Reservist Magazine #1-2015 • Shipmates in Focus
Story and Photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jourdin Bego
Honor, respect and devotion to duty are well-known Coast Guard core values. However, one Florida reservist has been described as embodying devotion to duty both on and off the job. Chief Petty Officer Harold Roebuck, a Machinery Technician stationed at Coast Guard Base Miami, Fla., selflessly devotes his time to multiple volunteer organizations while balancing his life between the Reserve, his civilian job and his family. He said he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I am not sacrificing anything to volunteer, because I enjoy doing it,” said Roebuck, who enjoys having a “little brother.”
A San Juan, Puerto Rico native, Roebuck volunteers at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast once a week. Often, he visits his little brother during school lunch breaks providing mentorship and assistance with school work. Roebuck also serves as vice chair for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors of Highlands County.
“Being the vice chair shares similarities with my job as the Reserve department head in the Coast Guard,” said Roebuck. “My commitment to others and making sure different projects are coordinated and getting done as smoothly as possible is a priority.”
While maintaining his civilian job as a service technician at a marina in central Florida, Roebuck also volunteers with the United Way for six weeks every year as a member of the Community Investment Team. The team requires its members encompass a diverse set of skills including strategic planning, outcome measurement, community leadership and financial expertise.
Despite long hours, Roebuck says his family is supportive, including his wife. The two have been married for 20 years. “He is one of the finest individuals I have ever met,” said Gail Roebuck.
“He gives a lot of himself, from the volunteer organizations to his family. He is dedicated and truly an outstanding person.”
Roebuck recently retired after 23 years serving with the Highlands County Road and Bridge Department as the road maintenance supervisor. Additionally, he has logged 24 years in the U.S. Armed Forces counting his U.S. Army, Florida Army National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. His service includes a four-year stint with Port Security Unit 307 with which he deployed to Boston, Mass., for two months and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for six months and Deep Water Horizon for two months.
Despite all his accomplishments, Roebuck says his greatest achievement was being promoted to chief petty officer. Roebuck’s full-speed-ahead attitude provides the determination to advance in his career and set high goals. He hopes to make senior chief in the next year and stay in the service as long as possible.