Hawaiian Coast Guardsman to Retire After 30 Years of Military Service

Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Luke Clayton

After three decades of military service, Master Chief Petty Officer Paul S. Pomroy will retire Saturday from the U.S. Coast Guard at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.

After receiving his diploma from Kamehameha High School in 1966, Pomroy was drafted by the U.S. Army. Following basic training, he went to advanced individual training in Fort Gordon, Ga., to become a communications specialist. His first assignment was at the Pentagon.

In 1969, Pomroy was attached to the 25th Infantry Division in Cu Chi, Vietnam. There he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service for supporting all unit commanders in Vietnam.

In 1971, he was assigned as the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the Intelligence Data Handling System in Fort Shafter, Hawaii.

He received an honorable discharge from the Army in 1971. He received the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service and for helping the Army move toward the digital age of computers.

Pomroy didn’t fade into obscurity, however. A long, distinguished career still lay ahead.

Pomroy joined the Hawaii Army National Guard in 1972 and attended Hawaii Army National Guard Officer Candidate School in 1973 where he graduated as a second lieutenant.

Pomroy enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves as a Fire Safety Specialist First Class attached to Station Kauai in Lihue, Hawaii.

“My friend in the Coast Guard was trying to get a Reserve unit started in Kauai,” said Pomroy. “I wanted to see what it was all about.”

Through the years at the station, Pomroy achieved numerous accomplishments including becoming a certified coxswain and graduating as a certified Marine Safety Hazardous Chemical expert.

Pomroy was recalled to active duty in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm and was assigned to Marine Safety Office Guam as an explosive load supervisor. During that tour, he was advanced to Chief Petty Officer at U.S. Naval Station Guam and was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard Achievement Medal following the completion of his tour for superior assistance as an explosive load supervisor.

Pomroy, a Port Security Specialist, returned again to the islands of Hawaii and was assigned to the newly commissioned Reserve unit in Kauai, Hawaii, in 1991. During that tour, he was awarded the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation for his contribution to Hurricane Iniki relief efforts.

Pomroy advanced to Senior Chief Petty Officer in 1998. Three years later, he advanced to the most senior Coast Guard enlisted rank of Master Chief Petty Officer.

Pomroy was recalled and attached to the U.S. Army as a Coast Guardsman in 2004 to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was assigned to the U.S. Army Deployment Support Brigade located in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. There, he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal and Army Commendation Medal for his expert knowledge in handling explosives.

Pomroy has been stationed at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Response Division’s Enforcement Department since 1995.

“He has a very distinguished career,” said Cmdr. Todd Wiemers, the director of Sector Honolulu’s Response Division Enforcement Department. “He definitely took a leadership role here and takes care of his people. He’s been a big help and our primary link to the citizens of Kauai.”

“I will miss the people I met over the years, but now I’m going to try to relax a little,” said Pomroy.

Pomroy said he will still continue his civilian job as an airline contract service manager.

“If I could, I would do it (serve in the military) all over again,” said Pomroy.

Pomroy lives with his wife and four children in Kauai.

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