united states coast guard

R 261031 DEC 18
ALCOAST 432/18
1. This is the time of year when we reflect on the past year and look forward to the coming
new year.
2. 2018 was a banner year for the Coast Guard. Coast Guard women and men saved or assisted
more than 2,000 lives, including more than 1,100 lives during our responses to Hurricanes
Florence and Michael and stood ready to respond when Hurricanes Lane and Olivia threatened
the Pacific. We stopped illicit drugs, interdicted illegal migrants, supported maritime
commerce, worked with Joint Force partners, fellow DHS components, allies and partners around
the globe and we projected sovereign presence in the both the Arctic and Antarctic high latitude
3. The Coast Guard sustained a healthy pace of recapitalization of our surface fleet by
commissioning four new Fast Response Cutters (FRC), including CGC NATHAN BRUCKENTHAL, which
I had the honor to officiate.  Named for one of our heroes who died while serving our great
nation, the cutter will carry on Nathan’s memory and remind us of the sacrifice our work
invariably demands.
4. We marked the sacrifice of those who have gone before us. We honored our shipmates and allies
lost 100 years ago aboard TAMPA during World War One, aboard WHITE ALDER 50 years ago, and
CUYHOGA 40 years ago. We remembered FRC namesake Heriberto Segovia Hernandez and Jack Columbus
Rittichier, who both gave their lives in combat 50 years ago. 
5. This year a number of Coast Guard shipmates crossed the bar. Among the many were Andrew
Fitzgerald, last surviving member of the celebrated crew of MLB 36500. The crewmembers of MLB
36500 rescued 32 sailors from the stricken tanker SS PENDLETON during a ferocious nor’easter
off Cape Cod, MA, in 1952. We also said goodbye to Dr. Olivia Hooker, the first African-American
SPAR who was an amazing pioneer and courageous trailblazer. Dr. Hooker served as an inspiration
to us all.
6. In the coming New Year, we will welcome our seventh National Security Cutter, KIMBALL, and a
number of FRCs. We will continue development of our Offshore Patrol, Polar Security and Waterways
Commerce Cutters. We will also remain laser focused on the readiness of our Service, and more
specifically on best supporting our Mission Ready Total Workforce and our Coast Guard Families,
including broadening the diversity of our Service, enhancing our commitment to inclusivity, and
working aggressively to drive sexual assault and all forms of discrimination and harassment from
our ranks. The United States Coast Guard will remain Ready, Relevant and Responsive in 2019!
7. On behalf of our entire senior leadership team representing all segments of our workforce,
I thank you for your service and that of your families, and hope that you enjoy the Holiday
Season with your loved ones, family, friends and shipmates. I also ask that you remember
those who have gone before us and those who are standing the watch to keep us safe.
8. Happy holidays, Happy New Year, and Semper Paratus.
9. ADM Karl Schultz, Commandant, sends.
10. Internet release is authorized.