Coast Guard Lt. Ronaqua Russell flies an Air Station Corpus Christi HC-144 in support of Hurricane Maria response efforts in October 2018. Photo courtesy of Lt. Ronaqua Russell.

Making history in the sky

Lt. Ronaqua Russell recently became the first African-American female aviator in the Coast Guard receive the Air Medal in honor of her heroic actions in response to Hurricane Harvey, one of the most destructive storms in U.S. history. She was honored in a ceremony at Tuskegee’s Moton Field where, 77 years ago, the first African-American aviators in the U.S. Armed Services broke down racial barriers to earn their wings, and later go on to fly several heroic and critical combat missions in World War II.


Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz congratulates Mr. Albert Curry, Jr., Deputy Assistant Commandant for the Engineering and Logistics, during the 14th Annual Stars and stripes event in Washington, D.C., Feb. 8, 2019. The event honors members who have served with distinction supporting the Service’s efforts in mentorship, diversity, and value-based service to the Nation, and provides an opportunity for military and defense leaders in the STEM to increase interest in and passion for STEM. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jetta Disco.

U.S. Coast Guard “At the Intersection of America’s Future”

The Coast Guard stood at the “Intersection of America’s Future” in early February to honor several awardees of the Black Engineer of the Year Award ceremony. The conference brought together 12,000 STEM professionals from across the nation to inspire young Americans to pursue an engineering education and to recognize the achievements of senior military leaders within the STEM professions.


Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Lt. Brian Churchill

Last fall, the White House Fellows program accepted its second Coast Guard reservist in more than 50 years. Lt. Brian Churchill was honored to be selected for the WHF program; among others, the program accepted a neurosurgeon, several Ivy-league graduates, a software CEO and a Rhodes scholar. The program was established in 1964 to give young leaders the opportunity to get first hand, high-level experience with the inner workings of the federal government.


Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen presents the Secretary's Award for Diversity Management 2018 to Petty Officers 2nd Class Amad Hankins and Shango Indomitus at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2018. Hankins and Indomitus developed the Enlisted Professions in Connection Program (EPIC) and the Remote Mentorship Assistance Program to improve retention rates, recruitment and professional development for minorities in the Coast Guard's enlisted workforce. Department of Homeland Security photo by Tim Godbee.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Enlisted Professionals in Connection

When two junior petty officers found little opportunity for diverse enlisted members to network with similar like-minded members, they formed the Enlisted Professionals in Communication or EPIC. The traveled to nine different commands across the nation, worked with former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steven Cantrell and helped diverse and under represented minority members connect. For their efforts and initiative, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen recognized these two petty officer with the Secretary’s Award for Diversity Management.


A 1943 photograph showing the commandant, Vice Adm. Russell Waesche, during a tour of wartime Coast Guard forces in the field. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Long Blue Line: Waesche – the Coast Guard’s wartime leader, second founding father

Adm. Russell Waesche was responsible for the expansion of the service and improved the traditional functions of the Coast Guard during his 10 years as commandant. His administration intensified Coast Guard activity in the Great Lakes and added new missions of the Coast Guard including marine safety, icebreaking, and aids-to-navigation. One could say Waesche’s tenure as Coast Guard commandant was the most productive and successful in Coast Guard history; one could say he was the second founder of the Coast Guard.


A Veterans Day rescue and remembrance

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy honors Academy graduates who are considered service heroes. This year, the Academy inducted Lt. Mark Feldman into the Wall of Gallantry for saving the lives of two plane crash survivors near Detroit on Veterans Day in 1986.


Marker at Arlington National Cemetery honoring Merrill Hoover. Courtesy of Tom Varner.

The Long Blue Line: Merrill Walter Hoover

In the early morning hours of April 10, 1943, Seaman 2nd Class Merrill Walter Hoover sounded the alarm that an oncoming freighter was in the direct path of the CG-72010 he and his shipmates were patrolling aboard in Chincoteague, Virginia. The crew of the freighter, a steamship named Colytto, and CG-72010 made it out alive but Hoover’s body was never recovered. Hoover went in harm’s way and sacrificed his own life to save the lives of his shipmates and was posthumously awarded the DeMolay Medal of Heroism in 2016.


U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Abbie Burgess sails past the Owl’s Head Lighthouse near Rockland, Maine. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Auxiliarist Bob Trapani.

U.S. Coast Guard ATON personnel honor lighthouse keepers

Crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Abbie Burgess (WLM-553) and Aids to Navigation Team (ANT) Southwest Harbor, Maine, placed flowers and national ensigns at the gravesites of Abbie Burgess and Isaac Grant, two renowned lighthouse keepers, during a visit to Thomaston, Maine, in August. Burgess was best known for keeping the Matinicus Light shining and later the Whitehead Lighthouse with her husband Grant.


international maritime leaders

International maritime leaders

The Coast Guard Academy is uniquely suited to prepare international maritime leaders to address the most complex global challenges of our time; those that require transnational solutions and long-term cooperation between nations, such as polar climate change, protection of ocean resources, terrorism, transnational crime and disaster response and recovery.


Auxiliary National Elections

Coast Guard Auxiliary national election results

Written by Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs   Congratulations are in order for the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s newly elected national leaders! On Friday, August 24, 2018, national elections were held at the Auxiliary National Conference in Orlando, Florida. The newly […]


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