Surprise call results in award, advancement

Written by Brianne Alvis

Petty Officer 1st Class Roderick Ansley is advanced to chief petty officer after receiving the Douglas A. Munro Inspirational Leadership Award at a ceremony in Milwaukee, July 6, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Petty Officer 1st Class Roderick Ansley is advanced to chief petty officer after receiving the Douglas A. Munro Inspirational Leadership Award at a ceremony in Milwaukee, June 23, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Petty Officer First Class Roderick Ansley had no clue what he was in for when the commanding officer of U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City Capt. Scott Craig requested his participation in a phone conference regarding a project he worked on with the command and Coast Guard Headquarters. He realized something was different about this meeting when they dialed in and he noticed the large smiles on the skipper, executive officer, engineering officer and command master chief.

On the other end of the line, Vice Commandant Adm. Charles Michel congratulated him on his selection as the 2017 Douglas A. Munro Inspirational Leadership Award winner.

Every Coast Guardsman knows Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro for his many accomplishments and as the only member of the U.S. Coast Guard to have received the Medal of Honor. As such a highly decorated enlisted member, the Munro Award holds great honor among the enlisted workforce. The Douglas A. Munro Award is a Navy League award recognizing the Coast Guard enlisted member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and professional competence to the extent of their rank and rate and the recipient receives an automatic merit promotion.

The Douglas A. Munro Inspirational Leadership Award certificate. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Douglas A. Munro Inspirational Leadership Award certificate. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Inspirational Leadership Awards are sponsored by the Coast Guard’s Office of Leadership and serve to recognize the active duty, reserve and civilian Coast Guard men and women who demonstrate proficiency in leadership and best exemplify the service’s core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty.

Ansley traveled with his family to Milwaukee at the end of June to attend the Annual Navy League Convention to receive his award. While there, the importance that the Coast Guard placed on the Inspirational Leadership Awards was apparent. At the Sea Service award luncheon, every award recipient was placed at a table with their family, a presenter from their respective service, and a member of the Navy League. The presenters were one Marine brigadier general, one Navy rear admiral, and one Coast Guard four-star admiral.

“I cannot begin to describe how proud I was that the Coast Guard sent our vice commandant to a lunch in Milwaukee to present an award to me,” said Ansley. “Not only was I impressed, it was noticed and voiced by almost all of the other award recipients. The Coast Guard continues to set itself apart and prove their devotion to their people.”

Out of 10 to 15 awards presented, the Douglas A. Munro Award was the only one that came with advancement. The other service members were visibly surprised when Ansley did not depart the stage after the award presentation and the vice commandant began to read the advancement letter. His 6-year-old son placed his father’s uniform cover upon his head, adorned with a new anchor, and said to the vice commandant “my dad is the Chief!”

Chief Petty Officer Roderick Ansley's son places his father's uniform cover upon his head during a ceremony in Milwaukee, July 6, 2017.

Chief Petty Officer Roderick Ansley’s son places his father’s uniform cover upon his head during a ceremony in Milwaukee, June 23, 2017.

“Unquestionably, Chief Petty Officer Roderick Ansley is a key example of the high level of talent we attract to our U.S. Coast Guard, making it the finest Coast Guard in the world,” said Michel. “I’m continually amazed at the breadth of our members’ accomplishments and Chief Ansley exemplifies the best of the best. A true leader, Chief Ansley demonstrates Commitment to Excellence not just in performing the mission, but in encouraging others to reach their potential as well.”

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