Post written by: Petty Officer Second Class Daniel Bender
So often junior personnel in the Coast Guard are able to have a greater impact than their rank would usually imply. While stationed aboard the Cutter Escanaba until earlier this year, LTjg Amanda Bazinet already had to contend with the daunting task of acclimating to life afloat but took on many responsibilities that were not required of her.
One of the steepest learning curves for a junior officer on a cutter is watch qualification, usually as an engineer or deck watch. The former entails learning how to operate all of the mechanical components on board the ship, the latter places the officer in charge of the operation of the entire ship. Most officers qualify in one or the other. Bazinet did both.
“It’s not unheard of,” said CDR Edward Westfall, Escanaba commanding officer, “but it’s not very common either.”
Bazinet, now a port engineer at Naval Engineering Support Unit Boston, also took the time to qualify as a boarding officer. It’s a role that requires a lot of training in legal procedures and physical tactics like use of force – something this 5’2″ achiever understands well. Despite her 125-pound frame she hurled herself at the competition while on the Coast Guard Academy rugby team.
“I don’t think of it as me being too small,” said Bazinet.
Apparently no task is too small either. While aboard the cutter she chaired the human relations council, was unit health promotion coordinator, championed healthier food choices, was damage control assistant, tutored shipmates, improved workout programs, served on the morale committee and instituted foreign language training.
Beyond her many duties aboard the Escanaba, Bazinet led the crew in hundreds of hours of community service. She organized trips to serve at a soup kitchen, helped out a local maritime museum, and even mentored Girl Scouts.
“She’s really an outstanding JO,” said Westfall, “and a great leadership example.”
Bazinet is proof that rank or stature have nothing to do with being a leader. A can-do, helpful attitude is all it takes. Well done ma’am.
Do you know a Coastie 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 link on the right.