Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: Petty Officer 1st Class Ann Marie Borkowski, MSU Chicago

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Ann Marie Borkowski, native to Burlington, N.J., is a Marine Science Technician currently station at Marine Safety Unit Chicago, in Willowbrook, Ill., as the Response Division supervisor. Reporting to MSU Chicago, July 2011, Borkowski has previously served at Station Cape Cod, in Chatham, Mass., and Sector New York.

Borkowski serves as an excellent source of institutional knowledge and channels strategic vision into concrete plans of action at MSU Chicago, leading her division in pollution response incidents. With her diverse back ground in marine safety and strong experience of enforcement she quickly led the response to a pipeline rupture which released over 29,000 gallons of jet fuel into the Cal Sag Channel, a critical waterway in Illinois. A versatile team player she seamlessly coordinated with the U.S. Enviromental Protection Agency to develop a unified on-scene command, conducted shore and water-side assessments, and identified environmental impact recommendations which streamlined response efforts.

“She is a true professional with a tenacious appetite for challenging assignments,” said Ensign Jacob Aulner, Chief of Facilities and Response. She also served as the Coast Guard pollution response subject matter expert on the Greater Chicago EPA Sub-Committee which served to redefine Sector Lake Michigan Captain of the Port jurisdiction and established a comprehensive contingency plan to oversee maritime transportation facilities and vessels in the port.

Dedicated to workforce diversity, Borkowski coordinated a Women’s History Observance inviting Dr. Heidi Kraft, retired U.S. Navy leutenant commander, to speak about women in the military. Kraft is an established war psychiatrist and nationally recognized author who lectured the unit on the hardships and challenges of being a woman deployed to a war zone with captivating accounts of serving in Iraq as a combat clinical psychologist and mother of young children.

Borkowski was selected as the Deputy of Ground Operations during the Bicentennial Celebration of the War of 1812 at Chicago’s Historic Navy Pier, an event of national significance. During the seven day event, she skillfully liaised with the Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay and Coast Guard Historic Ships Company, coordinating tours for over 15,000 spectators. Drawing on an arsenal of resources, Borkowski directed crowd control and tour queue for 2,200 visitors to see the coveted Coast Guard Silent Drill Team and managed 15 Auxiliary members providing boating and waterways safety education outreach with the goal of increasing the proper use of personal floatation devices.

A selfless humanitarian, she also organized a unit volunteer day at the West Suburban Food Pantry in Woodridge, Ill., re-stocking food which provides sustenance to over 45,000 people in 2012. “MST1 Borkowski’s contributions are invaluable to the unit’s mission of upholding the core values of the Coast Guard”, said Cmdr. Jason Neubauer, commanding officer at MSU Chicago.

Borkowski is diligently working towards advancement to Chief Petty Officer and aspires to earn a commission to Chief Warrant Officer. A dedicated servicewoman, Borkowski is a role model for success in the Coast Guard.

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