Coast Guard establishes new Ancient Keeper in change of watch ceremony

Northeast Atlantic Coast Guard NewsBOSTON — Master Chief Petty Officer James M. Clemens became the new Ancient Keeper during a change of watch ceremony Thursday at Coast Guard Station Castle Hill in Newport, R.I.

The Ancient Keeper title recognizes longevity within the boat forces and is in honor of Coast Guard legend Captain Joshua James, who is credited with saving more than 600 people during his lifetime.

Master Chief Clemens, a native of Canton, North Carolina, enlisted in 1985. He is currently the Officer In Charge of Motor Lifeboat Station Umpqua River in Winchester Bay, Oregon, and will return there with the new title of the fourth Ancient Keeper

“I hope to carry on the legacy of the three previous Ancient Keepers and I am truly honored to have this title,” said Master Chief Petty Officer James M. Clemens, Coast Guard Ancient Keeper.

Chief Warrant Officer Thomas J. Guthlein, the former commanding officer of Station Castle Hill and former Ancient Keeper, retired after a distinguished Coast Guard career.

Guthlein started his Coast Guard career in the reserves in 1978 and has been on active duty since 1982. He received a commission as chief warrant officer in June 1998.

Also at the ceremony was Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., Coast Guard Commandant and Coast Guard Ancient Mariner. “Being an Ancient means honoring the traditions of the past with modern technology so we can continue to be successful in the future,” said Papp.

Current Coast Guard Ancients are:

Gold Ancient Mariner – Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr.
Silver Ancient Mariner – Master Chief Petty Officer Lloyd Pierce
Ancient Albatross – Vice Adm. John Currier
Enlisted Ancient Albatross – Senior Chief Petty Officer Peter MacDougall
Ancient Keeper – Master Chief Petty Officer James M. Clemens

For more information on Ancient Keepers click here.

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