Reservist

ISS3 2018

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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Petty Officer 1st Class Jeff Melitski receives his award from First District Commander, Rear Adm. Steven Poulin. Issue 3 • 2018 � RESERVIST 23 U . S . C O A S T G U A R D R E S E R V E E N L I S T E D P E R S O N O F T H E Y E A R : M E 1 J E F F P. M E L I T S K I The Coast Guard prides itself on honor, respect and devotion to duty for the men and women in its ranks. Once a year, a member of the Coast Guard is selected as the top performer in the service for the both the active duty and the Reserve component through the enlisted person of the year program. For 2017, the Coast Guard recently selected New Jersey native Petty Officer 1st Class Jeff P. Melitski as the Reserve Enlisted Person of the Year. Melitski, a maritime enforcement specialist assigned to the Enforcement Division at Sector New York, was recognized for being among the first reservists to volunteer for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. During his deployment to the Seventh and Eighth Coast Guard Districts, Melitski displayed outstanding courage when he used his skills as an EMT to assist in the rescue of a late-term and high-risk pregnant patient. Melitski overcame scarce resources and limited time to obtain the essential medical equipment necessary for the rescue. His quick action and experience led to the safe transfer of both the patient and unborn child when they were airlifted from Borinquen, Puerto Rico, to Miami. However, rescuing this soon-to-be mother in hurricane- ravaged Puerto Rico was not the first time Melitski demonstrated his true character. In December 2017, he displayed additional courage when he noticed fire coming from his neighbor's house. Melitski ran into the smoke-filled home and immediately assisted with the safe evacuation of the elderly resident. In his spare time (when he is not running to the rescue of a person in need) Melitski serves as a role model to his peers and embodies the Coast Guard's core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty in the community. This includes contributing over 200 hours to philanthropic causes like the Police Association Survivor and Widows Fund, Toys for Tots and the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program. During his off-hours in the community, Melitski can be found volunteering his time coaching local youth football and baseball. He also completed his masters degree in 2017. Nineteen years ago, Melitski reached one of his lifelong dreams when he became a police officer. He wanted to do something good whether it was defending the peace or helping those in a moment of need. However, Melitski also had another lifelong dream in wanting to serve not only his community but to serve his country. Just shy of his 39th birthday, Melitski found himself fulfilling this desire to serve when he arrived at Cape May as the oldest male recruit at the time. "So much fulfillment has come from being a member in the Coast Guard with the many talented individuals in this service," said Melitski. "Being able to be part of something bigger than oneself is a tremendous honor in being able to serve this country." Melitski was recognized for his dedication to service and country as a Coast Guard reservist during an enlisted person of the year ceremony April 18 at the same place he began his Coast Guard journey in Cape May, N.J. Selection is based on display of pride, professionalism, and dedication of Coast Guard core values and is decided on annually by a panel of master chief petty officers, led by the master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard. As a result of being recognized as the Coast Guard Reserve Enlisted Person of the Year, Melitski also received a field promotion to petty officer first class during the ceremony. Through his dedication and professionalism, Melitski serves as a role model to his peers and embodies the Coast Guard's core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty. � — Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Hunter Medley

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