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My Coast Guard
Commentary | April 22, 2021

Bravo Zulu

By Shana Brouder

Coast Guard Cutter James wins the Excellence in Safety Award: The Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Karl Schultz, presented the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter James, a National Security Cutter, the Excellence in Safety Award March 18, 2021. The crew of the James was honored for its quick and innovative thinking during a counter-drug patrol. During the 74 days underway, the crew devised and implemented extensive operational and personal protective procedures to keep everyone free from infection and maintain its full mission effectiveness, despite interdicting three detainees that tested positive for COVID-19. Bravo Zulu to the crew of Cutter James! 

Congratulations to the 2020 Enlisted Persons of the Year: Seaman Theodore Noah Kirkbride and Petty Officer 2nd Class Cole Olvera, a health services technician, were recently honored as the 2020 Enlisted Persons of the Year for the active-duty component and reserve component, respectively. Kirkbride currently serves at Coast Guard Station Maui, where he has responded to over 20 search and rescue cases, saving or assisting 42 lives. Kirkbride also went above and beyond, creating a 6,000-word instruction manual to enhance the station’s training program, helping three coxswains and four boatcrew members get certified. Olvera serves at Port Security Unit 311, where he enabled the unit to maintain a high level of medical readiness—completing 80% of the unit’s medical reviews himself. During his 107 days of active duty for operational support, Olvera was responsible for more than 120 vaccinations and ensuring water safety for the unit by spearheading the procurement of water testing supplies. Read more about Kirkbre and Olvera, as well as the other nominees  for this award, here.

The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results are in: The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), which was administered on Nov. 5, 2020, highlights the Coast Guard as a leader across all measured engagement indices. The Coast Guard was ranked either first or second within the Department of Homeland Security's components and above their scores. In total, the Coast Guard had 32 of the 38 survey items as a strength (positive response rating of 65% or more) and had none identified as a challenge (negative response rating of 35% or more). The 2020 FEVS Coast Guard Annual Employee Survey report is posted here (CAC access required), and more details about the findings can be seen in the Coast Guard 2020 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) Results ALCOAST 151/21. Detailed organizational level reports for review and action will be provided to senior leaders later this spring.  

ICYMI: FORCECOM named as 2020 Captain Niels P. Thomsen Innovation Award winner: Bravo Zulu to two FORCECOM commands who were recently honored for their innovative hard work over the past year. Training Center Yorktown was named the 2020 winner for their work modernizing learning for shore force readiness in the Administration, Training, and Support section. Specifically, Cmdr. Joel Carse, Lt. Cmdr. Paul Simpson, Lt. Cmdr. John Laraia, Lt. Cmdr. Michael Oubre, Lt. Mark Bender, Lt. Jeremy Leggett, Mark Ogle, and Kristy Plourde were honored for their creative and innovative thinking during this exceptionally challenging year. Congratulations to those at Training Center Yorktown and all the other winners, as well as those honorably mentioned. Read more about all the winners on MyCG now!