Jacksonville Guardian awarded prestigious Department of Defense honor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Coast Guard Lt. Andrea Parker, 30, chief of enforcement for Sector Jacksonville, was awarded the 2009 Department of Defense African-American History Month Recognition Award.

“I am humbled, honored, and very appreciative to be in receipt of such an award,” said Parker. “However, I could not have done this without the support of my fellow Coast Guard crewmembers around me.”

The award is given annually to a member from each service that exemplifies the ideals of their military core values and provides exceptional service to critical Department of Defense Missions.

Parker provided Coast Guard security crews that oversaw the safe and efficient shipment of military cargo ships that transported cargo from the Port of Jacksonville and Port Canaveral to the Northern Arabian Gulf in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. In addition, Parker spends several hours a month tutoring students at Mayport Elementary School.

Parker, a native of Albany, Ga., is a 2001 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. In the spirit of African-American History Month, Parker has made history herself. She was the first black student to receive a degree in engineering from the Coast Guard Academy.

“This organization has done so much for me and enabled me to travel to so many places around the globe and interact with so many diverse people,” said Parker. “The Coast Guard has never closed any doors for me.”

This summer, Parker will attend graduate school and follow up her master’s degree by teaching organizational leadership at the Coast Guard Academy.

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