Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: MST3 Jonathan Braddy, Marine Safety Unit Massena, N.Y.

Marine Safety Detachment Massena lies on the U.S. – Canadian border in the village of Massena, New York. Established in 1991, the MSD is strategically located in the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Administrative building near both the Snell and Eisenhower Locks. These locks serve as the gateway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes. MSD Massena’s primary mission is enforcing ballast water regulations to prevent the introduction of any new invasive species into the Great Lakes system. Ten active duty personnel and one civilian undertake this monumental task. Working closely with their U.S. and Canadian counterparts, these 11 Coast Guard members tested over 2100 vessel ballast water tanks in 2013.

With such a small team and large volume of work, all members of MSD Massena must perform at a high level. One member who has distinguished himself among his peers is Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Braddy, a marine science technician. Braddy, originally from Orlando, Florida, enlisted in the Coast Guard in August of 2009.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Braddy checks salinity levels in a ballast water tank on a vessel transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Richards.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Braddy checks salinity levels in a ballast water tank on a vessel transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Richards.

Upon completion of recruit basic training, he was assigned to Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island, homeported in Key West, Florida. Following the decommissioning of the Kodiak Island, Braddy was assigned to Sector Key West, where he made the decision to train as a marine science technician. He began MST A-School in January 2013, receiving orders to MSD Massena as his first rated assignment.Braddy quickly established himself as an integral member of MSD Massena, assuming many tasks within the unit and has becoming qualified and proficient in multiple duties, including ballast water inspector, international ship & port facility inspector, pollution responder, and most recently, boarding team member. He is currently the only petty officer at MSD Massena to hold the boarding team member qualification. Braddy routinely takes part in high interest vessel boardings with Coast Guard Station Alexandria Bay, New York, on vessels transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway.

“Braddy is an excellent example of a Coast Guardsman that we all should aspire to be like,” said Lt. Cdr. Carl Kepper, MSD Massena’s supervising officer. “He is proud to serve, dedicated to mission accomplishment, and always eager to learn more.”

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Braddy (left) and Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Richards (right) compete at a Mt. Titus ski competition in Febuary 2014.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Joe LaPlante.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Braddy (left) and Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Richards (right) compete at a Mt. Titus ski competition in Febuary 2014.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Joe LaPlante.

In his short time as a member of MSD Massena, Braddy has traveled under temporary duty orders to Sector New Orleans for pollution responder training, Sector New York for port state control training, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston South Carolina for boarding team member school and Erie, Pennsylvania, for NOAA’s shoreline cleanup assessment technique team member training. On a routine day, he can either be found at the unit, the shipping locks in Massena, or at one of the many ports in Canada along the lower St. Lawrence River, such as Montreal, Sorel-Tracy or Trios-Rivieres conducting ISPS and ballast water examinations. The youthful enthusiasm and dedication to duty that Braddy brings serves as an example for the entire crew.

“Braddy has become a remarkable asset to his unit and the Coast Guard,” said coworker Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Richards. “He has a strong dedication not only to the mission, but his shipmates as well.”

 Off duty Braddy and his wife, Justine, will often host unit gatherings to strengthen esprit de corps. During the summer months, Braddy pursues his obsession with fishing on the mighty St. Lawrence River in his 19’ Twin V Catamaran, affectionately named Baby. When the snow starts to fall, he stows his fishing poles and grabs his snowboard to hit one of the several mountains in the upstate New York area, even though, according to Richards, Braddy’s skills on the ski slopes are on par with what one would expect from a native Floridian.

 

 

 

 

 

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