GUEST POST: Vice Adm. Currier visits Air Station Traverse City

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Today’s guest post is brought to you by Cmdr. Jonathan Spaner, Commanding Officer, Air Station Traverse City.

Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich. was honored to host the Coast Guard’s Chief of Staff, Vice Adm. John Currier, for an exceptional visit March 18, 2010. The day started with Vice Adm. Currier and I conducting interviews about the Coast Guard on the Mary in the Morning Show and the Ron Jolly Show. Vice Adm. Currier then discussed his career and perspectives on education and social responsibility at the Air Station’s adopted school, Traverse Heights Elementary. The students asked many questions and the event was covered by local CBS and NBC television affiliates.

Following the elementary school visit, Vice Adm. Currier conducted an official visit of the Air Station. Air Station department heads and I briefed Vice Adm. Currier on the base and operations, with a focus on current Red River flood operations and the unit’s citizenship initiatives. Vice Adm. Currier then gave coins to several high performing enlisted members from every air station department and conducted an all hands forum. The Air Station visit culminated with a presentation and launch of the unit’s new National Graduate School cohort campus. Through this program, 10 officer and enlisted members at the unit will earn Master’s Degrees over the next 12 months. Dr. Robert McManus, NGS Vice President for Student Services, spoke to the unit and presented a plaque to launch the campus.

Vice Adm. Currier then moved on to the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City to keynote a major affinity forum for women leaders in Northern Michigan. Marigold – “Women in Business” is a large women’s membership alliance based in Traverse City. Through a monthly program entitled “Marigold over Lunch,” the group makes educational visits to businesses and government organizations to learn more about their community and surroundings. There are some 3,000 Marigold members and participants, and their events are well publicized throughout northern Michigan. This was their first Coast Guard event.

In their own words, Marigold “is about relationships with and between professional women and female entrepreneurs. Marigold inspires, informs, connects and celebrates northern Michigan women in business. Over 2,000 people subscribe to Marigold’s free weekly E-Newsletter. Nearly 3,000 people attend Marigold events each year. The radio broadcast arm of Marigold, 106.7 YOU-FM, reaches over 12,500 people each day.” Several crewmembers and spouses from Air Stations Traverse City and Detroit also attended the event.

Vice Adm. Currier provided an update to the group on Coast Guard operations in Haiti, addressed Coast Guard priorities including port and cargo security, discussed Department of Homeland Security priorities and addressed Coast Guard diversity imperatives and career options. The event concluded with a question and answer session. At the end of the event, Marigold presented the Coast Guard with $500 for the Air Station Sacramento morale fund in memory of C-130 crewmembers lost in October of 2009.

In the evening, Vice Adm. Currier attended a dinner with 50 community leaders, including State representatives, city officials, media executives and “on air” personalities, and leaders of many organizations including the Presidents of the Traverse City Rotary and Chamber of Commerce. Both Vice Adm. Currier and I spoke to the group and thanked them for their support of the Coast Guard and Air Station Traverse City. The Air Station’s Ombudsman, Mrs. Angela Crawford, was also acknowledged for her exceptional devotion to the Coast Guard and community during the event.

In total, it was a busy but exciting day for everyone involved among the Air Station and community. We are grateful to have hosted Vice Adm. Currier and appreciate the efforts of all who made it a success.