Coast Guard recognizes Connecticut-native for exceptional performance

Vice Adm. Steven Poulin presents a certificate of meritorious advancement to DC2 Ryan Frattaroli in Portsmouth, Virginia, Dec. 2, 2021. DC2 Frattaroli was meritoriously advanced for performance far exceeding expectations of his rate and rank, while filling the position of a higher rank. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Sara Muir)

Vice Adm. Steven Poulin presents a certificate of meritorious advancement to DC2 Ryan Frattaroli in Portsmouth, Virginia, Dec. 2, 2021.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Sara Muir)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard meritoriously advanced Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Frattaroli aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba (WMEC 907) in Portsmouth.

Vice Adm. Steven Poulin, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, and Command Master Chief Devin Spencer, presided over the ceremony.

Frattaroli, a damage controlman by rate, was meritoriously advanced for two years of performance, far exceeding his rate and rank expectations while filling a vacant higher rank position. A native of New Canaan, Connecticut, he joined the Coast Guard to be a rescue swimmer.

“That didn’t work out for me, but it was a blessing in disguise because I found my true calling as a damage controlman,” said Frattaroli.

Since reporting two years ago, Frattaroli has filled two billets for more than 300 deployment days over five patrols, including 235 days during the COVID-19 pandemic and a homeport shift from Boston to Portsmouth.

He acted as the fire marshal and lead damage controlman, maintaining all onboard portable and installed damage control equipment. He received qualifications as an engineer of the watch, a damage control training team member, and supervised and led all training aboard, qualifying over 200 personnel in shipboard fundamentals.

He guided the Escanaba through several evaluated training exercises, including Concept Analysis and Review Team, Tailored Ships Training Availability, and Aviation Standardization Training. The Afloat Training Organization inspector singled him out by name as a consummate professional whose spirit and work ethic were evident throughout the ship. Due to his skill-sets and dependability, he is routinely hand-selected for tasks that require keen judgment and technical expertise.

He applies that judgment well to manning and crew dynamics also. After coming into close contact with another member who turned out to be COVID-19 positive, he complied with protocol. Still, he went so far as to voluntarily self-isolate in a stateroom on the ship rather than staying back to ensure once he was clear, he was not leaving the ship’s team at a skill deficit for the remainder of their patrol.

Over the summer, he was part of the team to strengthen partnerships and test interoperability on a 50-day patrol to the High Latitudes. The Escanaba and Coast Guard Cutter Richard Snyder (WPC 1127) participated in Operation Nanook.

Operation Nanook is the Canadian Armed Forces’ signature Arctic operation. It comprises a series of comprehensive, joint, interagency, and multinational activities designed to exercise the defense of Canada, security in the Arctic Region, incident management response, and search rescue capabilities in and around the Baffin Bay and the Davis Strait. It supports the Coast Guard Arctic strategy to develop international relations with like-minded Arctic states, enhance maritime domain awareness, and expand service capabilities within the region.

While returning from the Arctic, Escanaba’s crew responded to a report from the 91-foot fishing vessel Donny C crew stating they were taking on water approximately 110 nautical miles southeast of Nantucket on Sept. 2. Ultimately, the Escanaba crew assisted the fishers in controlling the flooding before safely escorting them to homeport in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Frattaroli was part of that rescue team.

“I was nervous for the people in the fishing vessel, said Frattaroli. “I was eager to help them but worried about them being on a sinking ship. In my mind, I put myself in their position and how scary it could be. It put me in a mindset to help them and get out there as fast as we could.”

Before arriving aboard Escanaba, he was already an exceptional Service representative at work and in the community. He helped Coast Guard Base Boston execute their Flying Santa event and participated in community outreach initiatives such as Toys for Tots and volunteering at local soup kitchens.

“DC2 Frattaroli represents not only our core values but also some of the finest traits of the Coast Guard,” said Vice Adm. Steven Poulin.

The Meritorious Advancement Program allows senior leaders the opportunity to recognize and advance active duty and reserve enlisted members who show exceptional adherence to the core values of “Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty.” Only those who demonstrate sustained exceptional proficiency and conduct, and possess the potential to advance into a position of greater responsibility, are considered.

Escanaba will be underway again soon to support counter-drug efforts in the Caribbean while working with Joint Interagency Task Force South and the Coast Guard’s Seventh District.

“I can’t wait to see new places and get work done when I’m out at sea,” said Frattaroli. “I genuinely think that underway is an excellent time to get as much work done as possible.”

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