Reservist

ISS1 2016

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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Sector Corpus Christi Holds Joint Reserve Retirement Ceremony On August 8, 2015, Sector Corpus Christi conducted a Joint Reserve Retirement ceremony for five remarkable shipmates who collectively served our country for over 130 years. MEC Sean Arndt, HSC Daniel Hernandez, Jr., YNC Britt Johnson, ME2 Jose Pacheco and MKC Weldon Wright were honored during a formal ceremony attended by over 150 Reserve and Active Duty forces, retired military guests, close friends and family members. Captain Tony Hahn, Commander, Sector Corpus Christi, served as the Presiding Official and guest speakers included Chaplain Ken Espinosa, CDR Jill Lumpkin (Senior Reserve Officer), MSTCM Lonnie Evans (Reserve Command Master Chief), and YNCM Melissa Sharer (former Sector Corpus Christi reserve member currently assigned to Director of Operational Logistics, Reserve Force Readiness Division (DOL-1)). Commander Lumpkin's remarks painted the Coast Guard's historical landscape encompassing nearly three decades, and outlined the many challenges, mission requirements, and organizational changes that our service has undergone as we responded to emerging threats and engaged in wartime theaters of operation. For example, the retirees all enlisted in the military between 1986-1989 and experienced many remarkable events during their careers that spanned five U.S. Presidencies, seven Secretaries of Transportation, four Secretaries of Homeland Security and eight Coast Guard Commandants. They witnessed the horrific and surreal events on September 11, 2001, when our nation came under attack, and all of them were activated under Title X orders to defend our nation. Some of them are plank-owners of Marine Safety and Security Team 91104 that was formed in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and many of them served for multiple years conducting military out- load (MOL) operations and Ports and Waterways Coastal Security (PWCS) missions in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. The retiring members responded to numerous natural disasters including the Oakland Firestorms in 1991, Hurricane GEORGES in 1998, Hurricanes KATRINA and RITA in 2005 and the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill in 2010. They supported humanitarian and peacekeeping missions including Operation ABLE MANNER and Operation SECURE TOMORROW. They served during times of war including Operation DESERT STORM in the early 1990s and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM just over a decade later, and they secured our border by integrating with our federal, state, and local partners in law enforcement missions along the Southwest Border during Operation SEA SERPENT. The retirement ceremony also highlighted each member's career milestones and contributions, culminating with Captain Hahn presenting the retirees with personal awards in recognition of their achievements while stationed at Sector Corpus Christi. Each member addressed the audience to reflect on their experiences, impart wisdom and encourage the junior enlisted members, and thank their families for the sacrifices they made throughout the years in support of their chosen military service. There was plenty of laughter and tears on both sides of the podium, as the retiring members said their farewells. In honor of their faithful military service, the command presented each retiring member with a beautiful cotton Texas State flag flown over the Capitol city of Austin on the Fourth of July. In appreciation for their leadership and friendship, the crew presented each retiree with a handsome plaque, designed and hand-crafted by the Reserve Engineering "Tiger Team". The plaques were carved in the shape of Texas from oak to symbolize the strength and grace of the mighty oak tree that weathers many storms and seasons, just as our retirees faced many challenges and uncertainties throughout their military service. Each member's career is unique and seasoned with multiple layers of experiences, duty stations, mission sets, platform types, deployments, mobilizations, training opportunities, leadership influences, tough breaks, and a few lucky ones, too. Some members were prior service (U.S. Navy and Missouri Army National Guard); some were prior active duty; some were instructors at training commands, and some survived a rate-merger half-way through their careers (Port Security Specialist rating was disestablished and merged with the newly formed Maritime Law Enforcement Specialist). Despite all of the variances in their military journeys, they all have one thing very much in common: when asked what they would remember the most about their military service, they unanimously responded that they will always remember the people more than any mission or platform or duty. They will remember their shipmates and cherish the camaraderie they felt with their military family, and they seemed to understand that the friendships formed and galvanized within the military community can never be replicated in the civilian environment. As we wish our retiring shipmates "Fair Winds and Following Seas" and recognize their years of service to our great nation, it may be comforting to look around the Coast Guard today, at the next generation of leaders, already woven into our fabric, trained and prepared for the mission, dedicated and committed to military service, and ready to lead from the front. Ronald Reagan once said "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." Shipmates, we have the Watch, for we are "Semper Paratus." — Story by Cmdr. Jill Lumpkin, Photo courtesy of YN2 Katie Benson MeC Sean arndt, HSC daniel Hernandez, Jr., YnC Britt Johnson, Me2 Jose Pacheco and MKC Weldon Wright were honored during a formal ceremony attended by over 150 Reserve and active duty forces, retired military guests, close friends and family members. Issue 1 • 2016 � RESERVIST 19

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