Story by SN Erik Villa Rodriguez
On September 23, 2019, Petty Officer 2nd Class Luis Ortiz, a Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark (WPC-1106) crewmember who invested significant time, dedication and willingness to help local communities in the Miami Beach area, received the Coast Guard’s 2019 National Image Meritorious Service Award.
Ortiz is Paul Clark’s leading boarding officer, successfully leading over 55 boardings, helping mariners to correct discrepancies in real-time. He is well known for his leadership skills and his dedication in developing others, over 21 senior and junior members from his unit, and he designed a training platform to provide the same lessons to other units.
His actions project a sense of ownership for his unit. Ortiz provides the knowledge to conduct law enforcement missions to the newer members of his unit, senior members and external elements from other units. For him, safety and education are the priority. Educating civilian and active-duty members is the task that Ortiz completes with great pride.
By providing training to members of the local Hispanic boating community in Miami, Ortiz was able to serve as a connection between the citizens of the area and the Coast Guard creating those relationships reflecting the Coast Guard’s main interest of stimulating diversity policies.
Ortiz reflects the Coast Guard’s commitment with the boating communities making sure to stimulate awareness between local boaters on the area. His devotion to duty sets the example for other members of his unit and sets a standard to look for in other units. Ortiz has been active with the community and he was able to expand that connection between the Coast Guard and the Hispanic boating community in the Miami Beach area. Members like Ortiz make a good representation of their branch in other service organizations and creates a good image for their units.
“It’s not a difficult job per se, I believe anybody sincerely can do it,” said Ortiz. “You just have to have the strive and the motivation and you’ll absolutely be able to do this job and excel at it.”
Ortiz is a valuable asset for his cutter and the Coast Guard as a whole. His excellence can be set as the example for Coast Guard standards reflecting the Coast Guard’s core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty.