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2014 Coast Guard Inspirational Leadership

Award Winner Summaries


Witherspoon Award

CW04 Jason Briggs, CG TRACEN Petaluma

As the newly appointed Program Manager for the $21.6M Most Efficient Organization (MEO) contract, CWO4 Briggs led the maintenance branch (15 civilians and 8 enlisted members) through a re-organization to improve supervisor-to-employee ratios and increase opportunities for team leadership.  Subsequently, the MEO had unprecedented levels of success in all contract performance measures, including a 90% work order completion and timeliness rating, and a 75% reduction in work order backlog.  Jason has had both military and civilian subordinates who have encountered personal and financial difficulties that impacted their work performance. He is committed to understanding their individual situation(s), and helps to find appropriate and available resources to assist.  His actions have helped these members get through difficult times and return to being confident, productive members of the division.

At times, the maintenance branch receives A-school students or permanent party personnel from other divisions, often members awaiting disciplinary action.  His mentorship has resulted in several disenrolled students returning to the base population as contributing members of the workforce.  In one case, he worked with a self-disenrolled FS A-school student who had lost interest in the rating, allowed him to explore other options, including YN & SK, before he ultimately found his passion for the Coast Guard in the DC rating.  The member became a valued asset to the DC shop, successfully completed the DC striker program and received orders to a 225’ as an FNDC.  As a member of the Leadership and Diversity Advisory Council, Jason was an integral part of creating an orientation program for new permanent party personnel aboard TRACEN Petaluma.  This one-day program helps new members understand their role in supporting Coast Guard missions through training.  In addition to program development, he personally indoctrinated 60 members in the areas of safety and facilities engineering.


Witherspoon Award-Reserve

LT Philip Stitzinger, CG SECTOR Buffalo

LT Philip Stitzinger’s exceptional leadership and impressive accomplishments have significantly benefitted his shipmates, Sector Buffalo, and the Coast Guard.  When confronted with the horrific situation of the suicide of a friend, LT Stitzinger humanized the tragedy, providing experience, perspective, and insight that challenged and prepared his shipmates and leaders to be ‘on watch’ with fellow shipmates, families, and friends.  His sharing of this very personal experience was both brave and noble, bringing valuable, lasting attention and awareness to these human tragedies and the need for constant vigilance enabling successful intervention.  He is the ‘go-to’ person for complex challenges and projects.  He oversaw 100% completion of the Individual Training Plan initiative for 130 members, effectively charting the course ahead for their future professional successes.

His supervisory expertise was a key part of Sector Buffalo attaining the highest overall reserve readiness of all Ninth District sectors.  His expert knowledge and insight of the reserve program provided critical input to the District 9 Planning Board for Training, guiding improvements to the reserve program that enhanced support and operational mission effectiveness.  He volunteered as the editor of the Sector Buffalo Reserve Newsletter, where his excellent work optimizes this publication as a core resource that aligns and integrates the regional reserve community.  His thorough review of reserve personnel records for missing awards identified 100+ Good Conduct and 40 National Defense Service Medals, the proper documentation of which sets the foundation for future promotion and advancement success of these shipmates.  LT Stitzinger’s tireless leadership and initiative has had significant and lasting impacts throughout Sector Buffalo’s Area of Responsibility.


McShan Award

MSTC Michael J. Goglia, CG SECTOR New York

MSTC Goglia developed a rating-specific training program for the Sector’s 65-person Safety and Security Operations Division (SSO), and led the MST-specific training for all MSTs at the Sector.  He organized over 45 weekly training sessions covering all aspects of MST rating knowledge, and actively sought participation from not only SSO Petty Officers, but also those from the Response and Planning Departments.  In addition, he developed a comprehensive EPME training program for E4, E5, and E6, and instituted a mentoring program for non-rates.

MSTC Goglia served as a mentor to USCG Recruit Company Kilo 188 (class graduated in Aug 2013).  In this capacity, he spent countless hours coaching, mentoring, and encouraging more than 60 recruits through the arduous 8-week boot camp program.  He drew practical links between their required CG history course of study and current CG operations and missions, providing key insights, context, and sea stories to inspire and educate the recruits. MSTC Goglia is an impressive leader, perfectly aligned with the Commandant’s direction and the Coast Guard’s core values.  He inspires greatness not only out of his subordinates, but also his peers and seniors, spanning various commands, and throughout interagency and industry port partners. 


McShan Award-Reserve

BMC Edward O. Hubbard, CGC EAGLE (WIX 327)

 BMC Hubbard has served as a reservist onboard EAGLE for 12 consecutive summers.  Using his experience gained as a sailing, backpacking, and survival instructor for Outward Bound and NOLS, he molds, mentors, and guides future officers through the fundamentals of sailing, navigation, leadership, teamwork, and life at sea.  As a true celestial navigation expert, he has led countless sessions teaching trainees the art of handling a sextant and navigating without electronic means, leveraging his engaging demeanor and technical competence to make this complex subject easy to understand.  With more than a decade of experience and continuity onboard, he is an expert on sailing EAGLE, serving in numerous watch stations and coaching both senior crew members and junior trainees through the particulars of harnessing the wind with EAGLE’s intricate set of 23 sails.  Whether by volunteering to take on extra watches or assisting with collateral duties, his intense pride in America and adherence to our core values is displayed in his daily positivity, willingness to always help others, and strong commitment to training the future leaders and sailors of the US Coast Guard.

Putnam Award

Mrs Nancy Keck, SECTOR Sault Sainte Marie

Mrs. Keck consistently demonstrated exceptional competence as the Command Administrative Assistant, achieving a high level of clerical output of remarkable quality. Leveraging her twenty years of military experience, Mrs. Keck demonstrated excellent knowledge of military processes and protocol and proficiently administered the Sector Awards program governing the Sector and subordinate units.  Combining her professional acumen and her voluntary completion of numerous ICS courses, Mrs. Keck earned assignment as Document Unit Leader member on the Sector Incident Management Team.  Committed to professional proficiency, Mrs. Keck actively participated as a member of the Northern Michigan Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals.  She also earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Park University, which complements her two Associate Degrees, in Aircraft Maintenance and Criminal Justice.

A dynamic leader, Mrs. Keck mentored junior female members in the Coast Guard, provided a role model as a successful career military woman, and willing shared her experiences and advice with others.  Mrs. Keck volunteered as a member of the Sector Leadership and Inclusion Council (LAIC), developing programs and information to assist Coast Guard members with making sound, professional choices in their lives, both on and off duty.  Demonstrating impeccable judgment, compassion and integrity, Mrs. Keck was selected and trained as a Victim Advocate and stood ready to support victims of sexual assault throughout the Sector AOR.  As a member of the LAIC Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Sub-committee, Mrs. Keck used her Victim Advocate training to assist members with information and guidance. 

Mrs. Keck also served on the Sector Morale Committee.  Her contributions included creation of flyers and posters for upcoming morale events, representing the command at meetings, and judging at the annual United Way Chili Cook-off on behalf of the Coast Guard.  Mrs. Keck also produced and edited the “Sector Scoop”, a monthly newsletter that keeps Coast Guard and family members informed on Sector and local events and programs.


Greanoff Award

Mrs. Brenda Paul, Flotilla 7-10, Victoria, TX

In 2011 Brenda and her husband Ray saw that Flotilla 7-10 had minimal membership and was in danger of being dissolved.  They successfully began rebuilding the unit.  Due to Brenda’s efforts the Flotilla now has 19 active members and is still growing.  Brenda helped construct the Common Assessment Reporting Tool (CART) database for Sector Corpus Christi.  The CART database provides the Marine Transportation System Recovery Unit (MTSRU) with Marine Transportation System information otherwise not available to the Coast Guard.  Brenda is part of the Auxiliary’s Interpreter Corps and provided translation services at the Gulf of Mexico Final Planning Conference for officials from the Coast Guard, United States Navy, and the Navy of the United Mexican States.  Brenda is the caretaker of Division 7’s “Coastie” safety robot.  In this capacity she has travelled with “Coastie” to several events, helping educate the boating public on safety issues. 

Jarvis Award

LCDR Eric Jones, CG SECTOR Honolulu

As Logistics Department Head, he worked tirelessly behind the scenes to improve the capabilities of a sector with an AOR across the Pacific.  His ability to anticipate needs and position his department to push needed services before being asked turned his department into our strongest.  He seized the opportunity to acquire a second RB-M for Station Maui 18 months ahead of schedule propelling them to heavy weather qualification. With his vision, he overcame challenges associated with the distance from product line support, sequestration, and government shutdown utilizing astute budget management and executing challenging depot level repairs in house.  He authorized the repair of a thrust bearing box on a RB-M, the first time a unit completed this repair without contractor support, saving more than $30K and creating a repeatable blueprint for others to emulate. 

 He was the driving force in transforming a 31 ft utility boat into an Auxiliary crewed asset supporting the air station’s training needs. This reduced required station asset support by 33%, freeing them to perform other missions. Simultaneously, it increased training proficiency across D14 units and had a positive impact on the Auxiliary command climate, significantly improving recruiting efforts in Hawaii. He cared for, mentored, developed, and challenged subordinates and peers.  He resolved numerous personnel issues, the most complex of which concerned a single parent with mental health issues.  When the state took custody of her children, he arranged care including hospitalization to treat suicidal ideations; a mutual assistance grant for the member’s mother to fly to Hawaii to gain custody of the children; an early return of dependents; and fast tracked her medical board; providing her the best opportunity to regain custody. 



Munro Award

AET1 Erin C. Simone, CG AIRSTA Kodiak

Air Station Kodiak Enlisted Person of the Year, MH-60T Night Shift, Avionics Shop, and Training Supervisor. Oversaw training requirements and flight operations for 70 aircrew and trainees. Acted as MH-60T Avionics Chief for five months filling critical senior leadership shortages. Volunteered over 50 hours at the Rockmore-King Medical Clinic assisting in Health Service rating duties; qualified for CG Physician Assistant Program eligibility requirements. Submitted competitive application package for Physician Assistant program.

Served as a sexual assault Victim Advocate for Air Station Kodiak and local Kodiak Coast Guard Community; Team Leader and helped raise nearly $10,000 for Kodiak Special Olympics; Team Captain for Coast Guard Enlisted Association’s 5K relay for life in support of the American Cancer Society responsible for raising $1000; Served as the Vice Chairperson for Air Station Kodiak Leadership Diversity Advisory Council; Sub-committee member for Kodiak Women’s Leadership Symposium; and member of the Coast Guard Enlisted Association.

Supervised 15 technicians as the Night Maintenance Supervisor. Maintained 70 aircrew records, coordinating upgrade flights, and organizing training. Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing from the University of Alaska.  Earned Certification as a Registered Nurse during off-duty hours. Coordinated maintenance schedule for 341 H-60 deployment days; maintained the seven operating sites that Air Station Kodiak supports with minimal impact among the crews and ensured optimal mission readiness. Led a six-day deployment to the remote area of Kotzebue, Alaska, as the Watch Captain and the Engineering Officer’s direct representative of a $20 million helicopter and six-member crew.  Served as H-60 Watch Captain when two H-60 helicopters launched for a search and rescue medevac case located west of Adak in the Aleutian Islands, approximately 1,250 nautical miles from Kodiak; coordinated logistics for five independent aircrews to provide SAR support and self-rescue cover.  After three days and 31.9 flight hours, resulted in one life saved and safe recovery of the aircraft and aircrews.

  During base-wide Women’s Leadership Symposium, served as a Team Leader for the Medical Advocate Focus Group and mentored 83 active duty and civilian personnel in attendance. Volunteered for BASE Kodiak Rating Seminar, introducing local non-rates to the AET aviation rating.  Actively engaged with the Chief Petty Officers Association to organize the Kodiak senior citizens luncheon serving 87 elderly people in the local Coast Guard community. Instructed junior mechanics on how to properly log aircraft discrepancies and corrective actions using paper logbooks when the web-based application, ALMIS was not accessible. Mentored junior AET’s having difficulty qualifying as a Basic Aircrew member. Worked to improve the Coast Guard by consistently mentoring junior personnel.

Elite Male Athlete of the Year

LT, Christopher Branning, CG AIRSTA Miami

Lieutenant Christopher Branning is the 2013 Coast Guard Elite Male Athlete of the Year.  LT Branning distinguished himself in the sport of sailing.  LT Branning is a native of Sarasota, Florida.  He is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 2009 with a degree in Logistics in Intermodal Transportation.   In 2013, he competed in six open water events with four first place finishes, one second place finish and one third place finish.  One of these races was a 656 nautical mile ocean race from Hong Kong to Nha Trang, Vietnam.  LT Branning also gave back to his community by building a relationship with the Shake-a-Leg Miami, a community sailing center for disabled and underprivileged children.  LT Branning is currently stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Miami as an MH-65D helicopter pilot.

Elite Female Athlete of the Year

 LTJG Jessica Anderson, CG SECTOR Miami

Lieutenant Junior Grade Jessica Anderson is the 2013 Coast Guard Elite Female Athlete of the Year.  She earned this recognition in the sport of marathon and triathlon competitions.  A native of Michigan, LTJG Anderson was a multi-sports letter winner in both high school and at the Coast Guard Academy where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Marine and Environmental Science.  In 2013, LTJG Anderson maintained a grueling schedule, participating in over 19 events and placing in the top 10 in 17 of those events in her age group.  At the time of her selection as the Coast Guard Elite Female Athlete of the Year, LTJG Anderson ranked 68 out of 7,972 athletes by USA Triathlon in the 20-24 year age group.  Her abilities qualified her to represent Team USA at the Spring World Championships and the Long Course World Championships in 2014.  LTJG Anderson also gave back to her community by volunteering at a local hospital and with the local Boys and Girls Clubs of America.  She is currently stationed at Coast Guard Sector Miami as the Facilities and Container Branch Chief.





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Last Modified 5/8/2014