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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Sept. 11, 2023

Congratulations to the Women’s Leadership Award Winners

By AJ Pulkkinen, MyCG writer

  • Chief Petty Officer Lisa Densmore, an instructor at Culinary Specialist A-school, is the 2023 recipient of the Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO) Pearl Faurie Women's Leadership Award. 
  • Lt. Cmdr Allice Gholson, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Benjamin Bottoms (WPC 1132), is the 2023 recipient of the Capt. Dorothy Stratton Women’s Leadership Award.  

The Diversity and Inclusion Women's Leadership Awards were established in 2001 to be presented annually to recognize women who have demonstrated inspirational, innovative, and imaginative leadership. These awards honor those who made significant decisions that resulted in lasting improvements in working conditions and quality of life while exemplifying the Coast Guard’s core values of honor, respect, and devotion to duty. 

2023 MCPO Pearl Faurie Women’s Leadership Awardee: CSC Lisa Densmore 

The MCPO Pearl Faurie Women's Leadership Award is in honor of MCPO Pearl Faurie, the first woman master chief petty officer in the Coast Guard. This annual award is for active duty or reserve enlisted females in the pay grades E4 through E8. 

As a senior instructor, CSC Densmore spearheaded the Lateral Entry Workgroup efforts for the Culinary Specialists’ schoolhouse where she aligned 265 terminal performance objectives and rating performance qualifications with their updated task list. She identified specific culinary degree programs and certifications with knowledge and skill levels closely equivalent to rating qualification standards, enabling the expedited path for tailored, agile A-school. While standard CS A-school is 13 weeks, members with the appropriate degrees or certifications have graduated in as little as four weeks.  

CSC Densmore’s impact expands well beyond the CS schoolhouse. As the Leadership and Diversity Advisory Council Chair for Training Center Petaluma, Densmore connects with students through her genuine nature, compassion, and sincerity. For the over 1,200 active duty and civilian members of the TRACEN, CSC Densmore worked to increase the number and quality of the lactation rooms for nursing mothers. She also led base wide Bystander Intervention Training in support of the Coast Guard Sexual Assault Prevention, Response, and Recovery (SAPRR) Program and created a local chapter of the Women’s Leadership Initiative.  

CSC Densmore recently promoted to Chief Warrant Officer, an accomplishment that is well-deserved and indicative of her steadfast leadership. 

2023 Capt. Dorothy Stratton Women’s Leadership Awardee: Lt. Cmdr. Allice Gholson 

The Capt. Dorothy Stratton Women’s Leadership Award is in honor of Capt. Dorothy Stratton, USCGR (W), the first director of the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve, more commonly referred to as “SPARS,” which stands for the Coast Guard motto “Semper Paratus, Always Ready.”  This annual award is for active duty or reserve chief warrant officers through Lt. Cmdr. 

Under Lt. Cmdr. Gholson’s leadership as the commanding officer, the cutter Benjamin Bottoms conducted the first successful integration of a Coast Guard fast response cutter into a multi-serial air and surface exercise with the Marine Corps Aviation Weapons and Training Squadron off the California coast. Lt. Cmdr. Gholson’s expertise and leadership were critical to developing an expeditionary logistics program to support the maiden fast response cutter voyage from the United States to the Kingdom of Bahrain, a 14,000 nautical mile trans-Atlantic voyage that included 11 foreign port visits and six international engagements. 

As the Senior Officer Presently Afloat (SOPA), she strengthened the working relationship between the four fast response cutters homeported in San Pedro, Calif., and their chains of command, improving both mission success and the quality of life and professional development of the crews. Lt. Cmdr. Gholson also took an active role in local diversity and inclusion efforts and is a founding member of the Coast Guard’s Greater Los Angeles – Long Beach Women’s Leadership Initiative Chapter.