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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Aug. 26, 2022

Congratulation to the Coast Guard's 2022 Military Meritorious Service Award recipients 

By Patrick Ferraris, Civil Rights Directorate  

Lt. Orly Naum, the assistant engineering officer, at Aviation Training Center (ATC), Mobile Alabama, is the Coast Guard’s recipient of the Federally Employed Women (FEW) 2022 Military Meritorious Service Award.   

This honor recognizes military members from all service branches who make notable contributions to the advancement of women within the armed forces and who create inclusive environments that benefit military and civilian communities.   

Naum is being honored for her accomplishments from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021.  

“Since the early stages of my career, I have always tried to make a positive impact within the Coast Guard and for those around me,” she said. “I came in with a strong passion to help others. And 15 years later, that drive remains the same — if not even more so.”  

Naum joined the Coast Guard when she was 18 years old.  Her primary goal was to serve her country through humanitarian actions and missions. Even at such a young age, Naum hit the ground running.  

Only four years into her Coast Guard career, she was already recognized for her efforts. In 2011, Naum received the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and was also Sector Columbia River’s FEW Military Meritorious Service Award nominee.  

Shortly thereafter, Naum founded the ATC Women's Leadership Council to empower and unite women across multiple units. As the founder and chair, she brings together enlisted, officer, and civilian members and supports their personal and professional development.  

Naum's passion for both mentorship and leadership stems from her experiences with great mentors and leaders during her time in the Coast Guard.  

“All of the kindness and leadership that I was shown early in my career helped strengthen my desire to put others before myself and to enable them to push the Coast Guard to achieve more.”   

Naum also served on the ATC Leadership Diversity Advisory Council (LDAC), where she facilitated discussion about leadership, inclusion, and diversity. Additionally, she launched an extensive Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach program with a local high school to inspire students through transformational power of education.   

Despite her numerous accomplishments, Naum is more concerned with the impact of her efforts than with the recognition she has received.  

“I feel very humbled to even be nominated for this award, let alone to be the USCG’s recipient,” said Naum. “Everything I do is born from the desire to help others achieve more and improve the workplace for others. I hope to blaze a path forward for others to follow.”   

Bravo Zulu to Naum and all who were nominated for the award, including:  

  • Capt. Becky Jones 
  • Cmdr. Doreen McCarthy 
  • Lt. Andrea Molina 
  • Lt. Silvia Sigler 
  • Lt.j.g. Claire Hurley  
  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Megan Lange 
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Mara Devros 
  • Petty Officer 3rd Class Nichole Forester-Bennett  

Civil Rights awards, such as the FEW Military Meritorious Award, contribute to the Coast Guard's overall mission effectiveness by recognizing members' accomplishments and contributions to Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity in minority communities.  

Anyone in the Coast Guard is eligible to nominate someone for a Civil Rights award. Visit for a list of all of the awards and for more information.  

FEW is a private membership organization that works as an advocacy group to improve the status of women employed by the federal government and the District of Columbia. Learn more at