We must live, learn, and lead our Coast Guard legacy. Live the Coast Guardsman Ethos. It is our standard of behavior, in quarters and during mission execution. Train, maintain and operate. Learn our rich history. Know those that came before you and of their sacrifice. Never forget. Lead the next generation of Coast Guardsmen. Care for them, empower them to take care of themselves, help them grow in this organization, apply the customs and courtesies of the Coast Guard - all efforts should be made in the hope they will be encouraged to stay. Be of service to others before yourself.
We will execute the unit’s primary missions of search and rescue, heavy weather operations, law enforcement, ports, waterways and coastal security. Our mission, however, is to execute each one well. We are fortunate that the ranks of our Station are filled by confident, competent, and capable Coast Guardsmen with leadership qualities at every level. Each one of you is instilled with the Coast Guard ethos. In meeting our mission we cannot rest on our past laurels because our primary existence demands otherwise. Our future success hinges on every last one of us giving our very best, every single day and carrying on with common understanding of this philosophy.
We exist to serve, protect, defend the United States and to assist those in need or save the distressed. Everything we do must be focused on these four cornerstones of our ethos. Our legacy will be how we selflessly serve our Country while performing our duties with technical and proficient expertise. You are part of this legacy. We will set the standard in the Sector for readiness, discipline and mission execution. As Coast Guardsmen, our actions shall speak so loudly that others cannot hear what we say. Our purpose as leaders at Station Cape May is to develop our subordinates. Boat crews, boarding teams, watchstanders and the newly reported team member are the focus of our training; they will also measure the degrees of our success.
Our assets will be maintained and cared for in a perpetual state of Semper Paratus – as well as our minds, bodies and families. Exercise often – it fosters excellence. We must be the consummate professional exhibiting Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty; our actions shall speak for us. We will train as we operate, take time to enjoy the camaraderie and recognize those that go above and beyond. Our families are an integral and extremely important part of the Station and we will look after them. We are as proud of them as they are of us. As Coast Guardsmen depart, they are proud of Station Cape May and the contributions they made to it. Everyone will be well prepared to make significant contributions to either their new unit or their next calling in life.
This is our chosen career and lifestyle. We must know our jobs and be proficient - period. You must always be ready for the call to execute our purpose – day or night, through storms or winds but never accept high risks for low gains. This purpose extends beyond preparing yourself for duty – be physically, mentally and emotionally ready. The maritime environment and those in distress, not an inspection team, will grade us on our abilities. Proficiency is the essence of discipline. We live our lives by the Coast Guard’s core values – it’s our shoreline, it’s what guides us.
Expectations: We will create a climate that breeds proficient, disciplined and empowered Coast Guardsmen. Our leaders will be accessible, take initiative and ensure standards are met. We will create a training environment where we excel in forethought and maximize opportunities to learn and develop others. We will be a very Ready, very Responsive, and very Reliable Station able to execute the wide array of assigned missions. We must be willing to do more rather than less with positive yet contagious attitudes. You must give me your maximum effort all the time, every time and know that you will receive reciprocal effort. Work as a team, lead when necessary and follow when instructed. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Aspire to become a leader for the next pay-grade in your career. Remember, leaders work just as hard as the crew.
As Coast Guardsmen we know the difference between holding the standard and doing what is difficult – and – taking the easy way out and allowing standards to slip. I have every confidence that you will execute my intent and uphold our Coast Guard core values – not because you are attracted to saving ones’ life or that its expected by necessity – but because you are executing your duty as Coast Guardsmen and upholding our rich legacy, and the very proud traditions of the Nation’s oldest continuous sea-going service that was only made possible through the selfless dedication of others and yourself.
Live, Learn, and Lead our U.S. Coast Guard’s Legacy to be Ready, Responsive and Reliable – I’m counting on each of you!