisted heroes, the Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters are replacing the aging Island-class 110-foot patrol boats. The new cutters will allow the Coast Guard to reliably perform its core missions along the coast and at sea.

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