Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: Fireman Justin Zita, Coast Guard Station Wilmette Harbor, Ill.

Fireman Zita prepares to lead a unit physical fitness session. US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Kraft.

Fireman Zita prepares to lead a unit physical fitness session.
US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Kraft.

Coast Guard Fireman Justin Zita, a Darien, Illinois-native, joined the Coast Guard in December 2010.He is currently stationed at Coast Guard Station Wilmette Harbor, Illinois, where his duties include boat crewman, boarding team member and unit health promotion coordinator.Previously he was assigned to Coast Guard Cutters Key Biscayne, homported in Key West, Florida, and Frank Dew, homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia, and Air Stations Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Since arriving at Wilmette Harbor in November 2013, Zita has played a crucial role in the accomplishment of the station’s goals. As a member of the engineering department, Zita’s hard work and dedication was pivotal in the complete overhaul of the unit’s engineering shop.

Zita has a passion for physical fitness. This passion, paired with his energetic attitude, led to an easy transition into the role of unit health promotion coordinator. Zita seized the opportunity to share his knowledge with his co-workers and helped beef up the station’s physical fitness program. He created multiple comprehensive fitness routines that catered to his shipmates needs. The significant positive effect of these added workouts was evident in the unit’s recent semi-annual fitness test.

Competing in his first triathlon, Zita finished 562 out of 2,708 participants completing a one-mile swim, 26-mile bike ride, and six-mile run in 2 hours and 48 minutes.

Fireman Zita installs a new Carmanah light while aboard Coast Guard Cutter Frank Drew. US Coast GUard photo by Petty Officer First Class Adam Kraft

Fireman Zita installs a new Carmanah light while aboard Coast Guard Cutter Frank Drew.
US Coast GUard photo by Petty Officer First Class Adam Kraft

Zita’s dedication to the unit’s readiness and ice rescue mission was on full display as he trained and studied tirelessly in an effort to obtain his ice rescuer certification. After an in-depth board and check ride, Zita’s efforts were rewarded when he obtained this certification. His accomplishment was vital to the unit, as many of its ice rescuers departed during the summer of 2014. Due to Zita’s dedication and hard work, Station Wilmette harbor was able to maintain its ice rescue readiness.

 

 

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