Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Lt. Cmdr. Frances Fazio

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The Coast Guard proudly recognizes the month of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This designation honors both Asian and Pacific Islander Americans for their contributions and sacrifices in advancing our great nation. This year’s theme is, “I Am Beyond.” The phrase captures the aspirations of the American spirit, how Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have always sought to excel beyond the challenges that have limited equal opportunity in America.

Lt Cmdr. Frances Fazio was recently recognized as the Federal Asian Pacific American Council Military Meritorious Service Award winner for the Coast Guard.
Lt Cmdr. Frances Fazio was recently recognized as the Federal Asian Pacific American Council Military Meritorious Service Award winner for the Coast Guard. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Luke Pinneo.

Written by Lt. Luciana A. Ganley

Lt. Cmdr. Frances Fazio distinguished herself as a premier leader and mentor at the Mission Support Branch at Coast Guard Recruiting Command, the unit where she serves, and within her community.

She has been recognized for her performance serving as the chief of the Mission Support Branch at Coast Guard Recruiting Command. In this position, she has a direct impact in implementing and fulfilling the service’s strategic personnel goals of accessing nearly 3,000 members annually, including operationalizing the Commandant’s Diversity Strategic Plan.

A member of the service’s Diversity Outreach Board, she oversaw the budget for nearly 7,000 high level affinity and outreach events, contacting more than 277,000 individuals and centers of influence that enable underrepresented minorities and women to consider the Coast Guard as a viable career option.

Her efforts directly assisted in the Coast Guard setting new records during fiscal year 2013, including 41% underrepresented minorities and 35% women enlisted accessions, and 31% underrepresented minorities and 28% women officer accessions.

For the first time ever, the service was recognized nationally as a top 50 place to work for Native Americans.

Additionally, she filled in as operations department head, overseeing 320 recruiters, across seven time zones in more than 70 geographical dispersed recruiting locations, working to maximize the highest quality active duty, reserve, and underrepresented minority accessions for the service’s future leaders.

Fazio has earned the respect of her subordinates through her dedication to their development and career advancement. Her strong interpersonal skills and willingness to talk and mentor have enabled productive interactions with people of diverse backgrounds at all levels of her chain of command.

She is directly responsible for the College Scholarship Program Initiative officer program, which brings in the highest number of underrepresented minority officer accessions. In this program, she coordinated summer training for 41 officer trainees, which provided them exposure to operational units and prepared them for greater leadership roles and responsibilities as future officers in the service.

Outside of the office, Fazio made contributions as a role model and mentor for youth in the community. She worked closely with two schools, several sport teams and her church to educate the children on cultural history and traditions.

Her mentorship was also utilized within a program for girls that combine fitness activities with formal lessons to improve their physical and emotional health, as well as develop their critical thinking skills.

Fazio was recently recognized as the Federal Asian Pacific American Council Military Meritorious Service Award winner for the Coast Guard.

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