Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: MK2 Alex McGarry, Station Ludington, Mich.

Petty Officer Alex McGarry reviews engine work completed by one of the Station Ludington's junior members. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Alex McGarry reviews engine work completed by one of the Station Ludington’s junior members.
U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Alex McGarry, a native of Newaygo, Michigan, enlisted in the Coast Guard in 2007. Upon graduating from boot camp, he was assigned to Station St. Ignace, Michigan, where he earned his rating as a machinery technician through an on the job training process called striking. Following his advancement to petty officer 3rd class, McGarry was assigned to Coast Guard Cutter Dorado, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Crescent City, California, where he furthered his knowledge of his rating and developed his leadership skills. After completing his underway tour, McGarry was transferred to his current duty assignment, Station Ludington, Michigan, in 2012.Immediately upon reporting to the station, McGarry began to exert a positive influence among his shipmates. He quickly earned the requisite certifications of his assignment and mastered his duties including officer of the day, boarding officer, ice rescue team leader/instructor and law enforcement petty officer. Additionally, he selflessly volunteers time and again to serve as a mentor to new crew members and boat crew candidates seeking certification. He possesses a calm demeanor and takes ownership of his shipmates’ training, developing a strong group of professional Coast Guard boat crewmembers.

“McGarry is very motivated to accomplish any task regardless of perceived roadblocks to success,” said fellow engineer Petty Officer 3rd Class Joe Martinez.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Alex McGarry verifies that all of the units ice rescue equipment remains ready to go at a moment's notice. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Alex McGarry verifies that all of the units ice rescue equipment remains ready to go at a moment’s notice.
U.S. Coast Guard photo.

McGarry’s engineering knowledge and expertise is second to none. As the station’s assistant engineer petty officer, he has worked tirelessly to ensure that the unit’s assets are well maintained and mission ready. He has also played a major role in repairing and renovating the unit’s housing so that it could be divested from the Coast Guard. He was able to save time and money by making several major repairs to the housing unit, including repairing flood damage, several burst pipes and the removal of flood damaged flooring. McGarry also played in instrumental role in the development and renovation of the unit’s unused attic space, which is now home to a ping pong table and rest and relaxation area that boosted morale.Besides his role as an outstanding and very professional member of Station Ludington, McGarry’s empathy and caring for his fellow shipmates further defines the positive impact that he has made. McGarry can often be found in the unit’s garage during his off-duty personal time helping a shipmate work on their car, truck, motorcycle or ATV. He recently helped several shipmates who had major breakdowns of their vehicles. McGarry was able to correctly troubleshoot the problem, help the member order the correct parts and repair the member’s vehicles saving them thousands of dollars in repair bills.

“His can do attitude is contagious and he is as shipmate I can always count on to get the job done right,” said Chief Petty Officer Mark Szoboszlay, Station Ludington’s officer in charge.

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