Our Guardian of the Week is a stellar shipmate aboard the CGC Campbell, where the crew, from the captain down, admire him for his leadership and expertise. BM1 John Costabile has proven his worth there time and time again.
“BM1 Costabile is not only the most seasoned pursuit coxswain aboard Campbell, he may also be one of the most talented in the Coast Guard,” said Cmdr. Scott Clendenin, the Campbell’s skipper. “His natural gift for seamanship, and his keen judgment skills combine to make him the most gifted tactical coxswain I have seen over the span of five sea tours.”
While his shipmates admire him, drug runners are dismayed by his tenacity and deep seated drive for operational excellence. In 2009 Costabile led 10 high-speed, close-quarter pursuits with go-fast boats, often requiring speeds in excess of 40-knots with challenging weather and in unfamiliar and poorly-charted waters, said Clendenin.
“His operational savy disrupted 10 drug smuggling attempts, led to the arrest of five suspected narco-traffickers, the seizure of 2,000 pounds of cocaine worth over $28 million and the seizure of a stolen U.S. flagged vessel,” said Clendenin.
It’s not only his operational abilities that are impressive but his judgment. Costabile’s tactical judgment calls and lightning quick decisions during complex international law enforcement cases with adverse operational nighttime conditions were the key to Campbell’s success. “He always made the right call in use of force cases, prudently employing force to stop transnational drug laden go-fasts, and maintaining laser like focus on our mission priorities,” Clendenin said.
The command trusts Costabile so much he is qualified as an underway officer of the deck, responsible for the entire ship while on watch, something usually reserved for officers well above him in paygrade on a cutter the size of Campbell. He has certainly maintained the highest levels of professionalism and performance expected of cuttermen,” said Clendenin.
“From my observation his deckplate level leadership, experience, and skill was absolutely essential for CAMPBELL to weather a tough transfer season and successfully complete our missions” said Clendenin.
He works diligently, both on- and off-duty, to help his shipmates. Costabile can often be found during his off-hours to conduct training on boardings, seamanship or navigation.
“BM1 Costabile is simply a charismatic leader who the entire crew enjoys being around,” said Clendenin.
For his efforts Costabile was awarded the 2009 Douglas A. Munro Inspirational Leadership Award, an honor that comes with an automatic merit promotion.
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 Ideas” link on the right.