Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn, Atlantic Area public affairs.
Generations of families have dedicated their lives in service to the Coast Guard, forming a time-honored tradition spanning more than 220 years. Families have watched their loved ones depart home and risk their lives as they patrol in coastal communities, save lives and property and safeguard America from threats delivered by the sea.
One such family is the Csisar family who has seen their loved ones selflessly serve in the Coast Guard for more than half a century.
The Csisar family’s Coast Guard legacy began in 1958 when the cost of gas was just 24 cents a gallon. Now, with the price of gas much higher, the tradition continues; altogether, the family has seen their loved ones contribute more than 54 years to the Coast Guard.
Lt. Cmdr. William Csisar Jr. enlisted in the Coast Guard and joined recruit company R-25. He worked his way through the ranks to senior chief petty officer and chief warrant officer, until finally retiring as a lieutenant commander following 41 years of service.
Csisar Jr. saw many firsts through his service, and was the first chief warrant officer in the Coast Guard Reserve to command a reserve unit. As Csisar Jr. paved the way, his family took note, and his years of service and commitment made a lasting impact on his son.
“My dad was a great role model and taught me about the service so when I decided to join I think it was about a desire to be part of the same fraternity,” said Capt. William Csisar III, Csisar Jr.’s son. “I’ve been fortunate to have him not only as parent, but also as a shipmate and that’s a special bond.”
At Csisar Jr.’s last change of command he said his son was his greatest contribution to the Coast Guard ordering him to “carry on.” His son did so as he had the captain rank insignias placed on his shoulders at his promotion ceremony. What added to the achievement was that Csisar III served as an enlisted service member for 12 years prior to being commissioned as an officer.
“When his wife and I put on his captain shoulder boards all I could say is ‘well done,’” said Csisar Jr.
“I really spent my time focusing on doing the best I could in the positions I was fortunate enough to have been given,” said Csisar III. “I’m also acutely aware that nobody has ever been promoted or advanced to a position of less responsibility in the Coast Guard, so I’ve always done the best I can to be worthy of the trust that promotion brings. ”
Csisar III is currently serving as the chief of resource management and administration division advising the Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander on resource management and administration issues. He coordinates the development and execution of all resource issues, budget and personnel for the Atlantic Area staff as well as subordinate units.
Now as a leader in the service, just as his father did, Csisar III encourages those around him to steadfastly work toward their goals and dreams. He continues to inspire others just as his father inspired him.