Commentary | Aug. 5, 2021

BZ: Sending a special shout out to Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 31, for your outstanding support of this year’s Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival, and more!

By Nicole Bertrand, MyCG Staff

Sending a special shout out to Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 31, for your outstanding support of this year’s Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival! This year’s festival started July 30 and runs through August 8. The annual festival was first held in 1937 and offers family-friendly activities, including musical acts, parades, carnival rides, food, a water ski show, and even the Coast Guard Pipe Band. Attendance has grown to more than 350,000 people, and is one of the biggest and oldest Coast Guard events. Held in Grand Haven, Michigan, which was designated in 1998 by Congress as “Coast Guard City, USA,” the festival honors those who sacrificed their lives in service of their country. The Auxiliary have helped make this fun event possible through their hard work. Sector Field Office-Grand Haven asked the Auxiliary division, based in Grand Haven, to be a public affairs “force multiplier” at this event. There are 14 Auxiliarists on the team of public affairs officers, social media specialists, and photographers. Some have come from Illinois and Minnesota to join the mission. “Auxiliary members have been planning these efforts literally for months now,” said Chief Petty Officer John Masson, Ninth District public Affairs. “Their dedication is always impressive, and the service and support they provide to the Coast Guard and the boating public is truly amazing.” Thank you to all of the Auxiliary public affairs volunteers: Todd Wilkinson, Rick Hamilton, Dan Groenendyk, Ralph Fairbanks, Warren Warber, Alexander Quick, Matt Thompson, David Henderson, Ellen Delarosa-Pearn, David Schneider, and Jose-Luis Martinez. Auxiliary Public Affairs Specialist 3 John Bosserman, Auxiliary Public Affairs Specialist 1 John Saran, and Auxiliary Division 31 commander Rob Kumpf  led this group of volunteers What a great team effort! 

Coast Guard recognizes trailblazer for outstanding contributions to civil rights. Congratulations to Paul Ziegengeist, Equal Employment Manager (EEM), who has been named the 2021 Civil Rights Service Provider (CRSP) Superior Service Award recipient. This honor is given to a CRSP biennially whose outstanding contributions further the Coast Guard’s civil rights mission. “I’m very honored to receive this recognition,” Ziegengeist said. “I know there are so many hard working and dedicated Civil Rights Service Providers in the Coast Guard, so it’s humbling to be honored like this.” Ziegengeist’s civil rights journey started in 2008 which led him to hold several notable posts, including Equal Opportunity Advisor for Region 2, Zone 5 in Norfolk, Virginia, and later, the Equal Opportunity Specialist with the Civil Rights Directorate. He currently serves as the EEM where his area of responsibility covers New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. He has earned the trust and respect of commands with which he has worked by tackling the tough issues of harassment, racial discrimination, and social climate matters. Sector New York recognized Ziegengeist for assisting in transforming multiple organizations and units in their efforts towards equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion. Bravo Zulu for this well-earned award. For more civil rights news, features, and content, subscribe to the civil rights “On Deck” newsletter. 

USCG, other groups foster interest in the marine environment among youth. Every year the U.S. Coast Guard, the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), and the Inter-American Committee on Ports of the Organization of American States co-sponsor a student art contest for youth grades K-12 throughout the Americas. This year’s theme was “Seafarers: At the Core of Shipping’s Future.” Congratulations to the grand prize winners of the 2021 Art Contest—Ahdia M. (3rd grade, Valley View Elementary, Rocklin, California) and Jolie Z. (7th grade, Wang Qi Art Institute, San Francisco). Additionally, there were 12 finalists. The two grand prize winners will each receive a certificate, a bilingual (English and Spanish) calendar featuring the art of all 12 finalists, a $100 cash prize and a special Coast Guard-themed package. Finalists will receive a certificate and the bilingual calendar. Coast Guard Partnership in Education (PIE) Coordinators across the service encouraged and supported the participation of students within their local communities. You can view the contest winners’ works of art online here. Bravo Zulu to all of the young artists who participated! For more information, please contact Shawntell Williams or call 202-372-4519. You can read the 2021 Student Art Contest Winners ALCOAST 272/21 to learn more.

Solicitation for the 2021 Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) Grateful Nation Award nominations. JINSA will present the Grateful Nation Awards to junior members of the Coast Guard, Navy, Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps at a virtual ceremony held in late fall 2021. Commands are encouraged to recommend enlisted members in the grade of E-8 and below or officers O-4 and below, who have distinguished themselves by exceptional and superior service while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Inherent Resolve in the performance of duties directly engaged in the global fight against terrorism. Nominees should also exemplify the Coast Guard core values of honor, respect, and devotion to duty. Those recommended must display a keen sense of ethical conduct and exhibit a high degree of personal integrity, as well as be held in the highest esteem by senior, peers, and juniors. You can find specific details in the Solicitation for the 2021 Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) Grateful Nation Award Nominations ALCGPSC 067/21.