ISS4 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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Reserve pilots I enjoyed the article in the last Reservist, "An Office in the Clouds." I went to OCS in 1979 with the hope of getting into Coast Guard aviation, but my imperfect vision vanished that quest. Since I was already a commercial rated civilian pilot, I was able to still work in aviation in my off-duty time as a flight instructor at the local airport. When my active duty obligation ended, I was fortunate to secure a job as a law enforcement pilot with the Florida Marine Patrol in 1982. I continued my Coast Guard career as a reservist with most of my duty time at Reserve Unit MSO Tampa. I retired from the Reserve in 1999 and from the state of Florida in 2012. I look back on both of my careers with pride and consider myself lucky to have served with so many great people in both professions. Lt. Cmdr. John Murphy USCGR, retired I was wondering if you would be doing another round of civilian pilots in a future magazine. We have a BM1, Joseph Toomey, at PSU 301 who is a pilot for Delta. Before joining 301, he was at PSU 307. While a BM3 at 307, his full-time job was training Coast Guard pilots at Air Station Clearwater as a contractor. Petty Officer 3rd Class Colby Heywood PSU 301 Thanks for the notes! When I started writing that story, pilots came out of the woodwork—everyone seemed to know a reservist who had a pilot's license. Now, I focused on three for the sake of brevity, but I could have gone on. One guy I heard about worked for Amazon, others were hobbyists, but most worked for airlines, like Petty Officer Toomey. (Training pilots as a BM3, whoa. It's amazing what a person is capable of when no one cares what rank he is, huh?) Being a pilot is hard enough, but to tack on a completely separate military career (with boat hours and qualifications to maintain)? That's the embodiment of commitment to service. The people of the Coast Guard Reserve are rare and extremely talented, but they hate talking about themselves, which may be why we never hear about how many pilots we have among us. Belated thank you After reading "Putting People First" about Rear Adm. Francis "Stash" Pelkowski, I texted Lt. Laura Gilbert congratulating her since Laura and I served together at Baltimore MSU shortly before she accepted ADOS orders in 2016. I've never written a letter to The Reservist but decided too upon learning of the passing of Senator John McCain. The crew of Baltimore MSU presented me at my 2016 retirement a shadow box with all my dad's medals and insignia from his time serving two tours in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot. My dad championed the return of POWs and MIAs as commander of the VFW in Tillson, N.Y., once home. I can remember while in second grade watching my Dad's presentations at the VFW leading efforts that they never be forgotten. I also watched the MSU crew re-fold my Dad's burial flag in a solemn manner before being placed in the shadow box Chief Petty Officer MacNamee assembled. That was a very turbulent time in America's history, and I learned from his example to always give your very best for those your responsible for and to never leave anyone behind. I know his efforts contributed to securing the release of heroes like Senator John McCain and Senator Jeremiah Denton. I'm honored Rear Adm. Michael Haycock attended my retirement, that Capt. Douglas Schofield was my guest speaker, and that Cmdr. Jamie Brackett and Lt. Cmdr. Luke Spurrier along with ALD leadership and MSU crew organized such a spectacular day for my family to enjoy – you all definitely "PUT PEOPLE FIRST." Thanks! LCDR Bill Stets USCGR, retired Lt. Cmdr. John Murphy, a retired Coast Guard reservist, stands in front of his Florida Marine Patrol sea-plane. Issue 4 • 2018 � RESERVIST 3

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