Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: YN1 Jennifer Brown, Sector Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, Wis.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer Brown, a native of South Milwaukee, is currently serving a “hometown tour” at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan.  Brown is a Yeoman assigned to the Sector’s Reserve Forces Readiness Staff.  She is responsible for tracking and facilitating the mobilization readiness of over 200 reserve members assigned to 19 subunits in the sector’s area of responsibility.  

Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer Brown (left) poses for a picture with her husband, Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Brown, who is currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer Brown (right) poses for a picture with her husband, Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Brown, who is currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Part of the mobilization readiness process is ensuring that the reserve workforce maintains currency in all training and job specific competencies. To achieve this, Brown must track, review, and process over 200 reserve training requests annually. This requires a keen attention to detail and excellent organizational skills. Additionally, her high level of proficiency of the yeoman rating and reserve policy as well as her compassion for her shipmates is key to providing such excellent technical support to members of the reserve component in the Sector Lake Michigan AOR. A testament to her knowledge and work ethic, Brown is currently above the cutoff for advancement to the rank of Chief Yeoman.

Besides her regular assigned duties, Brown volunteers as the sector’s unit health promotion coordinator and, despite a record setting number of days at sub-freezing temperatures during Milwaukee’s harsh winter, she has invigorated the crew’s approach to personal wellness.  Always dedicated to assisting her shipmates on an individual basis, Brown identified and distributed internet resources that allow members to manage their personal wellness on a daily basis.  Additionally, she coordinates an hour of exciting and challenging exercise sessions twice a week.  Her enjoyable spin on physical fitness has made her weekly scheduled workouts something that her shipmates look forward to.  

Petty Officer 1st Class Jenifer Brown and  Lt. Maria Wiener sing the National Anthem before the start of a Milwaukee Admirals Hockey  Team home game.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jenifer Brown and Lt. Maria Wiener sing the National Anthem before the start of a Milwaukee Admirals Hockey Team home game.

“The weekly workouts have really helped me launch my personal wellness program into high gear,” said Chief Boatswain’s Mate Alex Brown, a member of Sector Lake Michigan’s Planning and Force Readiness Department.

Brown’s selfless dedication to helping others extends far beyond those serving with her. She is the military funeral honors coordinator for Sector Lake Michigan, in charge of coordinating funeral honors details throughout the sector’s AOR, which encompasses Western Michigan, Indiana, Northern Illinois, and Wisconsin.  Knowing that requests for military funeral honors can be received at any time, Brown has made herself available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year to provide the military service member’s loved ones with instant and compassionate customer service. Dedicated to ensuring that the fallen service members and their families receive the Nation’s deepest gratitude for their service to our country, Brown has coordinated funeral honors for more than 140 fallen shipmates.

While it is true that the Coast Guard, along with the rest of the U.S. Armed Forces is an all volunteer service, some individuals go above and beyond what is expected of them. They go out of their way to help others, to put others before themselves. Brown is one of these people, epitomizing the term shipmate. She has done and continues to do outstanding work at Sector Lake Michigan.

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