Written by Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Brennan
On November 2, 2000, Adm. James Loy, commandant of the Coast Guard at the time, approved the Marine Safety Qualification Insignia. This marked the first opportunity for men and women serving in the Marine Safety program to receive recognition in the form of a professional insignia for attaining skills and experience necessary to meet the challenges of this long standing and vital mission. The Marine Safety insignia is a qualification earned by Coast Guardsmen assigned to billets with direct involvement in Marine Safety operations, and represents the personal fulfillment of the professional training and qualifications necessary for a Marine Safety career. It signals a commitment to continue in a career path involving Marine Safety Field operations. These operations include vessel and facility inspection, waterways management, pollution response and marine casualty investigations.
Today we took the next step to recognize our Marine Safety professionals by naming our first Gold and Silver Ancient Tridents. The tradition of naming a Coast Guard community’s “Ancient” dates back to 1966, when aviators created the Ancient Albatross, a title developed to recognize the longest serving pilot in the Coast Guard. In 1978, the cutter community followed suit by naming the Gold and Silver Ancient Mariner to honor the officer and enlisted member with the earliest qualifications as a permanent cutterman. In 1988, aviators established the Enlisted Ancient Albatross, and most recently, in 2003, the Ancient Keeper was developed to honor the member with the most experience in the small boat community. To date, there have been 25 Ancient Albatrosses, 10 Enlisted Ancient Albatrosses, 14 Gold Ancient Mariners, 12 Silver Ancient Mariners, and six Ancient Keepers. In a ceremony held at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in New York City, the Marine Safety community inducted its inaugural “Ancients” by naming Rear Adm. Linda L. Fagan and Master Chief Petty Officer R. Shane Hooker, a marine science technician, as the first Gold and Silver Ancient Tridents.
In honor of the Ancient Tridents and their extensive (and now ancient) careers, please enjoy this short film:
The trident is used to recognize the Marine Safety community; its three prongs represent the tradition of the 3-pronged approach to this vital mission: prevention, preparedness and response.
At today’s ceremony, the 25th Commandant of the Coast Guard, Adm. Paul Zunkunft officially instated the Ancient Tridents, honoring the careers and experiences of both Rear Adm. Fagan and Master Chief Hooker.
Rear Adm. Fagan is currently the Deputy Commandant for Operations, Policy, and Capability. Her 30+ years of service has included positions as First Coast Guard District Commander and Sector New York Commander. Rear Adm. Fagan has extensive experience in the Marine Safety community, with service as a vessel inspector in Puget Sound, Wash., Mobile, Ala., and New Orleans.
Master Chief Hooker has served in the Coast Guard for over 28 years. He advanced to Chief Petty Officer in 1998, subsequently making Master Chief in 2005. Master Chief Hooker’s long career includes him serving as Rating Force Master Chief for Marine Science Technicians, Program Reviewer in the Office of Budget and Programs, Command Master Chief for the Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, and most recently as Command Master Chief for Seventh Coast Guard District. Master Chief Hooker is a highly trained pollution responder who has completed tours in the Marine Safety Field, notably as the school chief for MST “A” school in Yorktown, Va., at the Pacific Strike Team in Navato, Calif., and at Marine Safety Office in Portland, Ore.
To hear more about what becoming an “Ancient” means to Rear Adm. Fagan and Master Chief Hooker, please view this video:
Congratulations Rear. Adm. Fagan and Master Chief Hooker! Thank you for your service to the Marine Safety program!