2 Coast Guardsmen meritoriously advanced during State of the Coast Guard Address

Petty Officer 2nd Class Emily Ford is pinned during her meritorious advancement ceremony to Petty Officer 1st Class at Nassau, Bahamas, Feb. 20, 2020. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Emily Ford is pinned during her meritorious advancement ceremony to Petty Officer 1st Class at Nassau, Bahamas, Feb. 20, 2020. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray.

MIAMI — The Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Karl Schultz, meritoriously advanced Petty Officer 2nd Class Emily Ford and Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Newberg during the State of the Coast Guard Address, Thursday from Charleston, South Carolina.

Ford, a storekeeper stationed at Coast Guard Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), is a mission support expert who was instrumental in facilitating the whole-of-Coast Guard response during Hurricane Dorian.

At the center of the Coast Guard’s Hurricane Dorian response in the Bahamas, Ford played a vital role coordinating logistics and triage for helicopter crews responding in the storm’s wake. Ford was described as the “connective tissue” between OPBAT Bahamas, the aircrews and Bahamian authorities. She went above and beyond all expectations enabling the rescue of hundreds and impacting many more lives.


Newberg, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer, is stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Georgia, and was instrumental in rescuing crewmembers from the motor vessel Golden Ray.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz meritoriouly advances Petty Officers 2nd Class Nathan Newberg and Emily Ford to first class petty officers during the 2020 State of the Coast Guard Address in Charleston, South Carolina, Feb. 20, 2020. The Meritorious Advancement Program (MAP) is an existing program that allows senior leaders to recognize and advance exceptional active duty and reserve enlisted members. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lisa Ferdinando)

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz meritoriously advances Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Newberg to first class petty officer during the 2020 State of the Coast Guard Address in Charleston, South Carolina, Feb. 20, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lisa Ferdinando)

The world watched as four crewmembers emerged after being trapped in the Golden Ray after it ran aground in Brunswick, Georgia, and heeled over on its port side. Newberg was lowered to that listing, burning vessel in the dark of night to save the vessel’s captain and pilot, who were trapped in the bridge.

Newberg fashioned a rope out of a firehose to reach the two men. Using the firehose, he assisted the pilot out the port bridge wing to awaiting Coast Guard rescue boats, and then lowered the firehose to Golden Ray’s captain, who was trapped 30 feet below the bridge access, and pulled him to safety

The Coast Guard’s Meritorious Advancement Program allows for a district commander to select and meritoriously advance the most talented people in the Coast Guard.

Meritorious advancement is one way the Coast Guard can honor an individual’s embodiment of the core values – Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty. The program memorializes the extraordinary achievements of our past, present, and future workforce.

The annual State of the Coast Guard Address allowed the Commandant to reflect on the organization’s successes over the past year, detail the Fiscal Year 2021 President’s Budget Request and outline the shared vision for the future of the Service.

To watch the State of the Coast Guard Address, please visit www.uscg.mil/alwaysready

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