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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Oct. 6, 2021

Special Command Aide of the year announced

By MyCG Staff

Congratulations to Petty Officer 2nd Class Felicia Juarez, special command aide to Rear Adm. William Kelly, Superintendent of the United States Coast Guard Academy. Juarez has been selected as the 2021 Special Command Aide of the Year, distinguishing herself through noteworthy leadership, superior job performance, self-improvement, community involvement and, exemplary commitment to our Core Values.

Juarez will be nominated for United Service Organizations (USO) Metro Enlisted Aide of the Year and participate in a selection board against enlisted aides from each of the other Services. The panel members will include former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Service Chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. The winner of this competition will be announced at the Enlisted Aide of the Year Award Ceremony during USO Metro Salute to Military Chefs dinner in Washington D.C. on 18 November 2021. The annual USO-Metro Salute to Military Chefs dinner is designed to showcase the culinary talents of today's military chefs.

Also warranting special recognition are the following SCAs for their outstanding contributions to the Coast Guard, SCA program, and Culinary Specialist Rating:

  • Petty Officer 1st Class Michelle Sacco (runner up) – Rear Adm. Brian Penoyer, commander District 11
  • Petty Officer 1st Class Kendra Garza – Vice Adm. Michael McAllister, Pacific Area commander 
  • Petty Officer 1st Class Amanda Harris – Rear Adm. Melvin Bouboulis – commander District 13

A special thanks is also extended to the SCA of the Year Selection Panel, which consisted of the following members:

  • Lt. Edgar Carrelo - ALD-LCB-ICP - Prior SCA for 4 years and prior award recipient.
  • Chief Warrant Officer 3 Thitisady Saiyasak - ALC - Prior SCA for five years and prior award recipient.
  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Melinda Skinner - SILC - Prior SCA for four years.
  • Chief Petty Officer Megann Driver - Sector Southeastern New England – prior SCA for four years.

Of note, Petty Officer 1st Class John Toman, culinary specialist, was selected to be one of the chefs who will combine his creative talents to prepare a six-course meal for the annual USO-Metro Salute to Military Chefs dinner alongside the Ritz-Carlton's Executive Chef.

Toman was selected as the Coast Guard representative to participate with one member from the culinary teams of the President, Vice President, the Secretary of Defense, each member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Coast Guard Commandant.

Congratulations to all of the nominees for their exceptional professionalism as SCAs and culinary specialists. Each is commended for their extraordinary performance and expertise, and all continue to set the bar high for the next generation of the SCAs.

For more information or for any questions, please email the SCA Program Manager, Senior Chief Petty Officer Derek Johnson, at (202) 372-4412.c