Coast Guard names Northeast active duty, reserve enlisted persons of the year

This photo features U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Solden. Solden was named the 2016 Enlisted Person of the Year for the First Coast Guard District. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole J. Groll)

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Solden. Solden was named the 2016 Enlisted Person of the Year for the First Coast Guard District. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole J. Groll)

BOSTON — Two Northeast based Coast Guard petty officers were chosen as the 2016 active duty enlisted person of the year and reserve enlisted person of the year for the First Coast Guard District during a recognition banquet Friday, at Coast Guard Base Boston.

The Coast Guard Enlisted Person of the Year Program recognizes exemplary performance by the men and woman from the active and reserve enlisted workforce. Nominees reflect the spirit of pride, professionalism and dedication and have demonstrated exceptional performance in the areas of: leadership, job skills, personal and work ethics, Coast Guard knowledge, uniform appearance, military bearing, and community relations.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Solden, a maritime enforcement specialist assigned to the Northeast Regional Fisheries Training Center, and Petty Officer 1st Class John Spada, a reserve maritime enforcement specialist assigned to the Coast Guard Sector Boston, were selected as the EPOY and REPOY, respectively.

1st District Reserve Enlisted Person of the YearSolden is being recognized for his work in instructing 10 Northeast Living Marine Resource Boarding Officer classes, mentoring new instructors and assisting them with unit training qualifications and deploying with a Canadian Coast Guard ship in support of the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization treaty mission to enforce international fisheries laws. In his community, Solden has served as a Boy Scout Troop leader, a little league baseball coach, and volunteered to place flags at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in honor of Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

Spada is being recognized for his leadership and impact. He planned and organized a boarding team member college for more than 20 Vessel Boarding and Security Team members and Station Boston personnel. He also chaired numerous boarding team member and boarding officer qualification boards and ensured members had proper resources. His hard work impacted the unit as he screened over 1,500 people on MBTA ferries completing over 72 boarding officer certified ashore missions. In his community, Spada raised approximately $3,000 for fallen Auburn Police Officer Ronald Tarentino’s family by volunteering his time selling merchandise at a charity hockey event.

“It is never easy choosing only two members from the large pool of talented and dedicated enlisted personnel we have in the Northeast,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Jason Griffin, First Coast Guard District Command Master Chief. “However, Petty Officers Solden and Spada really epitomize the spirit of the award.”

Each year, the Commandant selects only one active and one reserve Enlisted Person of the Year from all of the regional winners throughout the Coast Guard.

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