Coast Guard Academy cadets in the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Department test out their ship design in a water-testing tank at the Academy as part of their capstone project, Feb. 14, 2019. Their capstone project is to design a replacement Waterways Commerce Cutter to ensure these vital trade routes can be cost effectively maintained through future generations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin

Tomorrow’s leaders designing tomorrow’s ships

The Coast Guard relies upon a fleet of 31 inland river buoy tenders averaging 52 years old, becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and sustain operations that support 2.3 billion tons of waterborne commerce along the U.S. Marine Transportation System. As part of the Coast Guard Academy’s capstone requirements, a group of cadets have been working in partnership with the Coast Guard Office of Ship Design to improve and replace the Waterways Commerce Cutter.


Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony Aviles. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Mark Barney)

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: SK1 Anthony Aviles

Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony Aviles is never seen around Coast Guard Base Los Angeles-Long Beach without a smile. He was honored as the 2018 Base Enlisted Person of the Year for his go-getter personality who enthusiastically tackles his primary job and also takes the time to volunteer for other duties.

“I can make my dreams come true as long as I work hard and invest in different opportunities available to me.”


A wreath to honor five Coast Guard members who lost their lives 87-year ago is prepared before a memorial service held by Coast Guard Station Atlantic City members at the Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City, New Jersey on March 6, 2019. On March 6, 1932, five members of Coast Guard Lifeboat Station Atlantic City attempted to search for a missing fishing boat in a nor’easter off Atlantic City, which resulted in the death of five crew members. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Seth Johnson

Coast Guard remembers fallen shipmates in Atlantic City rescue tragedy of 1932

On March 6, 1932, five Coast Guardsmen lost their lives while attempting to assist a fishing boat off the coast of Atlantic City, N.J. The ripples from the tragedy are still felt today as members of Coast Guard Station Atlantic City hold an annual memorial and wreath laying ceremony.

“We hold this memorial annually to remember and honor those who gave their lives in service, and who are part of our proud heritage as lifesavers and as Coast Guard men and women.” – Lt. Taylor Smith


Coast Guard enlisted women aviators – “The Firsts”

The Women in Aviation International Conference is scheduled to be held this week, March 14-16, 2019, in Long Beach, California. Nine Coast Guard female aviators have been nominated to be honored at this conference. This blog highlights the enlisted women aviators who were nominated.


Fishing Vessel Dauntless is seen through the window of the Coast Guard Cutter Staten Island's deployed helicopter. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

You have to go out: The tragic death of Boatswain’s Mate Chief Elias Welch, part 2

In part two, we learn the circumstances around the death of our shipmate Boatswain’s Mate Chief Elias Welch 50 years ago in the Bering Sea. Mishaps are, by their very definition, unplanned and it is easy to sit in safety and harshly judge the actions and motivations of people who didn’t have the luxury of hindsight, especially when those actions took place 50 years ago in a different organizational culture. Welch’s death in the line of duty reminds us of the dangers of hubris, the importance of personal protective equipment, and that the Coast Guard’s modern doctrine of Operational Risk Management has evolved through decades of tragic incidents and sacrifice.


Coast Guard officer women aviators – “The Firsts”

The Women in Aviation International Conference is scheduled to be held this week, March 14-16, 2019, in Long Beach, California. Nine Coast Guard female aviators have been nominated to be honored at this conference. This first blog highlights officer women aviators. Check back tomorrow to learn more about the enlisted aviators who have also been nominated.


You have to go out: The tragic death of Boatswain’s Mate Chief Elias Welch, part 1

Fifty years ago this March, Boatswain’s Mate Chief Elias Welch died off of Akutan Island, Alaska, when his cutter’s boat capsized during an attempt to assist a grounded fishing vessel. The tragic story of his death, unknown except to his shipmates, deserves to be remembered, both as a tribute to his service and as a study in operational risk management and leadership.


Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Women of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy

HERstories are stories presented from a female’s viewpoint with special attention to the experience of women. The women presented in this blog exemplify the Coast Guard’s values of Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty. These women share their HERstories of challenges, successes and initiatives as female in the Coast Guard.


Painting of the SS Wellington with Seneca in the background. This response effort is the most honored combat-related rescue in service history. (Coast Guard Collection)

The Long Blue Line: Coxswain James C. Osborn – flawed hero during World War I

He wasn’t perfect but no one can dispute he served as a hero in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War I. James Clarence Osborn served aboard Coast Guard Cutter Seneca where he risked life and limb saving his shipmates while escorting a torpedoed British steamship to the port of Brest, France. He was awarded the Navy Cross Medal and Gold Lifesaving Medal for his bravery but fell into trouble with authorities later in life. Regardless of his troubles, his heroism should not be forgotten.


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.


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