Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: MST1 Jesse Alling, Marine Safety Unit Cleveland, OH

While the Coast Guard is well known for harrowing rescues of distressed mariners, crews routinely perform a multitude of other, behind-the-scenes evolutions in an attempt

Alling (right) reviews documents onboard the M/V FORTUNAGRACHT, the first container ship to ever arrive in the Great Lakes system. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Alling (right) reviews documents onboard the M/V FORTUNAGRACHT, the first container ship to ever arrive in the Great Lakes system.
U.S. Coast Guard photo.

to prevent incidents at sea. Pollution prevention, mariner training, certification and licensure, and vessel safety exams are all examples of how the Coast Guard works to prevent marine mishaps. Leading the way in the Coast Guard’s marine safety mission are the Marine Safety Units.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jesse Alling, a Marine Science Technician stationed at MSU Cleveland, is an example of the type of dedicated individual needed to carry out the diverse array of tasking inherent to an MSU.

Faced with challenges such as minimal staffing, extreme weather, and lengthy evolutions, he has distinguished himself as a leader and professional.

Alling reported to MSU Cleveland in July 2013. He immediately began to make a positive impact on the unit, his shipmates and industry partners in the Cleveland area.

Alling employed his knowledge of facility security plans he acquired from previous tours of duty at other units to assist a local facility that was struggling to remain in operation. He identified numerous deficiencies in their current plan, offered suggestions and thoroughly followed up as changes were made. Alling’s efforts allowed the facility to remain in operation with zero impact on employees.

Alling (far left) shares his experience and knowledge while reviewing documentation for containerized hazardous materials during MSU Cleveland’s Container Inspection Training and Assistance Team (CITAT) training. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Alling (far left) shares his experience and knowledge while reviewing documentation for containerized hazardous materials during MSU Cleveland’s Container Inspection Training and Assistance Team (CITAT) training.
U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Within his unit, Alling has adopted an active role in promoting a healthy work-life balance for his shipmates. In the absence of a command chief from July through August 2014, Alling filled the void, serving as an advocate for junior members at the unit.

As Acting command chief, Alling led by example. As a case in point, when he recognized that the MSU’s duty rotation was strained, he personally stood watch to ensure that his shipmates were able to have proper rest. Additionally, Alling utilized every opportunity to provide on-the-job training to newly reported members.

The effects of Alling’s expertise and hard work resonate not just within his unit, but also throughout the MSU’s Great Lakes area of responsibility. Alling was instrumental in establishing Cleveland as the first official container port in the Great Lakes. Overcoming the unique challenges of negotiating with stakeholders from the Port of Cleveland, the City of Cleveland, the National Football League and civilian security agencies, he was able to assist the port’s facility security officer in developing a security action plan that allows for maximum flexibility in accommodating Cleveland Brown’s game day parking while mitigating potential threats to the port.

Alling’s performance, selflessness, and dedication to duty and shipmates inspires those around him to work harder and strive towards excellence while looking out for each other. His actions truly distinguish him as a leader and mentor for all those who serve with him.

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