The following ALCOAST message was released to Coast Guard personnel by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft and Mrs. Fran DeNinno-Zukunft.
Fran and I extend a heartfelt seasons greetings to our Coast Guard family around the world. We are especially grateful for the dedication and sacrifice of those Coast Guard men and women – and all members of the Armed Forces – who stand the watch. We were honored to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with our men and women stationed at Patrol Forces Southwest Asia and saw firsthand those who place Service before self to accomplish the mission. The Coast Guard is frequently on all seven continents and underway on every sea from the Northern Arabian Gulf, to Guantanamo Bay, to West Africa, to the Caribbean, the Eastern Pacific, and today on the decks of Polar Star en route Antarctica. The Commitment to Excellence all 88,000 active duty, reserve, civilian and Auxiliary members of the Coast Guard show in the performance of Coast Guard missions is inspiring. Thank you.
I have recently met with a number of foreign heads of state, senior officials, government and industry leaders, Department of Defense geographic combatant commanders and service chiefs. The consistent refrain from everyone I meet is “we need more Coast Guard.” It is a testament to you – our extraordinary people – who achieve national objectives every day through our broad authorities and unique capabilities. Your professionalism is renowned and your world-class reputation well deserved.
The holidays are a time of reflection. It is a time to strengthen your relationships with teammates, coworkers and friends, and most of all with your loved ones – those who never took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution,” but who serve the Nation every day through their unwavering support. They face many hardships inherent in military life, but do so with honor and we are grateful. Make the most of every moment with them and enjoy the blessings of the holiday season.
Our Duty to People calls on us to watch out for one another and to ask for help when needed. Some of you may feel alone or pained and the holidays can magnify those feelings. If you are in need or you know someone who is in need, reach out for help. Call your chaplain, Work-Life and servicing medical staffs or anyone you can talk to and trust. Please know that there is hope and you are not alone.
The New Year will undoubtedly bring new challenges. With each of these challenges is opportunity. Guided by enduring principles and our adherence to the Coast Guards Core Values, we will remain Semper Paratus in 2015.
We wish you a joyous and safe holiday season and happiness in the
Admiral Paul Zukunft and Mrs. Fran DeNinno-Zukunft