Pennsylvania-native Coast Guardsman retires after 26 years military service in Navy, Coast Guard

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CLEVELAND — A Pennsylvania native retired Monday at the Willoughby Hills Community Center in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, after serving a combined 26 years in the Navy and Coast Guard.

Chief Petty Officer Michael S. Dugas, originally from Slovan, Pa., served his last tour of duty as the operations unit supervisor at the Coast Guard 9th District Command Center in Cleveland.

Rear Adm. Michael Parks, former commander of the Coast Guard 9th District, shares a story about Chief Petty Officer Michael Dugas (right) during Dugas' retirement ceremony at the Willoughby Hills Community Center in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, Sept. 30, 2013.Dugas retired after a combined 26 years of service in the Navy, Navy Reserve, Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve.U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Kyle Niemi

Rear Adm. Michael Parks, former commander of the Coast Guard 9th District, shares a story about Chief Petty Officer Michael Dugas (right) during Dugas’ retirement ceremon Sept. 30, 2013.e.U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Kyle Niemi

Dugas enlisted in the Navy’s delayed entry program in the summer of 1979 and attended Recruit Training Command Great Lakes after he graduated high school in 1980. After serving two tours, aboard the USS McCandless out of Norfolk, Va., and Military Entrance Processing Station Pittsburgh, Dugas shifted to the Navy Reserve and was assigned to the Naval Embarked Advisory Team 105 and the USNS 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo.

He left the Navy Reserve in 1997 and joined the Coast Guard Reserve and was assigned to Coast Guard Group Hampton Roads in Portsmouth, Va. Following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Dugas was recalled to active-duty status and assigned to Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Hampton Roads in Norfolk, Va.

In 2003, Dugas shifted to permanent active-duty status and was assigned to Coast Guard Group Buffalo, N.Y. Finally, in 2008, he was assigned to the 9th District. He advanced to chief petty officer in 2009. Dugas recently oversaw the demolition and renovation of the district command center, for which he was awarded a Coast Guard Commendation Medal.

Dugas began his career in the Navy’s radioman rating, became a telecommunications specialist when he transferred to the Coast Guard, and retired as an operations specialist after the TC rating dissolved in 2003.

Dugas plans to remain in the Cleveland area and hopes to continue to serve by finding a job at either the Cleveland Clinic or the Cleveland Food Bank.

Click the photo for more from the ceremony.

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