Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: BM2 Alfonso Salinas, Station Muskegon, Mich.

Coast Guard Station Muskegon, Mich., situated on the East Coast of Lake Michigan, conducts a wide array of Coast Guard missions, ranging from search and rescue, enforcement of laws and treaties, to maintaining aids to navigation. The station is responsible for maintaining 159 federal aids and 100 private aids in their area of responsibility.  The responsibility of ensuring that Station Muskegon delivers a high quality level of service in each of its missions falls on the men and women stationed there. One of these dedicated individuals is Petty Officer 2nd Class Alfonso Salinas. Salinas, a boatswain’s mate, joined the Coast Guard in 2008 and upon completion of recruit basic training received orders to Station Muskegon.  He is currently assigned as the assistant ATON petty officer at the station.  His primary duties include serving as the integrated aids to navigation information system petty officer as well as rigging and battery petty officer.  Additionally, Salinas is certified as a coxswain on the station’s various small boats, boarding officer, ice rescue team leader and officer-of-the-day.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Alphonso Salinas, of Coast Guard Station Muskegon, Mich., services the Point Superior Light 7 on Lake Macatawa near Holland, Mich., June 13, 2013. Salinas has been named the Coast Guard 9th District's Shipmate of the Week for his exemplary efforts as a member of the station and community in Muskegon. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Hermes

Petty Officer 2nd Class Alphonso Salinas, of Coast Guard Station Muskegon, Mich., services the Point Superior Light 7 on Lake Macatawa near Holland, Mich., June 13, 2013. Salinas has been named the Coast Guard 9th District’s Shipmate of the Week for his exemplary efforts as a member of the station and community in Muskegon. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Hermes

Salinas flawlessly performs his duties of ensuring that the ATON is serviced, documented and left watching properly.  Due to his acute attention to detail, Station Muskegon has received zero discrepancies due to technician error this year. Never one to settle with contributing the bare minimum, Salinas often volunteers to bolster the duty section rotation, serving as coxswain, OOD and boarding officer so that others can take leave, attend schools, etc.  He also lends his knowledge and experience to his shipmates by training everyone from the officer-in-charge to the newest non-rated member in ATON and boat crew duties.  Above all, Salinas’ high level of motivation and enthusiasm for all aspects of life at Station Muskegon is infectious and inspires his peers.

“Salinas is always looking to help others, and he always has a smile on his face,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Donald Miterko, officer-in-charge, Station Muskegon.  “It’s a pleasure to work with him because of his attitude toward his shipmates and life in general.” 

Petty Officer 2nd Class Alphonso Salinas, of Coast Guard Station Muskegon, Mich., stands on the station's 26-foot Trailerable Aids to Navigation Boat, as the boat crew pulls the red buoy 6 from the Grand River, Oct. 29, 2013. Salinas has been named the Coast Guard 9th District's Shipmate of the Week for his exemplary efforts as a member of the station and community in Muskegon. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Hermes

Petty Officer 2nd Class Alphonso Salinas, of Coast Guard Station Muskegon, Mich., stands on the station’s 26-foot Trailerable Aids to Navigation Boat, as the boat crew pulls the red buoy 6 from the Grand River, Oct. 29, 2013. Salinas has been named the Coast Guard 9th District’s Shipmate of the Week for his exemplary efforts as a member of the station and community in Muskegon. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Hermes

Salinas always puts his shipmates first and makes time in his busy day to help fellow Coast Guardsmen with boat-crew certification or working toward advancement.  Off duty he has been actively pursuing a bachelor’s degree and has helped other crew members with online class work and signing up for tuition assistance and financial aid.  When not working, Salinas enjoys spending time with his family and trying new activities at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, coaching the station softball team and quarterbacking team Muskegon to second place at the annual Grand Haven flag-football tournament.

“Alfie is pretty much the coolest,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jeff Pullins. “He can do it all. One day he is a boarding officer and standing a SAR watch, and the next he is climbing lighthouses or throwing touchdown passes.”

Salinas has been instrumental in the overall success of all missions performed by Station Muskegon. He is an outstanding shipmate who proves daily to be a valuable member of Station Muskegon, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the community.

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