U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750) is home away from home for Petty Officer 3rd Class Katherine Atha. Atha joined the Coast Guard to travel, and you can’t travel much farther than she has on Bertholf, which just transited the Pacific Ocean to East China Sea. Her supervisor calls her a “self-starter” with a really positive attitude. Learn more about Atha in this spotlight blog.
Author: Diana Sherbs
A ship operating away from home can seem like its own tiny, self-contained universe. There’s no calling a paramedic, a police officer, or a plumber when something goes wrong.
That’s why it’s a good thing the Coast Guard has people like Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicholas Basso, a damage controlman, aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750). When everyday issues arise, such as a door that won’t close properly or a sink that won’t drain, it’s people like Basso who ride to the rescue.
In October 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726 designating May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor federal, state and municipal officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty. The act also designates the calendar week during which May 15 occurs as “Police Week” in recognition of the service given by the men and women who serve in law enforcement. During this week, the law enforcement community lays a wreath at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial where 23 Coast Guard names are inscribed on the memorial. We honor those who have served and sacrificed including the 23 Coast Guardsmen who gave the final measure.
The Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year award recognizes a unit ombudsman that has demonstrated the greatest commitment serving as a Coast Guard ombudsman. This year, that award went to Mrs. Becky Lawrence, ombudsman for Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia (WPB 215). Lawrence dove in to help her community in Guam as a volunteer while also dedicating her time to support Sequoia’s members and dependents. She is an outstanding role model for all Coast Guard ombudsmen, and her selection highlights the accomplishments of an invaluable command representative.
The Coast Guard honored a group of exceptional innovators whose ideas have helped make the Coast Guard more ready, relevant and responsive with Capt. Niels P. Thomsen Innovation Awards. The ceremony took place during the Senior Leadership Conference held April 25, 2019, at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
In today’s increasingly global world, understanding diverse cultures and embracing differences is essential to success. Given the challenges and far-reaching missions of the Coast Guard, wise cadets seek to strengthen their understanding of other cultures and faiths, while growing in their own tradition. As a result, they better understand themselves, those with whom they serve, as well as the public they will encounter.
But what happens when you are the only one like you, past and present?
Coast Guard Academy First Class Cadet Stephanie Miranda is a first generation Indian-American, the only cadet of Indian heritage at the Academy, and the first documented Indian-American woman to graduate from the Academy.
For Petty Officer 3rd Class Denim Kurtis, law enforcement is a family affair. His mother is a deputy sheriff, and his father-in-law is an investigator for the San Francisco district attorney’s office.
So when Kurtis felt the call to serve his country, the Coast Guard’s maritime enforcement specialty was a natural fit.
Today, Kurtis serves aboard Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf where he is one of two maritime enforcement specialists assigned to the ship.
The U.S. Coast Guard has been the steward of the nation’s maritime environment for nearly 200 years. As a vital component of the National Response System and homeland security mission, the National Strike Force minimizes the human and environmental impact of oil discharges, hazardous material releases, Weapons of Mass destruction (WMD) incidents, and other natural and man-made disasters. The National Strike Force remains Semper Paratus, “always ready,” to expand and adapt its mission to ever-changing natural and man-made threats to the nation and its environment. The National Strike Force remains “Ready Relevant and Responsive” for any hazard, any place.
Bruce and Christine Riley, two civilian Coast Guard employees, retired after serving a combined 87 years in service to the nation. Bruce was a former U.S. Navy sailor and later a Coast Guardsman. He retired in 1988 from active duty and began working as a civilian in the Vessel Traffice Services branch. Christine worked at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters for the last 35 years working different administrative assignments before managing transportation benefits for more than 1,200 employees and distributing $49 million in transportation benefits to Coast Guard personnel.
The Coast Guard recognized Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Gould as the 2018 Enlisted Person of the Year for the Reserve Component. Gould is a boatswain’s mate with Port Security Unit 311 out of San Pedro, Calif., and is an inveterate volunteer in his professional and personal life.