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My Coast Guard
Commentary | July 14, 2021

Operation Innovation: Get to know your District Innovation Action Officer 

By Loretta Haring and Shana Brouder 

The Coast Guard Innovation Council recently launched a new initiative establishing District Innovation Action Officers to facilitate innovation within the workforce.  

These 14 volunteers from nine Coast Guard districts are eager to increase field participation in Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) and Innovation Program initiatives by providing support and encouragement, as well as more direct access to information.  

The Innovation Council was designed to help put creative, forward-looking ideas in motion that will propel the Coast Guard further and foster mission readiness. The District Innovation Action Officers will be a key component in this effort. 

“Every unit has great ideas for improvement,” said Lt. Richard Sullivan of the 14th District. “I am excited to help connect these people to the right people to move their ideas farther.”   

In addition to working with the RDT&E and Innovation Program, the action officers will serve as important conduits between the workforce and senior leadership. 

“You don’t realize all the interesting things people are working on at Coast Guard until you’re listening in on one of the Innovation Council meetings,” said Lt. j.g. Dana Rohde of the First Coast Guard District. “I’m excited to be passing the word about the Innovation Council to individuals in the field and letting them know this is a resource for you. I hope it gets them excited about new projects.” 

You can expect these action officers to share updates on RDT&E and Innovation Program activities such as crowdsourcing challenges on CG_Ideas@Work, innovation award opportunities, and Idea Frenzy idea pitching events. They will also highlight innovations, ideas, and events within their own district to recognize local efforts as well as increase participation and collaboration.  

Another vital role will be helping identify gaps and challenges in need of innovative solutions at the district level. 

Have a question about an upcoming technology demonstration, Blue Technology Center of Expertise event, or other technology bridge opportunity? Just contact your District Innovation Action Officer. They also will provide district representation at monthly Innovation Council meetings. 

These District Innovation Action Officers are: 

  • Lt. Brandon Newman – D1 
  • Lt. j.g. Dana Rohde – D1 
  • Lt. Cmdr. Crystal Wilson – D5 
  • Lt. Cmdr. Chris Pulliam – D5 
  • Lt. Cmdr. Chris Rogers– D7  
  • Hansel Pintos – D7  
  • Lt. Paul Puddington – D7  
  • Carl Hatfield – D8  
  • Kevin Dunn – D9  
  • Lt. Andrew Gathy – D9  
  • Lt. Cmdr. Oscar Carbajal – D11  
  • Lt. Tyler Wright – D13  
  • Lt. Richard Sullivan – D14  
  • Lt. Cmdr. Gary Mills – D17  

These new action officers are here to support you as you become an agent of change within the service. Feel free to reach out to them at any time. 

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