Shipmate of the Week – Al Roker

19 comments
Al Roker poses with a Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City crew in this January 2010 file photo. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Barbara L. Patton.
Al Roker poses with a Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City crew in this January 2010 file photo. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Barbara L. Patton.

He’s a bestselling author, nine-time Emmy winner, founder of a multimedia company, host of NBC’s Today and perhaps is the best-known weatherman in the world. He’s Al Roker. And despite his tremendous accomplishments we’d like to add one more to the list: Coast Guard supporter.

Roker has opened the eyes of many Americans to who the Coast Guard is as an organization through the TV show Coast Guard Alaska , produced by his company Al Roker Entertainment.

With the attention of more than 32 million TV viewers per week on Today, he shares a lot of stories from across our nation. So what compelled Roker to share the story of America’s Coast Guard? Honestly, YouTube.

Click the above image to see clips from season two of Coast Guard Alaska. Video courtesy of The Weather Channel.
Click the above image to see clips from season two of Coast Guard Alaska. Video courtesy of The Weather Channel.

“I’ve always known about the Coast Guard. However one day a couple years ago I was watching a video on YouTube about most amazing Coast Guard rescues,” said Roker. “I watched about an hour’s worth. It was then that I thought I wonder if there’s a show about the Coast Guard here?”

If you’ve ever seen a clip of a Coast Guard rescue, or an interdiction of a drug sub, you couldn’t blame him for watching an hour’s worth of video. The Coast Guard, as our nation’s maritime first responder, can go from performing a routine training flight to a search and rescue case in a matter of seconds. And so that’s how his quest to share the unique missions of the Coast Guard began.

But more than giving viewers a glimpse of the action Coast Guard men and women do day in and day out, Roker hopes to build an understanding and appreciation of all service members and the sacrifices they make.

“Anytime we can highlight the job that the men and women in uniform do in this country – and by uniform I mean any first responder, any member of our armed forces, anybody who serves and protects this country deserves the full support of everybody in this U.S. And so if our programming can bring a little bit more of a spotlight to what our service people do, then I am proud to do it,” said Roker.

Al Roker speaks with Coast Guard crewmembers at Air Station Clearwater about expectations and filming of Coast Guard Florida, a new documentary series by The Weather Channel and Al Roker Entertainment, March 20, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael De Nyse.
Al Roker speaks with Coast Guard crewmembers at Air Station Clearwater about expectations and filming of Coast Guard Florida, March 20, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael De Nyse.

Following the success of Coast Guard Alaska, Roker and his team set out to tell a different side of the Coast Guard. While Coast Guard Alaska featured mountainous terrain, freezing temperatures and places many Americans have never been, he thought it was time for some action from the Sunshine State.

Al Roker Entertainment is now in the filming stages for Coast Guard Florida. He hopes the audience will learn even more about what the Coast Guard does as operations and missions in Florida are drastically different from Alaska. Throughout the process he has learned a lot about these differences and even learned things about the Coast Guard he had never known.

“I think what I was most surprised about finding out about the mission of the Coast Guard is that there’s so much more to it than search and rescue,” said Roker. “Depending on where the Coast Guard station is it could be drug interdiction. It could be migration issues. It could be so much more. And I was really surprised to find out how international in scope the Coast Guard is as well.”

As Roker continues to showcase our service’s support to our nation, he has also grown to appreciate the men and women who perform the missions. Recently, Roker partnered with Coast Guard Mutual Assistance as their spokesman.

Click the above image to see a PSA with Al Roker for Coast Guard Mutual Assistance.
Click the above image to see a PSA with Al Roker for Coast Guard Mutual Assistance.

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance is a non-profit charitable organization established to provide financial aid to the entire Coast Guard family through interest-free loans, grants and financial counseling.

As a spokesman, Roker encourages others to contribute to Coast Guard Mutual assistance whose funds help service members in times of need.

“I feel that as a country we need to do more to make sure our service members of both active and retired are taken care of as they have taken care of this country,” said Roker. “So anything I can do in whatever small part to help make sure that the well-being and safety of the Coast Guard and their family is in some way helped by what I do, I am thrilled and honored to do it.”

Do you know a Shipmate that has done something great for the service, the missions or the public? Please submit your nominations using the “Submit Ideas” link on the right.

19 comments on “Shipmate of the Week – Al Roker”

  1. Bravo Zulu to Al Roker!  He leads an amazing team at Al Roker Entertainment.  They work hard to tell the Coast Guard Story to the American Public.  Al Roker and his team are true friends of the Coast Guard.  He is very deserving of Shipmate of the Week!

  2. Thanks, Mr. Roker, for your support! CG Alaska is awesome, and I can’t wait to see CG Florida. I think I speak for all Coast Guardsmen when I say “job well done, Shipmate!”

  3. Many thanks to Al Roker and his team for a great spotlight on the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance!

  4. Mr Roker, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting the spotlight on the USCG and the missions they perform for this country, all three of our sons went Coast Guard, two have made it a career, are now Chiefs in aviation, one is currently stationed at Kodiak, Chief Samuel R Loska, and Chief Scott C Loska, currently stationed at the FAA Training center in Absecon, NJ..who has also been stationed at Air Station Kodiak.
     Our 3rd son, after 12 years active service in the USCG, is now  Deputy Marshal Steven M Loska Jr at the Seattle WA Superior Court. The Coast Guard training takes these fine young men and women and makes outstanding citizens who proudly serve their country.We are so proud of our sons and the contribution they and their shipmates make to the safety and security of the United States.

  5. Thank You Coast Guard and Al Roker! You bring us the most amazing showes to watch. Keep up the good work all that serve are amazing.

    Sincerely, Gina L,  proud  Mom of 2 sons that serve in the USCG

  6. BZ, Al !!  Good call Shipmate selectors.
    I’ve always enjoyed Al’s wit, charm and sage weather advice on NBC Today.  When I saw his name producing USCG AK, he went to the stratospher for a media hero.  Brilliant idea.  Our nation’s Coast Guard will forever be in Al’s debt for bringing our professional Coast Gaurdsmen and their exploits into the homes of every citizen.  God bless Al & his team, the WX Channel, NBC, and our nation.

  7. No offense to Mr. Roker, He has brought alot of spotlight to the Coast Guard, but how about we use the shipmate of the wek for an actual Coast Guard member, just a thought.

      1. I am not mad, I have done nothing to earn shipmate of the week and never claimed to. I just feel it should go to an actual shipmate, not a TV producer. There are plenty of deserving members who are a part of this branch who are extremely deserving of this honor. As I said in my post there was no offense intended to Mr. Roker.

  8. Thanks Mr. Roker!  Love the show — I don’t think I’ve missed a single episode — really looking forward to CG Florida.  Your service to our service proves testament that you don’t need to wear a uniform to embody the Shipmate of the Week! 

  9. I agree with Nolajim.  More attention should go to actual Coast Guardsmen and not celebrities or the daughter’s of Captains. 

  10. I’d say that supporting the Coast Guard and highlighting the missions performed by us everyday are support enough to have him as this weeks “shipmate”, shipmate.

  11. It’s about time Uncle Sams poor nephew got recognized,Many years they sailed the hand me down ships of the Navy,Heck they even have some of their own these days thank to publicity.

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