ISS3 2013

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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CwOY Award earned by Baltimore Reservist When Chief Warrant Officer Shannon Beshears joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1989 at the age of 18, he set a goal to work diligently until he achieved the rank of chief warrant officer. Beshears, who is currently the Sector Baltimore Reserve Vessel Boarding Security Team (VBST) assistant chief, accomplished this long sought-after goal when he was selected to become a chief warrant officer in 2010. Not only did Beshears achieve his goal, but he surpassed it by being distinguished as the 2012 Reserve Chief Warrant Officer of the Year. He will receive the award during the 2013 Reserve Officers Association National Symposium to be held in Washington, D.C. in August. In addition, he was also nominated as the Coast Guard Reserve nominee for the 2013 CWO Michael J. Novosel Outstanding Warrant Officer of the Year award. "Out of the 8,100 reservists we have in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, and the warrant corps that's contained within that population, he has distinguished himself as being the best and is going to represent the U.S. Coast Guard across all services when he gets recognized in August," said Capt. Craig Henzel, Senior Reserve Officer at Sector Baltimore. Beshears was honored for his outstanding dedication and service to the fleet, his exceptional leadership skills, outstanding tactical and strategic planning and execution of operations, said Henzel. He was also recognized for his ability to ensure the 26 members of the VBST whom he oversees are attaining their job-specific competency and met all deployment requirements. His outstanding operational expertise and experience has shaped his ability to develop team members, added Henzel. Beshears is also recognized for his support of the VBST's philanthropic efforts. Through adjusting operational assignments and personnel he helped make it possible for members of the VBST to volunteer for several activities including the Homes for Our Troops Build Brigade event on Maryland's Eastern Shore. "We fully support anything we can do to help the community, especially wounded veterans," said Beshears. When not working behind the scenes ensuring the VBST members are safely accomplishing their training requirements, Beshears enjoys the opportunity to get underway and work side-by-side with the VBST members performing a multitude of operations. "We have a like mindset – we all understand where each other is coming from," said Beshears. "It helps to build pretty good team camaraderie being that most of us, on the civilian side, are in law enforcement." Beshears, a native of Memphis, Tenn., Chief Warrant offcer Shannon Beshears receives the 2012 Reserve CWo of the Year plaque from Vice adm. Manson Brown and Rear admiral Steven day at the annual awards Banquet of the Reserve offcer's association in Washington, d.C. Photo by Lt. Cmdr. Melissa Ransom 10 RESERVIST � Issue 3 • 2013 presently works for the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General as a special agent in Houston, Texas, where he resides with his wife. He is also the proud father to a young daughter. Beshears has a focused commitment to the Coast Guard, said Henzel. He noted that Beshears travels a far distance for drill weekends - flying in from Houston to Baltimore at his own expense - while always having a smile and a positive attitude. Beshears attributes his achievements through setting a goal and sticking to it, even during the challenging times when the path to success was not always easy to determine. "Sometimes things tend to beat you down, or you become aggravated," said Beshears. "Keep your eye on the ball – look past the bumps in the road. One thing about the Coast Guard that I've found is that if you put forth effort, you do what you're supposed to do and play by the rules – you'll be rewarded for it." Earlier in his career, Beshears acknowledged the fact that chief warrant officers have a special place within the Coast Guard organization. He saw their ability to interact with senior officers while also seamlessly helping non-rates satisfy their qualifications. After initially serving five years of active duty, Beshears spent 15 years as a police officer with the Hornlake (Miss.) Police Department. While there, Beshears joined Port Security Unit 308, in Gulfport, Miss. Hewas selected as an Investigative Service reserve agent following a 2002 deployment to the Persian Gulf. He later spent several years as a civilian member of the Coast Guard Investigative Service office in the Savannah, Ga. Beshears has amassed a plethora of memories of the people he's served with and the places he's been over the length of his career. "I've been in the Coast Guard for a long time, and I've done a lot of fun and different stuff," said Beshears. "When I finally do retire and I hang that plaque [2012 Reserve Chief Warrant Officer of the Year] on the wall of my man cave, it'll reinforce all of the good memories of all the people I've met and things I've done. It's been a pretty wild ride." — Story by PA3 Lisa Ferdinando

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