Silverdale, Washington. Three U.S. Coast Guard Enlisted Persons of the Quarter (EPOQs) were recognized by the Navy League of the United States (NLUS) Bremerton/Olympic Peninsula Council during an August 12th luncheon held at the Bangor Plaza on Naval Station Kitsap–Bangor. One of the missions of the NLUS is to support the men and women of the sea services and their families. Each awardee was presented a soaring eagle statuette engraved with their names by Council President, Larry Salter.
Senior leaders representing each awardee’s respective command were present to honor the stand-outs for their hard work and individual efforts, including luncheon guest speaker, Commander, Thirteenth Coast Guard District, Rear Admiral Richard Gromlich. Gromlich, and District Thirteen Command Master Chief, Boatswain’s Mate Master Chief (BMCM) Charles Lindsey, were invited to speak this month in honor of the Coast Guard’s 224th birthday August 4th.
The Thirteenth Coast Guard District, headquartered in Seattle, WA, oversees U.S. Coast Guard operations and personnel covering four states (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana), more than 4,400 miles of coastline, 600 miles of inland waterways, and a 125 mile international maritime border with Canada. EPOQs from three Seattle area Coast Guard commands were recognized at the luncheon. The Coast Guard established the Enlisted Person of the Year (EPOY) program, which is fed by EPOQs from the preceding year, to recognize exemplary men and women from the active and reserve enlisted work force.
Nominees reflect the Coast Guard’s core values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty. Only those enlisted personnel who demonstrate sustained exceptional standards of proficiency and conduct, and whose military appearance and bearing are consistently impeccable, are nominated. Each unit’s winner then competes at the next higher organizational level until one Coast Guard-wide active duty and one reserve EPOY are selected.
Aviation Maintenance Technician First Class Petty Officer (AMT1) Christian Williams, of Charles City, IA, is the Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles first quarter 2014 EPOQ. He was introduced by his Leading Chief, AMTCS Ron Frietas. The station’s Executive Officer, CDR Brian Edmiston, and Command Master Chief, AMTCM Lawrence “LP” Moroles were also present.
According to the citation, AMT1 Williams is assigned as the Night Shift Supervisor, a role entrusted only to the station’s top performing First Class Petty Officers. He overcame chronic personnel shortages, dilution of experience, and numerous maintenance challenges to lead his team of five mechanics through several MH-65D helicopter heavy maintenance evolutions that included two engine replacements, two 600 hour inspections, and numerous Technical Compliance Inspections. His sound judgment and insightful decision-making inspired collaborative efforts under these demanding conditions.
Williams’ leadership resulted in improved aircraft reliability/readiness that continually surpassed Commandant’s aircraft availability targets. Frietas praised Williams for his contributions to the station. “Chris is like a Swiss Army knife on the hangar deck. When we need something fixed, we send Chris. When there is a leadership challenge on the night shift, we’ll put Chris up there. He’s the guy you want in your shop. His motor never stops; he’s like the [Seattle Seahawks running back] Marshawn Lynch of the hangar deck.”
The Coast Guard has been present at Port Angeles for over 150 years. The current Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles is a dual-mission unit charged with both Operational and Support responsibilities. Operational responsibilities include conducting Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement/Homeland Security and Resource Protection activities in an area that includes the Strait of Juan De Fuca and the northwestern coast of Washington around the Olympic Peninsula to the mouth of Puget Sound. The unit also provides logistical support to other Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound units located on the Olympic and Quimper Peninsulas and the northwest coast of Washington.
Storekeeper First Class Petty Officer (SK1) Brett Lively, of Beaverton, OR, is the Maritime Force Protection Unit (MFPU)–Bangor third quarter 2014 EPOQ. He was introduced by his Division Officer, LT Rob Baysden. The unit’s Commanding Officer, CDR Michael Schoonover, and Command Master Chief, Electronics Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (ETCS) Ryan Allen were also present, as well as his Leading Chief, Health Services Technician Chief (HSC) Phillip Hershberg.
Schoonover emphasized the importance of Lively’s role in the unit. “We’re run just like the Army; it’s all about the logistics and the ability to get fuel, parts, everything to our boats moving and be able to get out on our mission.” “Petty Office Lively managed over a one million dollar budget every year to make that happen, as well as millions and millions of dollars’ worth of property that has to be accounted for to very high standards. And that’s all the responsibility of a First Class Petty officer!”
According to his citation, Lively also leveraged his abilities as an exceptional leader by mentoring the Supply Division Head and subordinates on required financial management activities. He displayed a strong work ethic and commitment to excellence by routinely working during liberty hours on projects not always fully recognized by the crew, including the proper acquisition of $900,000 worth of supplies and services, providing financial documents to USCG Station Seattle for future MFPU projects, as well as conducting all hands training on property management.
Lively also certified three separate accounts for the quarterly pipeline certification, including both the USCGC SEA FOX and USCGC SEA DEVIL. He provided expert oversight and management to both cutters and ensured they met their fiscal responsibilities while maintaining the high operational tempo required by the Transit Protection System mission.
MFPU Bangor conducts maritime security activities for submarines transiting the Puget Sound waterway. The unit is composed of more than 70 active-duty Coast Guard personnel, including two 87-foot Marine Protector Class cutters, USCGC SEA DEVIL and USCGC SEA FOX. MFPU Bangor is a unique, single-mission unit specially trained and equipped to provide security for west coast TRIDENT submarine operations in inland waterways.
Machinery Technician Second Class Petty Officer (MK2) Christopher Morales, of Yakima, WA, is the U.S. Coast Guard Station Seattle second quarter 2014 EPOQ. He was introduced by the station’s Commanding Officer, LT Ben Cromwell. Executive Officer LT(junior grade) Mark Leahey, and Operations Chief, Boatswain’s Mate Chief (BMC) Cory Evers were also present.
Morales’ citation details how he applied his experience from prior units to assist in the complete overhaul of Station Seattle’s Communications Watch stander qualification process. As one of the first members at Station Seattle to earn the standardized Coast Guard Communication’s Watch stander Qualification, he served as a board member, playing a direct role in preparing and evaluating 10 shipmates for their qualification boards. Also as Acting Duty Section Engineer, he ensured continuity of supervision and the proper, timely completion of all planned maintenance procedures and repairs.
Cromwell explained how Morales exemplified the service’s values. “Our current Commandant has three watch-words: service to nation, duty to people, commitment to excellence; and that really defines who Chris is. ”
Station Seattle was established in 1989. The station is co-located with Sector Seattle on the waterfront at Pier 36. Station Seattle has three 41-foot utility boats, two 25-foot Response Boats–Homeland Security (RB-HS), and two 25-foot Response Boats–Small (RB-S).
Station Seattle’s primary mission is Homeland Security within Puget Sound. They provide harbor patrols of the entire Puget Sound in conjunction to providing escorts to Naval and commercial vessels. Station Seattle also supports safe boating patrols in large marine events in the Seattle area–most visible being the Seafair hydroplane races.