Coast Guardsman presented CG Commendation Medal for being named 2011 9th District Reserve EPOY

9th Coast Guard District NewsBURR RIDGE, Ill. – Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony Lewandowski was presented with a Coast Guard Commendation Medal by Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the 9th Coast Guard District, during a formal ceremony Friday at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago.

Lewandowski received the medal for being selected as the 2011 9th District Reserve Enlisted Person of the Year, announced earlier this year, while assigned to the Coast Guard Investigative Service, Resident Agent Office Chicago.

Special Agent Lewandowski helped develop and lead “Operation Vigilant Specter,” an innovative maritime investigation effort focused on detecting and deterring terrorism and criminal activity involving tour boats operating on the Chicago River and around Navy Pier. The effort involved the Coast Guard, the FBI, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Transportation Security Administration, and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. His efforts were so successful that the FBI incorporated the operation’s plan into an industry outreach initiative during the recent North Atlantic Treaty Organization Summit in Chicago.

In addition, Lewandowski conceptualized “Operation Lock and Key,” an industry outreach initiative with Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources that employed advanced technologies to detect criminal and regulatory infractions on liquid barges transiting the Illinois River System.

“It is a privilege and honor to have such wonderful support from the Coast Guard family, as well as my loved ones,” said Lewandowski. “It’s only through their support that I’ve been able to have such success.”

Lewandowski, a resident of Brookfield, Ill., has been a member of the Coast Guard Reserve since 2004. Prior to that, he served seven years in the Illinois National Guard. He’s a police officer for the city of Cicero, and is working on his Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Stretching from northern New York state to northern Minnesota, the 9th Coast Guard District encompasses the five Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and parts of the surrounding states, including 6,700 miles of shoreline and 1,500 miles of shared international border with Canada.

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