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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Feb. 9, 2023

DHS Leader Grams– the best Valentines to give in the office 

By Kathy Murray, MyCG Writer

On Valentine’s Day we’re used to showing people how much they mean to us with candy, cards, and flowers. But there might be a better way convey that message to our colleagues: sending a leader gram. 

A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Leader Gram lets you express gratitude to people you work with – whether a peer, collaborator, boss, or subordinate. It’s a chance to tell them how much their everyday acts of leadership impact you or your team. And just in time for National Leadership Day on Feb. 20, too. 

Who wouldn’t be happy to spot a message with the subject line: “Caught you leading! Keep it up!”  in their inbox? 

“It’s a great way to make a difference in the day of the people who have made a difference for you at work,” said Alyssa Lombardi, program manager in the Coast Guard’s Office of Leadership. “They will love it.”  

Leader grams are easy to send, plus they’re free. Just go to the DHS Leader Gram website (CAC required) and fill out the form. You can tell the person both when they were leading, and why you appreciated it. As a bonus, the message also goes to their supervisor.  

Rachel Deitz, a management and program analyst for the Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center (NPFC), loved getting a leader gram. “It was a fun, quick way to know I was actually doing something productive,” she said. “I’m also pretty shy, so someone saying something like that to me in person might have been mortifying.” 

Program analyst Kin Szeto was also grateful to get his. “I used it as tangible evidence to show my supervisor that I was devoted to helping other people,” he said. “It adds more credibility if other people confirm what you are saying.” 

Meanwhile, his colleague Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Mleczko was happily surprised another employee would take the time to let him know his work was recognized. “We are so inundated with other tasking, that being recognized for simply helping another employee goes a long way,” he said.  

So, if you’re looking for a new way to show appreciation to someone you work with at the Coast Guard, on Valentine’s Day or any time during the year, consider a DHS Leader Gram.