Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Hieter, Marine Safety Unit Duluth, Minn.

Marine Safety Unit (MSU) Duluth consists of 27 active duty, reserve and civilian personnel, assigned to four departments including: port operations, inspections, investigations and administration.  The Port of Duluth, Minn. is located on the far western end of Lake Superior and together with Superior, Wisconsin, form the Twin Ports, the largest freshwater port in the world. 

Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel (Dan) Hieter, a marine science technician assigned to MSU Duluth is originally from New Tripoli, in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.  He enlisted into the Coast Guard in 2004 and was assigned to Station Rockland Maine after completing recruit basic training.  He attended Marine Science Technician “A” School in 2007, receiving orders to Sector Northern New England upon graduation.  While assigned there, he worked in Port State Control and Commercial Fishing Vessel Examinations.

Petty Officer Heiter observes damage caused by floodwaters.

Petty Officer Heiter observes damage caused by floodwaters.

Hieter reported to MSU Duluth in June of 2011.  He is one of the lead Port State Control Petty Officers, charged with performing many of the examinations on the ‘Salties,’ foreign flagged grain and bulk solid vessels that frequent the Twin Ports.  His duties also include pollution response and assistant unit safety petty officer.  As the assistant unit safety petty officer, he led an effort to update all unit safety equipment and maintenance procedures.  In addition to his regular duties, Hieter has worked extensively to further his own knowledge, complete 90 Skillsoft training modules, various class “C” schools and a multitude of online training.

“Hieter is the kind of shipmate everyone wants in their corner,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Derek Franklin. “He is a silent professional that always shows

Winter in Duluth offers the unique opportunity of ice fishing. Here, Heiter shows off a yellow perch caught through the ice.

Winter in Duluth offers the unique opportunity of ice fishing. Here, Heiter shows off a yellow perch caught through the ice.

up early ready to go at a moment’s notice.”

 Hieter’s efforts reach beyond the daily activities at the MSU as well, benefiting the Coast Guard as well as the local community.  He is an important force in unit morale, participating in morale meetings and scheduling sports days.  Hieter represented the MSU last summer, working with local units to plan and conduct a Duluth area Coast Guard Day celebration.  He taught hundreds of local students about the Coast Guard’s roles and responsibilities during oil spills as part of the River Quest Program. Hieter has also made significant contributions to the outreach effort to the commercial and tribal fishing industries in the area.   

Whether it’s training and maintenance on a type of personal protective equipment or just bragging about who had the biggest catch while ice fishing over the weekend, Hieter is involved in every aspect of the unit’s missions and morale. Being an avid outdoorsman, he makes sure that new members of the MSU, especially those coming from warmer environments, learn the tips and tricks to staying safe and warm while fishing for some keeper walleyes and hunting for elusive trophy bucks if they’re so inclined.

“Like many of the members of the U.S. Coast Guard who entered our service after 9/11, Petty Officer Hieter is strongly committed to mission accomplishment and strives to serve the American public whenever and however he can.  He is one of the many Coast Guardsman who epitomize the best and the brightest of his generation,” said the Commanding Officer of MSU Duluth, Cmdr. K. R. Bryan.

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