Cmdr. Zeita Merchant, commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Chicago, was presented with the 2017 Capt. David H. Jarvis Inspirational Leadership Award by the Navy League in Portland, Oregon, on June 7. The award was presented to the Coast Guard officer who made outstanding contributions to the high standards of leadership traditions in the Coast Guard.
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Cmdr. Zeita Merchant assumed the duties of the commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Chicago in July and became the first African-American female in the Coast Guard to command a marine safety unit (MSU). She is also the first female to command an MSU in the Great Lakes.
ORLANDO, Fla. — LCDR Zeita Merchant (center) stands along side (from left) author Omar Tyree, Pro Football Hall of Fame member Mel Blount, Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams, Kellogg’s Senior Vice President of Global Nutrition/Corporate Affairs Celeste Clark, former NFL linebacker and seven-time Pro Bowl player Robert Brazile and Mickey and Minnie Mouse Saturday Sept.