Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: LCDR Peter Bosma

Photo of Lt. Cmdr. Peter Bosma. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony Soto.

Photo of Lt. Cmdr. Peter Bosma. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony Soto.

Growing up in a Coast Guard family, Lt. Cmdr. Peter Bosma was exposed to Coast Guard missions and the military lifestyle from an early age.

The son of a Coast Guard pilot, Bosma had only two main requirements when looking for a college: the ability to play basketball and a strong engineering program.

It was the U.S. Coast Guard Academy that provided both of these things, and so much more. And though Bosma did pursue a civil engineering degree, upon graduation he didn’t necessarily see engineering as a part of his future in the Coast Guard.

“Quite honestly, even though I studied engineering, I never wanted to be, or at least I never thought I wanted to be, an engineer in the Coast Guard,” said Bosma

He began his career as a deck watch officer aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Diligence, when an opportunity came up to attend graduate school for a joint Master of Business Administration-civil engineering program.

With a desire to pursue an education in finance, it was an opportunity that he couldn’t pass up. However, during his payback tour at the Civil Engineering Unit in Providence, Rhode Island, Bosma finally started to wonder if civil engineering was the right path for him in the Coast Guard.

“That was when I started to appreciate the civil engineering program in the Coast Guard,” he said. “It was the construction management that I started to enjoy.”

Soon after, he completed a tour in the Office of Civil Engineering at Coast Guard Headquarters and also took the Principles and Practice of Engineering examination.

Lt. Cmdr. Peter Bosma, right, meets with the Commander of the 7th Coast Guard District to discuss the new Sector building. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Lt. Cmdr. Peter Bosma, right, meets with the Commander of the 7th Coast Guard District to discuss the new Sector building. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Bosma’s experience in the Office of Civil Engineering allowed him to see the service from a broader perspective, which prepared him well for his current job as the logistics department head at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville.

There, he oversees not only the engineering administrative and other support divisions, but also acts as the commanding officer for all enlisted personnel.

“It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been worth it,” Bosma said. “As an engineer, to do some of the things in the logistics shop that you normally don’t get to do…it’s really broadened me as an officer.”

In his role, he guided an overhaul of the HVAC system at the local barracks; the initiative saved the Coast Guard more than $100,000 in labor costs and decreased overall energy usage.

Aside from his normal responsibilities of overseeing the logistics department and providing mission support to the three small boat stations, two aids-to-navigation teams and five cutters that fall under Sector Jacksonville’s responsibility, Bosma used his civil engineering background to help gain momentum for a stalled engineering project.

For nearly 10 years, there has been a plan to build a joint Coast Guard-Customs and Border Protection Command and Control facility. The 55,000-square foot building would house all facets of Sector Jacksonville effectively, better managing the space needed than the current setup.

With Bosma’s education, expertise and hard work, the project, which had been stalled multiple times over the past 10 years, would finally see momentum.

“It worked out that I had the civil engineering background,” Bosma said. “It just came to me and it was a team effort for sure.”

Photo of Sector Jacksonville's new building. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Photo of Sector Jacksonville’s new building. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

After 10 years of planning, the building will finally see a ribbon-cutting ceremony in March 2016.

For his professional and personal accomplishments, Bosma was recognized as the 2016 Coast Guard Engineer of the Year. Although he knew he was nominated, he didn’t expect to win.

“I was shocked, but completely happy, completely honored,” Bosma said. “Definitely one of the highlights of my Coast Guard career.”

The award came with a very big validation for Bosma.

“It made me feel like hard work does pay off,” he said.

Bosma’s supervisors cite his work ethic and professionalism as two of the main contributing factors to his success.

“Lt. Cmdr. Bosma is a true professional who not only gets the job done, but goes the extra mile to ensure that it is done right and even takes measures to improve the process, all while taking exceptional care of the crew,” said his supervisor, Cmdr. LaDonn Allen, deputy sector commander at Sector Jacksonville.

To Bosma, it comes down to a simple mission support principle: customer service.

“We’re always trying to focus on the fact that we provide customer service to our fellow Coasties, and we just try to do the best job we can,” Bosma said. “I’m pretty proud of the department that we have. I definitely would not have won the award without having some really good people on the staff.”

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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