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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Aug. 12, 2021

BZ: The United States Coast Guard celebrates 231 years of outstanding service, and more!

By Nicole Bertrand, MyCG Staff

The United States Coast Guard celebrates 231 years of outstanding service! Throughout this past year, the Coast Guard has responded admirably in the midst of a global pandemic. The Coast Guard’s efforts have helped ensure maritime security. Commandant, Adm. Karl L. Schultz acknowledged some of the Coast Guard’s notable accomplishments this year, including: the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star’s two-month winter patrol in the Arctic, the first such patrol in 38 years; the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton’s historic deployment to the Black Sea – our first major cutter patrol there since 2008; the Coast Guard Cutters Midgett and Oliver Berry’s recent participation in Third Fleet training exercises with the Carl Vinson Strike Group off Hawaii; Coast Guard districts’, sectors’, cutters’, aircraft’s, and other assets’ response to 12 storms impacting our U.S. coastline during the busiest Atlantic Basin hurricane season on record; and Coast Guard vital support in wildfires and flooding, as well as other successful missions. “As we celebrate our 231st birthday, it is your perseverance and dedication that make the United States Coast Guard the best in the world,” said Schultz. “This year has truly accentuated a Coast Guard that is Ready, Relevant, and Responsive! I thank each and every one of you for your continued service, and your families for their perpetual support in these most worthy endeavors.” Read more in the United States Coast Guard’s 231ST Birthday ALCOAST 279/21.

The Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) honors three outstanding Coast Guardswomen. The WIFLE Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that works to promote the value that women bring to law enforcement. Bravo Zulu to Master Chief Petty Officer Neena S. Cinelli, school chief for the Maritime Enforcement Specialist “A” School; Lt. Brandi A. Belveal, Maritime Intelligence Fusion Center Pacific (MIFC PAC); and Cmdr. Dorothy Hernaez, Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane (WMEC 903). These exceptional service members were recognized for the WIFLE awards in three categories, respectively: the Outstanding Advocate for Women in Federal Law Enforcement, the Elizebeth Smith Friedman Intelligence Award of Excellence, and the Outstanding Federal Law Enforcement Employee Award. Cinelli’s tutelage aided other women in achieving the highest ranks and positions in Coast Guard law enforcement. Under her guidance and leadership, from 2016 through 2020, women tactical operators increased by 230%. Belveal provided superior intelligence support to Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S) and U.S. assets operating in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Her contributions supported 508 JIATF-S cases resulting in the interdiction of 21,382 kilograms of cocaine, 6,300 pounds of marijuana, and 42.2 gallons of concentrated cannabis totaling over 51,000 kilograms of narcotics worth approximately $865 million. Hernaez deployed four times totaling 280 days away from the cutter's homeport of Portsmouth, Virginia. During her time on the Harriet Lane, Hernaez oversaw seven interdictions resulting in the seizure of 5,396 kilograms of cocaine worth $225 million and 10,533 pounds of marijuana with a value of $18.5 million in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean transit zones. For additional information about the awards, contact Cmdr. Ellen Motoi or call 202-372-2668. Read more about the winners’ accomplishments in 2021 Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) Award Recipients ALCOAST 282/21. 

2021 Federally Employed Women (FEW) Military Meritorious Award winner named. Congratulations to Lt. Cmdr. Katherine M. Pelkey from the Aviation Training Center (ATC), Mobile, Alabama, who is the Coast Guard recipient of the 2021 FEW Military Meritorious Award. FEW recognizes service members who support and promote diversity, equality, and the advancement of women in their respective services. As the Women's Leadership Council Chairperson and a leader within the Leadership Diversity and Advisory Committee, Pelkey promoted personal and professional development across ATC's 650 active duty and civilian personnel. She also established events to serve the local community and recruit women into the Coast Guard. As council chair, she oversaw the coordination of professional development opportunities and partnerships with local non-profit organizations for community service events. Pelkey's efforts through community service events and continued education programs positively impacted more than 2,000 Coast Guard and community members and advanced equal opportunity initiatives. Thank you for your inspirational efforts, Lt. Cmdr. Pelkey. Bravo Zulu! Learn more about the Coast Guard civil rights vision, mission and awards programs here. You can also email Juan Torres or call 202-372-4594. Read more about Lt. Cmdr. Pelkey’s accomplishments in the 2021 Federally Employed women (FEW) Military Meritorious Award Winners ALCOAST 283/21.