Reservist

ISS2 2017

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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Rese R vist Magazine Reti R ee sit R ep Late Night TV Ad Leads to Long and Impactful Career Story by PA2 Michael Himes, 1st District Public Affairs South Public Affairs Senior Chief Petty Officer Marguerite DeMartino formally retired after 27 years of service to the Coast Guard in front of family, friends and colleagues during a ceremony at Public Affairs Detachment Office New York on Saturday, March 5, 2017. Capt. Howard Wright, Chief, Office of Public Affairs (CG-0922), Public Affairs Rating Force Master Chief Petty Officer Mike Hvozda and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Reserve Jeff Smith (ret.) offered thoughtful remarks on her leadership, impact and legacy. Senior Chief DeMartino recounted her operational highlights and insight gained as a Public Affairs Specialist and senior enlisted workforce leader during a career that witnessed sweeping changes to the public affairs rating and the Coast Guard as a whole. "When I was in my early 30s, I saw a Coast Guard ad on TV very late at night with people working in helicopters and I thought, 'I want to do that!'" Shortly after, in August 1989, DeMartino enlisted and pursued her dream to fly. Armed with a degree in writing, she parlayed her professional experience into the Public Affairs Specialist rating and joined Public Affairs Detachment Office New York at Governor's Island, N.Y., while also riding along with aviation teams out of the Coast Guard's Brooklyn Air Station at every available opportunity. She recalled wise words from an early mentor. "Always work on advancing and never stop moving forward." Heeding this direction, she qualified for Chief Petty Officer in 1994, after only five years in the Reserve. One needs exceptional focus and drive to move at an exceptional pace within the workforce; Senior Chief DeMartino expressed these qualities naturally. From the Deepwater Horizon disaster, TWA Flight 800, the private plane crash of John F. Kennedy, Jr. and the terror attacks of September 11, DeMartino responded to many high profile public affairs missions throughout her career. "Nothing prepares you for something like 9/11," she recounted. "We worked around the clock for weeks covering the rescue and recovery of first responders, as well as, helped local and national media gain access to the world trade center site, all while grieving and taking care of our own co- workers and families; that is why training and being prepared for anything is so important." She also remembered the many inspiring opportunities that marked her career, notably getting underway with the Coast Guard Cutter DALLAS for two weeks in the Gulf of Mexico before the ship was decommissioned. "The move to digital media changed everything for us," she noted. "It used to take so long to get messages and images out and now the demand for news is instantaneous and we can deliver it just as fast if necessary. Social media took the shift to a whole new level for Public Affairs Specialists." Her passion for professional development is her ultimate legacy. "I've always been a firm believer in having tools for your tool belt. Get qualified and get out in the field. That's what being a PA is all about. Helping people develop their careers and seeing them move up and take on new challenges is what I will miss the most." Senior Chief DeMartino took on the duty of Reserve Force Program Manager for the public affairs rating, a job usually filled by a Master Chief, in the final two years of her career. "I wanted to really go out with a bang!" She did, earning two Coast Guard Commendation Medals for her service at Coast Guard Headquarters and for playing a critical role in the public affairs mission for the 75th Anniversary of the Coast Guard Reserve. "I am glad to have my weekends back, but I will miss the Coast Guard dearly." On behalf of all the careers you have touched, Senior Chief, you too will be missed. Bravo Zulu. o fficial photo of Senior Chief Petty o fficer Marguerite d eMartino. "Always help the people under you to develop their careers and encourage them to excel and advance. That is my legacy and the legacy each senior enlisted leader should strive for," she remarked when asked about the role of a leader in the Coast Guard work force. 42 RESERVIST � Issue 2 • 2017

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