Our Guardian of the Week this week is the 2009 Coast Guard Enlisted Person of the Year, a tremendous honor considering her competition was the 34,000 active duty members of the world’s greatest lifesaving service.
MST1 Carrie Grady took on leadership roles as often and in as many areas as she saw the opportunity, according to Lt. Cmdr. JoAnne Hanson, executive officer of the Pacific Strike Team where Grady was transferred in July 2009.
“Throughout the year she demonstrated seemingly superhuman qualities,” said Hanson. “She took on and managed an impressive amount of responsibility, and the sheer quantity and quality of her work was awe inspiring.”
While still stationed at her previous unit, MSST Seattle, Grady qualified as a coxswain, a role traditionally reserved for boatswains mates. There was no requirement for her attain the qualification but she frequently gave up her weekends to train with Station Seattle.
“I think if you’re a leader and you’re going to ask someone to do a job for you that you should be able to the job yourself,” said Grady who is currently running a skimmer team out of Houme, La. in response to the Deepwater Horizon spill.
More impressive is Grady’s ability to build partnerships. While training with them she developed a strong relationship with the station. She brought in two shipmates from the MSST in order to help the station with their Ready for Operations and Standardization Team evaluations.
“The partnership she developed not only assisted her in qualifying sooner as a coxswain but also improved relations between MSST Seattle and Station Seattle,” said Hanson. With the MSST’s help, Station Seattle went on to win the prestigious Sumner I. Kimball Readiness Award for their performance during their evaluations.
Overlapping with the MSST’s own RFO and STAN evaluations, Grady took over the lead petty officer role for the law enforcement program. She qualified 11 boarding team members in the months leading up to the unit’s deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and coordinated pistol course qualifications for the unit greatly diminishing the workload of her fellow boarding officers, said Hanson.
Upon transferring to the strike team Grady took over the radiation program and immediately began preparations for another RFO examination at yet another unit. Because of the program’s stellar reviews and her specialty knowledge, Grady began getting calls from other units asking for advice and assistance, said Hanson.
Grady was equally devoted to her community frequently leveraging the skills that make her a stellar petty office. She was always moved by the outpouring of support from the Seattle law enforcement community after PS3 Ronald Gill, a member of MSST Anchorage, Alaska, was killed while on patrol in the Puget Sound.
“It felt good to know that we weren’t alone; that our community supported us,” said Grady.
She saw the opportunity to give back when four Seattle-area police were killed. She persuaded her shipmates at the PST to help her in a plan to raise money for the families of the slain officers and send pizzas to the rest of the officers’ precinct.
“I wanted them to know that they were in our thoughts and prayers,” said Grady.
Later, Capt. Robin Clark of the Seattle Police Department called Grady to let her know how much the pizzas meant to her people and that it had given them an opportunity to get together and talk about their lost friends.
Grady is also involved with mentoring youth, various environmental projects, animal rescues and for aiding less-fortunate families.
Thank you for your inspirational service MST1 Grady. You are a model coastie for your shipmates and you truly deserve this recognition. Congratulations!
Do you know someone in the Coast Guard that has done something great for the service, the missions or the public? Please submit your nominations for Guardian of the Week using the submit button at the top of the page.