Inception of the Hopley Yeaton awards for cutters, cutter crews

Each and every Coast Guard member knows the name of the service’s first cutterman: Capt. Hopley Yeaton.

Yeaton was a consummate professional mariner and leader who embodied the ‘can-do’ attitude that continues to define the cutterman spirit throughout the Coast Guard fleet today.

Now, there are two awards to honor both Coast Guard cutter crews and cuttermen who embody the spirit of Hopley Yeaton in their daily duties.

The Capt. Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence Award will be presented to one large cutter (210 ft and above), and one small cutter (175 ft and below). All cutters are eligible, including those in pre-commissioning or commission-special status.

Cutters recognized for this award will have demonstrated exceptional performance worthy of special distinction in categories including, but not limited to:

  • Operations and mission accomplishment
  • Commitment to crew and families
  • Cutter training and readiness
  • Engineering


The Capt. Hopley Yeaton Superior Cutterman Award will recognize one officer and one enlisted member from across the fleet who best exemplify the cutterman spirit and Yeaton’s legacy.

Nominees must be cuttermen (permanent or temporary with a minimum of one year of sea time), currently assigned to an afloat unit. Winners of this award will have demonstrated excellence in various dimensions, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Contribution to operational success
  • Training and other administrative proficiency
  • Personal leadership and adherence to the coast guard’s core values
  • Embodiment of the cutterman ‘can-do’ mentality
  • Notable acts such as personal heroism and/or positive engagements with the public or professional mariners
  • Proficiency in ship handling, navigation, boat handling, deck operations, cutter engineering and/or other professional mariner skills
  • Attainment of shipboard qualifications beyond normal expectations


Members are ineligible for nomination if they have received NJP or other disciplinary actions within the past five years.

A selection committee comprised of active duty officers, enlisted and retired cuttermen, representing all facets of cutter operations, will review all nominations and make recommendations to the Coast Guard Cuttermen Association for approval.

The deadline for all award submissions is Dec. 1, 2015.

More detailed nomination criteria and instructions for submittal can be found on the CG-751 portal page or the Coast Guard Cuttermen Association website.

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