Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicholas Basso examines the repair on a watertight door aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750) Feb. 2, 2019. Bertholf is operating in the Western Pacific in support of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer John Masson.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: DC3 Nicholas Basso

A ship operating away from home can seem like its own tiny, self-contained universe. There’s no calling a paramedic, a police officer, or a plumber when something goes wrong.

That’s why it’s a good thing the Coast Guard has people like Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicholas Basso, a damage controlman, aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750). When everyday issues arise, such as a door that won’t close properly or a sink that won’t drain, it’s people like Basso who ride to the rescue.


National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and reflecting pool in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Long Blue Line: Police Week–Coast Guard law enforcers lost in the line of duty

In October 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726 designating May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor federal, state and municipal officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty. The act also designates the calendar week during which May 15 occurs as “Police Week” in recognition of the service given by the men and women who serve in law enforcement. During this week, the law enforcement community lays a wreath at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial where 23 Coast Guard names are inscribed on the memorial. We honor those who have served and sacrificed including the 23 Coast Guardsmen who gave the final measure.


Mrs. Becky Lawrence poses for a photo with her husband and daughter. Photo courtesy of the Lawrence family.

Building a community where America’s day begins

The Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year award recognizes a unit ombudsman that has demonstrated the greatest commitment serving as a Coast Guard ombudsman. This year, that award went to Mrs. Becky Lawrence, ombudsman for Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia (WPB 215). Lawrence dove in to help her community in Guam as a volunteer while also dedicating her time to support Sequoia’s members and dependents. She is an outstanding role model for all Coast Guard ombudsmen, and her selection highlights the accomplishments of an invaluable command representative.


2018 Innovation Award winners pose for a group photo at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Loumania Stewart.

Coast Guard recognizes innovation with annual awards

The Coast Guard honored a group of exceptional innovators whose ideas have helped make the Coast Guard more ready, relevant and responsive with Capt. Niels P. Thomsen Innovation Awards. The ceremony took place during the Senior Leadership Conference held April 25, 2019, at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.


Coast Guard Academy First Class Cadet Stephanie Miranda poses for a photo outside Chase Hall at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin.

Diversifying the Coast Guard one at a time: 1/c Stephanie Miranda

In today’s increasingly global world, understanding diverse cultures and embracing differences is essential to success. Given the challenges and far-reaching missions of the Coast Guard, wise cadets seek to strengthen their understanding of other cultures and faiths, while growing in their own tradition. As a result, they better understand themselves, those with whom they serve, as well as the public they will encounter.

But what happens when you are the only one like you, past and present?

Coast Guard Academy First Class Cadet Stephanie Miranda is a first generation Indian-American, the only cadet of Indian heritage at the Academy, and the first documented Indian-American woman to graduate from the Academy.


Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: ME3 Denim Kurtis

For Petty Officer 3rd Class Denim Kurtis, law enforcement is a family affair. His mother is a deputy sheriff, and his father-in-law is an investigator for the San Francisco district attorney’s office.

So when Kurtis felt the call to serve his country, the Coast Guard’s maritime enforcement specialty was a natural fit.

Today, Kurtis serves aboard Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf where he is one of two maritime enforcement specialists assigned to the ship.


U.S. Coast Guard couple completes 87 years of combined service

Bruce and Christine Riley, two civilian Coast Guard employees, retired after serving a combined 87 years in service to the nation. Bruce was a former U.S. Navy sailor and later a Coast Guardsman. He retired in 1988 from active duty and began working as a civilian in the Vessel Traffice Services branch. Christine worked at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters for the last 35 years working different administrative assignments before managing transportation benefits for more than 1,200 employees and distributing $49 million in transportation benefits to Coast Guard personnel.


U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schutlz, Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Gould, and Reserve Force Master Chief Petty Officer George Williamson pose for a photo at the Enlisted Person of the Year award ceremony in Washington, D.C., April 25, 2019. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jetta Disco.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Gould

The Coast Guard recognized Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Gould as the 2018 Enlisted Person of the Year for the Reserve Component. Gould is a boatswain’s mate with Port Security Unit 311 out of San Pedro, Calif., and is an inveterate volunteer in his professional and personal life.


Headstone of William Flores at his final resting place in Benbrook, Texas. Photo courtesy of Find-a-Grave.

The Long Blue Line: Coast Guard hero and FRC namesake William Flores

On Jan. 28, 1980, the Coast Guard Cutter Blackthorn and tanker S.S. Capricorn collided while outbound from Tampa Bay. Seaman Apprentice William Flores sacrificed his life to save the lives of his shipmates. In the years after the sinking, surviving crew members who had witnessed Flores’s bravery, lobbied the service to recognize and honor their fallen shipmate. In 2012, the Coast Guard commissioned the Fast Response Cutter William Flores homeported in Miami.


Clay Evans, the Maritime Search and Rescue Western Region superintendent (left), and Capt. Brian Glander, the Coast Guard 11th District chief of incident management (right), present Ken White with the Coast Guard Public Service Commendation award at his home in Powell River, British Columbia, Feb. 9, 2019. White has dedicated more than 40 years of service to assisting mariners in distress. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Ken White, Angel of the Airwaves

Ken White, a Canadian citizen, has dedicated more than 40 years to helping mariners in distress. He monitors a wide range of emergency frequencies and quickly passes any information on through to the Rescue Coordination Center in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Alameda, California. For his endless dedication to helping the maritime community, the Coast Guard awarded White the Coast Guard Public Service Commendation.


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