Coast Guard Station Islamorada petty officer receives prestigious award

Southeastern Coast Guard News
MIAMI — A crewmember with Coast Guard Station Islamorada, Fla., was awarded the Fireman First Class Paul Clark Boat Forces Engineer Award Tuesday morning.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark A. Costello received the award for demonstrating exceptional devotion to duty and for sustaining high performance across the spectrum of his unit’s mission.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Frank Parenti and Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Costello pose for a picture after Costello was awarded the Fireman First Class Paul Clark Boat Forces Engineer Award September 3, 2013, at Coast Guard Station Islamorada, Fla. Costello received the award for demonstrating exceptional devotion to duty and for sustaining high performance across the spectrum of his unit’s mission. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Chief Petty Officer Frank Parenti and Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Costello pose for a picture after Costello was awarded the Fireman First Class Paul Clark Boat Forces Engineer Award September 3, 2013. U. S. Coast Guard photo

In the months leading up to the unit’s November 2012 Ready for Operations (RFO) inspection, Petty Officer Costello developed a comprehensive work list and oversaw the correction of 160 boat discrepancies. Working diligently with members of his department, as well as the first lieutenant, he ensured technicians maintained a high standard regarding the material condition of the unit’s three response boats resulting in an average boat score of 14 out of 15 points. Due to his commitment to mentoring junior members, the engineering sub-category exam averaged 92 percent. Both the material condition of the unit’s assets and standardization test results were the highest Station Islamorada received in the last six RFO inspections as well as the last three standardization inspections.

This prestigious annual award recognizes an exemplary Coast Guard boat engineer who has demonstrated sustained superior performance, proficiencies, and leadership.

The award’s namesake, ‘Fireman 1st Class Paul Clark’, was honored with the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism while serving as engineer of a landing boat during an assault on, and occupation of, French Morocco in 1942. When a hostile aircraft strafed his boat with machinegun fire, mortally wounding the bowman and severely injuring the coxswain, Clark quickly assumed control of the craft and immediately withdrew from the beach. He sped to an offshore ship, placed the wounded men aboard and courageously returned to his station at the beach and completed his boat’s mission.

Click the photo for more from the ceremony.

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