Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Petty Officer Jason Rodriguez

Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Rodriguez, an electronics technician aboard Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, poses aboard the Mellon during their North Pacific Guard Patrol on the northern Pacific Ocean, July 23, 2016. Rodriguez was nominated and selected as Mellon’s third Sailor of the Quarter for 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons)

Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Rodriguez, an electronics technician aboard Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, poses aboard the Mellon during their North Pacific Guard Patrol on the northern Pacific Ocean, July 23, 2016. Rodriguez was nominated and selected as Mellon’s third Sailor of the Quarter for 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons)

Written by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons

Life aboard a cutter consists of spending extended periods of time away from home, standing long watches and contributing in the completion of Coast Guard missions across the globe.

With each passing day you begin to see your shipmates as a second family. You learn more and more about the men and women working beside you, and soon begin to put their needs before your own.

After spending approximately two years aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Rodriguez, an electronics technician aboard the cutter, has learned the in’s and out’s of the cutter and its crew.

“If I had to describe the crew of the Mellon in one word it would be family,” said Rodriguez. “Your crew will be there when you have good days and bad. They will give you a hand when you need help or lend an ear when you need someone to talk to.”

Prior to reporting aboard the Mellon, Rodriguez was stationed at Training Center Petaluma as an Electronics Technician A-School instructor and was tasked with being a unit health promotion coordinator.

“Being a unit health promotion coordinator entailed motivating students, providing nutritional advice, leading in exercises and ensuring the men and women I was stationed with had every opportunity afforded to them in order to remain physically fit,” said Rodriguez. “When I reported to the Mellon, I made sure I brought those skills with me.”

Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Rodriguez cheers on Seaman Danielle Garcia, a member of the Deck Department aboard Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, during her final set of pull-ups in the gym of Mellon, July 18, 2016. Garcia has been attending Rodriguez’s fitness classes for several months. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons)

Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Rodriguez cheers on Seaman Danielle Garcia, a member of the Deck Department aboard Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, during her final set of pull-ups in the gym of Mellon, July 18, 2016. Garcia has been attending Rodriguez’s fitness classes for several months. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons)

Rodriguez took it upon himself to begin administering a unique fitness program for Mellon’s 180-person crew, placing special focus on personnel who needed assistance in maintaining compliance with the Coast Guard’s weight standards.

For anyone aboard a cutter, finding the time and energy to stay active can quickly become a task of its own.

“I have two rules everyone in my classes must follow,” said Rodriguez, “you must complete everything you can and never say you can’t do something.”

Rodriguez holds his classes as a group, allowing each person to feed off of one another’s energy and creating an upbeat environment. His classes consist of exercises ranging from cardio circuits to yoga and everything in between.

“I’ve been going to Petty Officer Rodriguez’s classes for about a month now,” said Seaman Alyssa Romo, a member of the cutter’s deck crew. “The classes are fun and encouraging, and ET1 does a great job of keeping us motivated.”

Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Rodriguez high-fives Seaman Nicole Meinert, a member of the Deck Department aboard Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, after completing Rodriguez’s workout regimen in the gym of Mellon, July 18, 2016. Meinert has been attending Rodriguez’s fitness classes for almost two months. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons)

Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Rodriguez high-fives Seaman Nicole Meinert, a member of the Deck Department aboard Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, after completing Rodriguez’s workout regimen in the gym of Mellon, July 18, 2016. Meinert has been attending Rodriguez’s fitness classes for almost two months. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons)

When he isn’t engaged in his everyday job, Rodriguez also finds the time to provide exemplary input to the first class enlisted professional military education rating knowledge and professional development programs for all junior crewmembers.

“A model citizen, positive role model and mentor,” Capt. Darran McLenon, commanding officer of the Mellon, said of Rodriguez. “ET1 has made a positive impact on kick starting the careers of our sailors, as indicted by their rapid progression from reporting onboard to departing for A-school. The future of the Coast Guard is in great hands with leaders like ET1 Rodriguez!”

In turn for all of his hard work and dedication to his crewmembers, Rodriguez was nominated and selected as Mellon’s Sailor of the Quarter for July to September of 2016.

“One lesson I’ve learned throughout my life and career in the Coast Guard is that you always have to take care of your family,” said Rodriguez. “[That’s] something I strive to do aboard Mellon every day.”

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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