Bowling Green native awarded Bronze Star for service in Iraq

Coast Guard District 9 NewsCLEVELAND — A Bowling Green, Ohio, native was awarded the Bronze Star, the fourth-highest military combat decoration, at Naval Support Activity, Bahrain, Oct. 6, 2011, for his performance while training Iraqi Coastal Border Guard personnel in Iraq.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class George Taylor volunteered to deploy with Coast Guard Training and Advisory Team 4, operating in support of the Army’s 36th Infantry Division, at Contingency Operating Bases Basrah and Umm Qasr from December 2010 to July 2011.

While there, he and another Coast Guard petty officer trained Iraqi Coastal Border Guard personnel in small-boat operations and small-boat engine operations on the Shat al-Arab River.

When they went out on training operations, the Coast Guardsmen were escorted by Soldiers from the Army’s 36th Infantry Division.

Taylor and his partner took indirect fire from rocket and mortar attacks, proving to them how dangerous Iraq could be depending on their location, Taylor said.

The Soldiers would secure the perimeter while the Coast Guardsmen trained eight to 10 Iraqi Coastal Border Guard personnel on how to operate small boats ranging in size from 18 feet to 32 feet.

“We’d go out and do key leader engagements with the command of each Coastal Border Guard unit,” said Taylor. “We’d show them what we could do for them, and what we could learn from them.”

The men’s deployment is a perfect example of how Coast Guard personnel and training often resemble a multi-tool since the servicemembers are able to work and train with other sectors, foreign militaries, agencies, and many others, said Coast Guard Capt. Cameron Naron, commodore, Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, the Coast Guardsmen’s parent command.

“That makes us such a powerful tool within the defense establishment,” said Naron.

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