San Juan based Coast Guard Cutter Cushing welcomes a new commander

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard Sector San Juan conducted a change of command ceremony Friday for the Coast Guard Cutter Cushing, home ported in San Juan.

Lt. Michael Ross relieved command of the Cushing from Lt. Brian Betz during a time-honored, traditional change-of-command ceremony.

Receiving the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, Betz was honored for his service and the performance of his duty as Cushing’s commanding officer.

Betz, a native of Baltimore, received his commission in the Coast Guard from Officer Candidate School in 2000 after he graduated from the University of Baltimore with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice.

Under Betz’s exceptional seamanship and leadership, the cutters Key Largo and Cushing amassed interdiction totals of more than 500 undocumented migrants and an estimated street value of $8 million in cocaine while patrolling the waters around Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Betz is going to be the Coast Guard Liaison Officer in Nassau, Bahamas.

Ross is reporting from the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, a medium endurance cutter home ported in Kodiak, Alaska.

Ross a native of Fairmont, W.V., received his commission in the Coast Guard from Officer Candidate School in 2004 after he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan in 2000 and a Master of Science degree in Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture from Auburn University in 2003.

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