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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Dec. 2, 2020

Deckplate Leader of the Week: Chief Petty Officer Aaron Juetten

By taken from MCPOCG's Facebook Page

Our Deckplate Leader of the week is Chief Petty Officer Aaron Juetten, Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) assistant officer in charge at Tactical Law Enforcement Team (TACLET) South.

When the crew thinks of Chief Juetten, they immediately think of leading self and leading others.

At first impression, one may think Juetten to be young or inexperienced. However, when you talk to him and observe his interactions and actions, you will see experience and professionalism.

Juetten reported to TACLET in 2019 to a LEDET that did not have a chief, and a team that experienced some adversity and gaps. His immediate cohesion with his officer in charge was crucial to ensure unity of effort within the team leadership. Juetten filled a gap that was missing for a year by providing council and mentorship to his junior petty officers and junior officer.

From his junior officer, Lt. Chambers:

"Chief Aaron Juetten embodies the Coast Guard's core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty, both on and off the clock. I have personally witnessed him selflessly work to ensure the entire team was cared for while we were quarantined for over 30 days after being exposed to COVID-19. He secured Uber Eats gift cards and care packages for the quarantined members, which significantly boosted morale. He seamlessly integrated into the Chief's Mess aboard USS KIDD and, as the sole Coast Guard Chief board, he has left a tremendous impact. His dedication to maintaining a healthy lifestyle influenced others in the mess and his willingness to volunteer to work during steel beach picnics displayed true servant leadership."

Juetten has been deployed supporting Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) South aboard our Navy partners’ ships in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Sure many can say this, but can they say it with 32 days in restriction of movement (ROM) and without the ability to leave their room? While having boxed lunches delivered by hall monitor and not having the ability to have contact their team? 

Probably not.

Juetten’s challenge was to ensure that their mental health remained resilient in preparation for redeployment. Juetten dealt with ongoing COVID test results that affected the team; psychological challenges, and the overall lack of available outlets to minimize stress. Juetten took every opportunity to have communications with his members.

For example:

He ensured open communication and transparency, as well as an understanding of their feelings and stress. He reinforced the core values as a cornerstone of how the team would push through the 32-day ROM. He led by example in positivity and encouragement, even though he was unable to sit down with someone and have a face-to-face conversation reassuring them that everything they were feeling was normal - and that those feelings did not control their thoughts and actions.

From his Junior Officer Lt. Chambers:  

"Chief Juetten maintained consistent communication with junior LEDET 401 members who were [in the continental United States] while he was deployed during an unprecedented epidemic. He ensured CORCs, re-enlistments, extensions and EER’s [enlisted evaluation reports] were all submitted in a timely manner, not only for members directly under his command, but all junior members under his leadership while deployed. [He] mentored a boatswain’s mate 2nd class considering separation, providing timely and honest advice. As a result, the member decided to extend for two additional years instead of getting out of the Coast Guard. Chief went above and beyond to ensure a junior member, [who] was battling significant personal problems while deployed, received the necessary support upon returning to home port. Juetten hosted weekly team workouts while underway, placing an increased importance on mental health as he finished each workout with breathing exercises designed to help members relieve stress and anxiety."

Thank you for your dedication and leadership to the team and the mission!

Chief of the Week: Chief Petty Officer Aaron Juetten