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My Coast Guard
Commentary | May 27, 2021

Bravo Zulu

By  Shana Brouder, MyCG Writer 

First-ever U.S. Coast Guard Officer selected as the U.S. Honor Graduate at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation: Bravo Zulu to Lt. Nathan Borders for being selected as the U.S. Honor Graduate from the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) Command and Staff college program. Borders is not only the first-ever Coast Guard officer to complete the course, but is also the first-ever Coast Guard officer to be selected as the U.S. Honor Graduate. The WHINSEC Command and Staff program provides an intermediate level education to U.S. Coast Guard and sister service officers, interagency representatives (i.e. the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, etc.), and international military and law enforcement officers, with the purpose of educating and developing leaders for full-spectrum joint, interagency, and multi-national operations. “WHINSEC has opened up doors into the joint community,” said Borders about his time at WHINSEC. “Being able to work with the international partners as my classmates definitely broadened my horizons and helped prepare me for what is to come.” Borders was named the U.S. Honors Graduate after obtaining the highest grade point average of all U.S. officers enrolled in the program. Borders’ program was completely in Spanish, which makes his accomplishment that much greater. While Spanish was not his strong suit prior to his enrollment in the WHINSEC program, Borders took each task as it came, and credits the program to improving his Spanish greatly, which he’ll need in his next assignment. Borders will be working in Honduras in his next assignment with our international partners there. Congratulations Lt. Nathan Borders on your accomplishment and good luck on your next assignment!

Coast Guard Academy names new Provost and Chief Academic Officer: The Coast Guard Academy (CGA) announced Amy Donahue, Ph.D, as the CGA’s first provost May 13. In this position, Donahue will serve as the Chief Academic Officer and Principal Adviser to the Superintendent in all matters relating to the academic program and faculty. Donahue served as an Army officer immediately following graduation from Princeton University. She also has served in public service positions within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as well as on various task forces for organizations ranging from the Veterans Benefits Administration to the National Mining Association. Congratulations to Dr. Donahue on her new position! CGA looks forward to your contribution to the academy in this new position!

Coast Guard awards $356.5 million contract for construction of third offshore patrol cutter: The Coast Guard modified its contract with Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) April 29, 2021, to begin construction of the third offshore patrol cutter (OPC) and to acquire long lead-time material for the fourth OPC. Contract delivery of the third OPC, which will be named Ingham, is scheduled to occur in 2024. The total value of this contracting action is $356.5 million. While managing the $1.7 billion Stage 1 OPC acquisition program with two hulls currently under construction at ESG, Administrative Contracting Officer Lisa Nelson was still able to take a lead role in evaluating ESG’s price proposal for OPC number three and assist the program in developing a creative contract modification that preserved schedule due to increases in lead times for needed construction materials. Julia LoBosco of Coast Guard legal services, who serves as the OPC procurement attorney, was also instrumental in getting OPC number three awarded and on contract. There were a number of unique factors associated with this contract. LoBosco was able to navigate through the requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulation and develop a consistent and appropriate approach critical to properly getting OPC number three on contract as well as establishing a consistent process for follow-on hulls. Thank you Lisa Nelson and Julia LoBosco for your hard work on getting this construction started!

Waterways commerce cutter acquisition: A major step in the effort to replace the service’s aging river buoy and inland construction tenders was completed May 3, 2021, with the release of the request for proposal (RFP) for design and construction of the new tenders, collectively called waterways commerce cutters. The contract award is anticipated in early 2022. Special recognition goes to Will Hooven for his refinement of the technical data package. Hooven spent many hours reviewing system requirements to ensure the solicitation’s technical package was in alignment with current standards and met the needs of the Coast Guard. He did a great job of refining the contract data requirements to best balance the abilities of small shipyards with the USCG’s needs. Jim Platner was also instrumental in development of the RFP, ensuring completeness of each section within the RFP and fully explaining the program’s needs and expectations to industry in a coherent package. He did an outstanding job articulating the uniqueness of the WCC and tailoring the solicitation to reflect the unique mission set of this platform. Thank you Will Hooven and Jim Platner for getting this major step completed!

Fiscal Year 2020 Department of Homeland Security Chief Financial Office Awards for Excellence: Bravo Zulu to the winners of the 2020 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) awards for excellence! The Coast Guard received several awards in various categories. 

The Excellence in Superior Mission Achievement, Excellence in Audit Readiness Award went to the Actuarial Pension Liabilities and Actuarial Medical Liabilities Audit Team within CG-1. Thanks to the hard work of the team, the DHS external auditor did not include actuarial pension liabilities and actuarial medical liabilities in their audit report for the first time in ten years! The team honored consisted of: 

  • Michael Dorchak
  • Allen Freeman
  • Lt. James Biggs
  • Lt. Emmanuel Jones
  • Lt.j.g. Megan Benson
  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Patrick Garvey
  • Chief Petty Officer Jennifer Rowe, a storekeeper
  • Petty Officer 3rd Class Gian Quinones, a storekeeper
  • Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Smiler, a storekeeper
  • Gary Icardi
  • Tracy Jacobs
  • Cynthia Barber

Lt. Cmdr. Michael Miller was awarded the Excellence in Superior Mission Achievement, Bill Mason Excellence in Internal Controls award. Miller’s remarkable ability to unite efforts across the service as the Internal Control Manager and Acting Deputy Office Chief for three months resulted in marked improvements in the internal controls audit opinion. 

The Finance Center Integrated Project Team, Finance Center, Chesapeake, Virginia was named the Excellence in CFO Principles, Partnership Award. The team made significant contributions to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) migration to the new DHS financial system. The team honored consisted of: 

  • Cmdr. Michael Carroll
  • Lt. Cmdr. Jordan Boghosian
  • Lt. Cmdr. Holly Deal
  • John Melchers
  • Paula Kitchen
  • Christine Long
  • Deborah White
  • Candance Mianulli
  • Sharease Jackson
  • Ronald Couture
  • Naveen Kumar
  • Davinder Rajpal 
  • Taromba Smith
  • Susan Ablett
  • Courtney Thompson
  • Latasha Girdy
  • Patricia Donahue
  • Atul Kumar
  • Kristina Estebo
  • John Snyder

The U.S. Coast Guard Common Appropriation Structure Transition Team was also awarded the Excellence in CFO Principles, Partnership Award, after showing tremendous collaboration and unity of effort facilitating the final transition of Coast Guard operations and support funding into the common appropriation structure, ensuring a timely and accurate submission. The team honored consisted of: 

  • Cmdr. Bryon Creech
  • Cmdr. Jennifer Konon
  • Lt. Cmdr. Kira Moody
  • Lt. Cmdr. James Ellsworth
  • Lt. Cmdr. Samantha Gordon
  • Lt. Cmdr. Chad Conrad
  • Lt. Cmdr. Francis Varrichio
  • Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Fainer
  • Lt. Madeline Buchert
  • Lt. Jarrod Owens
  • Lt. Stefan Lewis
  • Jennifer Schiferl
  • Timothy Barry
  • Kyle Smith
  • Christina Campbell
  • Jasmah Stewart 
  • Valencia Ayers
  • Joetta Graham
  • Mary Helen Rainey
  • Felix Edozie

Gerald Foster was named the Excellence in CFO Principles, Meritorious Service Award winner. Foster’s exemplary leadership prepared the TSA for migration to the new DHS financial system. 

Christina Stebbins was awarded the Excellence in Performance, Heritage Award. This award recognizes Stebbins outstanding financial transformation execution for DHS, Coast Guard Headquarters and Finance Center—supporting field operations for more than 30 years. 

Lucres Howerton was named the Excellence in Performance, Outstanding Employee winner, after showing exemplary leadership when preparing the TSA and Coast Guard for migration to the new DHS financial system. Howerton contributed heavily to the development of a migration template, ensuring proper migration of TSA’s accounts receivable data. 

Jennifer Schiferl was also awarded the Excellence in Performance, Outstanding Employee award. Schiferl was instrumental in the fiscal year 2022 budget submission and a key architect of the Coast Guard’s transition to the Common Appropriation Structure. 

And lastly, Cmdr. Chad Brick was named the CFO Award for Excellence winner. Brick demonstrated exceptional performance and initiative, creating a real-time pandemic reporting financial system within days for the logistic management of 6.1 million COVID-19 supplies critical to operational and personnel readiness. 

Bravo Zulu to all the above award winners! You can read more about the winners on the Fiscal Year 2020 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Awards for Excellence ALCOAST 186/21.