Shipmate of the Week – MSTC Jessica Snyder

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Chief Petty Officer Jessica Snyder, the 2012 Reserve Enlisted Person of the Year, gives remarks at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.
Chief Petty Officer Jessica Snyder, the 2012 Reserve Enlisted Person of the Year, gives remarks at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

How does a paralegal at the U.S. Department of Justice end up in Iraq assigned to a U.S. Army transportation battalion? She volunteers to deploy as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.

Chief Petty Officer Jessica Snyder, a reservist from Sector New York, was deployed for eight months with the Coast Guard’s Redeployment Assistance and Inspection Detachment, commonly referred to as RAID.

While overseas, her team assisted redeploying Army units with the shipping process as they sent cargo in and out of combat zones. Snyder and her team were attached to Army transportation battalions and worked with the troops, assisting in the drawdown of forces as well as the redeployment of troops in Afghanistan.

Chief Petty Officer Jessica Snyder receives her award from Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.
Chief Petty Officer Jessica Snyder receives her award from Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait, Snyder was one of the unit’s container inspection subject matter experts and instructed personnel on international transportation procedures and requirements for their containers, equipment and any hazardous material items.

Snyder visited 12 forward operating bases to inspect and seal containers, inspect the cargo and perform structural inspections on containers to determine their serviceability. Altogether, her efforts played a vital role in the safe movement of more than 10,000 containers out of Iraq from September to December 2011.

Snyder completed a total of 75 missions. On one particular mission, she led the RAID’s involvement for the Army explosive ammunition transfer at the Kuwait Naval Base, reviewing and certifying 55 explosives shipping papers and managing the oversight of 450 containers lifted, carrying a combined 1,000 pounds net explosive weight.

Her skills were not just limited to performing the mission, however. Snyder sought extra responsibilities and supported her fellow servicemembers in countless ways.

At Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, Snyder volunteered to staff the USO office on days off and after the workday. In a two-month period, she volunteered more than 50 hours, including organizing and staffing a “Christmas in July” celebration. The event experienced set backs due to several mortar attacks and indirect fire, but she was determined to boost morale and the event finally came to fruition.

Chief Petty Officer Jessica Snyder is meritoriously advanced to chief petty officer due to her selection as the Coast Guard's Reserve Enlisted Person of the Year. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.
Chief Petty Officer Jessica Snyder is meritoriously advanced to chief petty officer due to her selection as the Coast Guard's Reserve Enlisted Person of the Year. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Beyond her USO volunteerism, Snyder also organized care packages delivered to the Kandahar Wounded Warrior program. Taking the time to personally sit down with wounded soldiers, she coordinated gift packages by organizing specific care packages for each of them. Involving her community back home, she reached out to her co-workers at the U.S. Department of Justice, her family and friends and a New Jersey Girl Scout troop.

After returning home from her eight-month deployment, you’d think Snyder would need a rest. But instead she volunteered for a two-month deployment to assist with the Deepwater Horizon cleanup. Serving as a team leader, her responsibilities included supervising contractor monitoring and emergency response teams. Throughout the response she was responsible for more than 500 miles of shoreline with 300,000 residents.

The Coast Guard depends on the reserve force to be always ready. In Snyder, the Coast Guard has found someone who is always ready, and more, as she volunteered for two demanding deployments over a 10-month period.

Bravo Zulu to Chief Petty Officer Snyder on being selected as Reserve Enlisted Person of the Year and congratulations on your new anchors!

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.

6 comments on “Shipmate of the Week – MSTC Jessica Snyder”

  1. DOUBLE THUMBS UP, MSTC! You are are a leading example of what our CG is capable of in this day in age. Well done!

  2. Congrats Chief!!  You are a testament to the ability of the Coasties!

    And damn pretty, too!!

    Danny Mac, BM2 1975 to 1979

  3. Chief Snyder!  I am glad that our CG lives crossed paths.  Keep up the great work!

    CDR Sergio Villaverde

  4. My son is a BM-1 stationed in Memphis and we were both inspired by this story. Chief Snyder you are a shining example of what Americas military is all about, our entire family salutes you.

    Paul G. McCarthy Jr.

  5. She sounds like one of a kind! I don’t mean just a pretty woman but, a get the job done “CHIEF. We need a lot more like her.                                               

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