Commentary | Sept. 2, 2021

Bravo Zulu: Coast Guard civilian recognized for work establishing DIU detachment, and more

By By Keisha Reynolds, MyCG Writer

Coast Guard civilian recognized for work in establishing DIU detachment. Wendy Chaves, head of the Office of Research, Development, Test & Evaluation and Innovation (CG-926), is presented one of the new Coast Guard Civilian Service Commendation Medals for her work to establish a Coast Guard detachment at the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), July 28, 2021. Rear Adm. James M. Kelly, who served as director of the Defense Innovation Unit Detachment Project Team, presented the medal to Chaves. The DIU detachment was stood up July 31, 2020, and is staffed with an active duty liaison, Cmdr. Michael Nordhausen, and four members of the Coast Guard reserve. “I got a call from the Commandant, who said he wanted to establish a Coast Guard presence at DIU. And he wanted it done in one year’s time. This is my formal recognition to thank Wendy for making sure that the Commandant’s strategic initiative was completed on that very tight timeline. ” 

Honoring a 50-year career of teaching music to Coast Guard cadets. Prior to his retirement in August 2021, Dr. Bob Newton had spent the greater part of 50 years teaching cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to sing in perfect harmony. As the Director of Cadet Vocal Music, his duties included directing the vocal groups at the Academy such as the Glee Club, the women’s ensemble “Fairwinds,” and the men’s ensemble “Idlers.” Amongst other distinctions, the Glee Club has also had the honor to perform at the inaugurations of Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. Bravo Zulu to Newton, his Coast Guard legacy will be the commitment and dedication he brought to the Academy’s vocal performance groups that exemplify the camaraderie and esprit de corps associated with the military service academies. “It’s been a privilege to spend 50 years of my life travelling and working with these cadets,” Newton said, “That’s what I will miss the most.” 

Many firsts for Coast Guard Women recognized during Women’s Equality Day event. On August 26, our Nation celebrated Women's Equality Day to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote nationally. During the Coast Guard’s recent virtual Women’s Equality Day event, many firsts for Coast Guard women were acknowledged in addition to a discussion on women’s voting rights. With the executive director for the League of Women Voters serving as the keynote speaker, Gracia Hillman, recognized the Coast Guard’s first female, four-star vice commandant, Vice Adm. Linda Fagan. Listening in on the event, Rear Adm. Carola List, assistant commandant for Engineering and Logistics, reflected on her role as the first female Chief Engineer of the Coast Guard. Having been in the position for a few short months, she continues to be impressed by the dedicated men and women who sustain our aircrafts, ships, and infrastructure that enable mission success. She was inspired by aviation and flying since the age of 16 and often reflects on a relevant quote from Amelia Earhart throughout her career, “some of us have great runways already built for us. If you have one, take off! But if you don’t have one, realize it is your responsibility to grab a shovel and build one for yourself and for those who will follow after you.”