united states coast guard

R 192118Z APR 21
ALCOAST 154/21
SSIC 1650
1. I am pleased to announce the recipients of the Coast Guard
Fulltime and Collateral Duty ESOY Awards and the ISOY Award.
Education Services Officers (ESOs) are a critical component of the
organization’s support network, devoting a considerable amount of
time to ensuring our workforce sets and meets professional and
educational goals. Both ESOY Awards recognize two exceptional
members of this dedicated cadre of service providers. The ISOY Award
recognizes the student who clearly demonstrated sustained high
standards of academic proficiency and dedication, served as a role
model in off-duty education accomplishment, and demonstrated the
Coast Guard core values of honor, respect, and devotion to duty.
This year’s awardees were selected from nominations submitted per
REF (A).
2. The Coast Guard Fulltime ESOY Award goes to Ms. Velma Vining,
Base Kodiak, Alaska. As the main Partnership in Education (PIE)
liaison for Kodiak, Alaska, Ms. Vining supports unit PIE
coordinators from nine local commands and volunteers for six schools
within the district. Ms. Vining hosted virtual Microsoft Teams
meetings to develop an alternate plan in light of COVID-19
restrictions. For the November 2020 Service Wide Exam, Ms. Vining
developed an in-depth plan to mitigate the risk of exposure to
COVID-19 during testing. This plan included partnering with Northern
Lights Recreational Facility to secure a space that offered 6-10
feet between those participating in the exam, and coordinating for
janitorial support to ensure proper sanitization before and after
each exam. Ms. Vining's efforts resulted in a safe evolution for 211
test takers in Kodiak’s AOR. Ms. Vining established Base Kodiak as
an authorized Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Testing Site
offering free exams to Service Members, dependents, retirees, and
civilian employees. Ms. Vining’s initiative has helped 28
individuals transfer their military skill over to the civilian
sector, earning certifications as Flight Instructors, Aviation
Maintenance Technicians, and Private Pilots in both Airplane and
Helicopter platforms. Ms. Vining planned and executed five separate
ESO virtual training sessions, bringing in guest speakers as subject
matter experts on Coast Guard Credentialing Opportunities On-Line
(CG COOL), Education Training Quota Command (ETQC), Navy College
Management Information System (NCMIS), Tuition Assistance, Defense
Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), and the
CG’s advance education program. These trainings aim to improve the
overall knowledge of ESOs throughout the Coast Guard and create a
network of personnel resources for Active Duty members and their
family members.
3. The Coast Guard Collateral Duty ESOY Award goes to Chief
Culinary Specialist Jordan Loeven, Training Center Petaluma.
Over the past year, Chief Loeven made a significant contribution
to the professional development of over 1,500 TRACEN Petaluma staff
and students in addition to approximately 100 members from tenant
commands through his steadfast dedication to the pursuit of
educational opportunities for his shipmates. Upon assuming duties as
a Collateral Duty ESO, he immediately adopted a foundational vision
to build a more educated workforce. Supporting a full-time ESO
forced into a telework situation due to COVID-19 pandemic, Chief
Loeven provided "boots-on-the-ground" advocacy for members seeking
advanced educational opportunities. Despite a full-time schedule as
a Culinary Specialist "A" School instructor, he patiently provided
tuition assistance counseling for seven members of the workforce,
four of whom were taking their first steps towards their collegiate
journeys. He judiciously reviewed and approved eight members'
tuition assistance applications that garnered 24 completed semester
hours of education and offset $5,800 worth of tuition costs. His
pivotal role as an educational advocate provided large return on
investment, especially within the Culinary Specialist school staff,
where the percentage of staff using the tuition assistance program
increased by 15 percent. Proactively seeking to maximize the ESQ
program's impact, he also provided informational briefs to
graduating Class "A" School students, explaining continued
educational opportunities and Coast Guard credentialing programs in
detail to over 60 future petty officers. LTJG Rikkilynn Mullen, CG
Sector Columbia River, is an honorable mention for the Collateral
Duty ESOY category.
4. There are co-winners for the Coast Guard ISOY Award: First
Class Petty Officer Adam R. Smith, USCGC SANIBEL, and Petty Officer
James Himes, CG Sector Lake Michigan. In 2020, Petty Officer Smith
served as CGC SANIBEL’s Operations Officer and Acting Executive
Officer, where he spent 1800 hours at sea in addition to his inport
work weeks. During this time, he volunteered to apply the knowledge
gained from his advanced degree, aggressively taking charge of the
Annual Capital Property Inspection, here he accounted for $8M of
property with zero discrepancies. In his role as the unit’s Funds
Manager, he managed a $56K budget. Through the application of his
newfound knowledge and financial expertise, he saved the Coast Guard
more than $6K in equipment and inventory replenishment and shipping
expenses by streamlining purchasing processes, consolidating
purchases across neighboring units, maintaining a spotless inventory
of supplies, and educating crewmembers on the importance of being
ethical and efficient stewards of tax payers’ dollars. He then
initiated preparations for the 2021 Cutter Assessment of Readiness
and Tailored Ships Training Availability inspections, accounting for
more than 500 checklist items across all departments—placing the
cutter months ahead of the inspections’ timelines. Following the 44%
crew turnover during the 2020 transfer season, Petty Officer Smith
created a comprehensive training plan for 52 Seamanship, Navigation,
and Damage Control drills, which effectively prepared the new crew
for critical casualty responses onboard the 33-year-old cutter. He
then went on to lead the cutter’s Operations Department through 218
line-items across four Coast Guard-wide inspections, which resulted
in 100% compliance—including a 62% reduction in discrepancies from
previous inspections. Under Petty Officer Smith’s guidance, the
cutter’s crew maintained an impressive 100% completion rate for the
year’s annual trainings. Then maximizing the inports as
opportunities to learn, Petty Officer Smith worked with crewmembers
onboard, scheduling 13 "C" Schools attendances during the cutter’s
seven maintenance periods, professionally developing the members and
improving their understanding of Coast Guard resources, structure,
and career opportunities. Just as crewmembers emulate Petty Officer
Smith’s energy and enthusiasm for the Coast Guard missions—many of
his peers have, too, been inspired by his academic example. He
enthusiastically provided his peers with guidance, resources, and
points of contact for the Coast Guard’s Tuition Assistance Program.
In total, he inspired 11-members in Coast Guard’s First and Fifth
Districts to take advantage of more than $133K in tuition
assistance, as they started or completed their own undergraduate and
post-graduate degrees. MST3 James Himes simultaneously earned an
Associate of Science in Earth Science Studies and an Associate of
Arts in Social and Behavioral Sciences from San Diego Miramar
College. In order to complete this remarkable feat, he surpassed the
normal expectations of a working student by ambitiously tackling 15
credit hours during the fall semester and l0 credit hours during a
condensed summer semester. Despite this substantial curriculum and
workload, he maintained an exceptional GPA of 3.9 throughout the
academic year. Petty Officer Himes expertly balanced the competing
demands of his school work and Coast Guard duties. During the 2020
academic year he deployed for 30 days to respond to a major maritime
incident, earned two new qualifications, and helped six other
members earn required qualifications. Most impressively, Petty
Officer Himes directly transferred classroom knowledge to the field
by becoming qualified as an Incident Command System Environmental
Unit Leader, responding to critical pollution cases, and applying a
greater understanding of the array of environmental concerns
regarding pollution impacting federal waterways. In addition to
serving the Coast Guard, Petty Officer Himes devotes a large amount
of his time and effort giving back to the community. For the last
three years, Petty Officer Himes has volunteered at a therapeutic
horse-riding farm dedicated to helping children with special needs.
5. POC: Dr. Donna Duellberg at: or
(202) 475-5486. Please refer to your local ESO for field level
6. I applaud the efforts of Ms. Vining, CPO Loeven, BM1 Smith and
MST3 Himes. BZ!
7. Dr. Gladys Brignoni, Director, Force Readiness Command (FC-C),
8. Internet release is authorized.