A day in the life of the commandant (in Cleveland)

Photo of retirement ceremony

Linville (right) laughs as Papp shares a funny story from his time working with her. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley)

Coast Guardsmen in Cleveland had a rare opportunity Thursday to meet their leader, Adm. Robert Papp, the 24th commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Papp came to Cleveland to attend a friend’s retirement ceremony and used the opportunity to meet with shipmates, industry partners and the media, and to see several ongoing projects.

Papp’s former assistant and close personal friend, Sue Linville, retired after 43 years of federal service during a formal ceremony Friday morning. Papp spoke fondly about their time working together and shared several stories from time he spent with Linville while he was the 9th District commander.

Photo of All Hands presentation

Papp asks Cleveland Coast Guardsmen a question during the "All Hands" presentation. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley)

Then all the Coast Guardsmen from the Cleveland area units gathered together for an “All Hands” presentation where Papp thanked several members for their accomplishments, briefed his shipmates on the status of various Coast Guard-wide projects, and answered numerous questions.

“This was a great opportunity for various operational units, like my own, to have a direct line of communication with the head of the Coast Guard,” said Lt. j.g. Sara Cahill of Marine Safety Unit Cleveland. “It gave us a chance to discuss openly the mission capabilities and constraints at all levels, which creates a more cohesive environment for everyone.”

Following the “All Hands” Papp met with a local television station reporter to provide an interview about the Coast Guard.

Photo of television interview

Papp provides an interview for a Cleveland television station. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Kyle Niemi)

He was then briefed on the status of two ongoing construction projects. Watchstanders in the 9th District command center showed off the nearly complete renovations and updates to their space, and Papp was able to see the brand new Coast Guard facility being built at the Cleveland moorings to replace several existing buildings there.

Photo of commandant viewing construction rendering

Papp (second from right), alongside 9th District Commander Rear Adm. Michael Parks (second from left) and Director of Strategic Management and Doctrine Rear Adm. Peter Neffenger (right), looks at an artist rendering of the new Coast Guard facility at the Cleveland moorings. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley)

His trip also allowed for an ever-important visit with industry partner Great Lakes Towing. Such visits help Coast Guard senior leaders better understand the complexities involved with the services these companies provide, and help to maintain excellent working relationships.

Papp wrapped up his day Thursday evening at the 9th District commander’s quarters attending a gathering with 9th District senior leadership. From there he continued on to California to participate in a commissioning ceremony for the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton with First Lady Michelle Obama.