Coast Guard master chief retires after 35 years of service

COAST GUARD ISLAND, ALAMEDA, Calif. – Master Chief Petty Officer Patricia A. Stolle, a Petaluma, Calif., native, retired from the Coast Guard June 26, after serving for more than 35 years as an enlisted member.

A retirement ceremony was held for Stolle immediately following a change of watch ceremony where Master Chief Petty Officer Terence F. Vanderwerf relieved her as the command master chief of the Eleventh Coast Guard District located here.

Stolle joined the Coast Guard June 1974, just shortly after legislation was passed allowing women to join the regular Coast Guard in 1973. She attended basic training at Cape May, N.J., and upon graduation, attended Yeoman “A” School in Petaluma, Calif.

She totes a long list of historical accomplishments including, the first chief petty officer woman to serve at sea on a Coast Guard cutter and the first enlisted woman since the SPARS to be advanced to master chief petty officer. Stolle and Master Chief Petty Officer Diane Bucci were the first women to be selected for command master chiefs.

Stolle assumed the duties as command master chief for the Eleventh Coast Guard District in June of 2006. She previously served as a command master chief for both the Eighth Coast Guard District in New Orleans, and the Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific located here. On July 1, 1993, Stolle was advanced to master chief petty officer while serving at the Personnel Reporting Unit in Yorktown, Va. Prior to becoming a command master chief, she was stationed at Coast Guard Training Center Petaluma, where she served as an instructor at the Chief Petty Officer Academy for five years.

Her awards include two Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal, two Commandant Letter of Commendation Ribbons with “O” device and a host of many others, including a letter of appreciation from President Barack Obama.

Stolle and her husband Douglas will be enjoying the next chapter of their life in Bothell, Wash.

Ed. note:  BZ Master Chief. Here’s to a long enjoyable retirement.

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