Every member of the Coast Guard has a unique path they have carved for themselves; one in which there are endless possibilities and each member defines their own success and where they want to go. Lt. Cmdr. Angelina Hidalgo is one servicemember who has carved her own path and has found countless operational successes along the way.
Throughout her career, Hidalgo has sailed aboard Coast Guard vessels, served as a maritime terrorism analyst and overseen search and rescue and law enforcement operations. She also served as one of the first female Hispanic commanding officers in the Coast Guard, captaining the 87-foot patrol boat Kingfisher. There is no doubt, Hidalgo knows a lot about getting the mission done.
But there is something more compelling than performing the mission, and that is sharing success with others. She displayed her commitment to her community and the advancement of minorities through her participation and service to the International Trade Education Programs, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving student performance at underperforming high schools and introducing them to career opportunities in international trade, transportation and logistics.
Understanding the important role maritime operations play on a global scale and her operational experience made the program a perfect fit for Hidalgo. Through ITEP, Hidalgo created opportunities for students and raised their awareness of career possibilities in the world’s maritime industry.
Hidalgo currently serves as chief of incident management at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach and is responsible for interagency coordination of maritime environmental response and oversees boat operations and search and rescue missions along more than 350 miles of southern California’s shoreline. She uses this expertise as a board member for one of ITEP’s academies for global safety and security. Her work with the board has had a tremendous impact on the teens, and Hidalgo was awarded Board Member of the Year for her ability to foster unique opportunities to learn about maritime operations.
Hidalgo has impacted many students on an individual level, taking on numerous mentees. Supporting the program’s goals she provided students important life lessons and guidance to improve academic performance and encouraged the students to graduate ready for entry-level jobs, technical school and college.
Through ITEP, California teens see firsthand how important the maritime industry is to our global economy, and Hidalgo provided relevance for what the students were learning in the classroom by hosting a maritime career event. She led a Coast Guard day event for more than 250 students involved in the ITEP program, inspiring future generations to pursue civilian and military law enforcement career paths.
As a testament to her commitment, Hidalgo was the recent recipient of the National Latina Symposium Distinguished Service Award. Alongside awardees from each of the Armed Services, Hidalgo was honored for her service, leadership, accomplishments and commitment to building a strong community.
“Her dedication and passion comes out in everything she is involved with,” said Cmdr. Christina Davidson, chief of response at Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach. “I consider this unit and the Coast Guard as a whole, extremely fortunate to have such a selfless, yet impactful leader as part of the team.”