Coast Guard To Honor Rescue Swimmer

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – An Elizabeth City-based rescue swimmer will be honored Thursday in a ceremony naming him the Fifth Coast Guard District enlisted person of the year.

Aviation Survival Technician 1st Class Mario Vittone, of Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., has also been selected as the Coast Guard-wide enlisted person of the year for 2006.

Vittone is cited for skillful execution and commitment to the Coast Guard’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty. His interest and involvement in the lives of Coast Guard personnel is shown through his guidance with their professional development, personal growth and wellness.

As the night shift supervisor for the rescue swimmers at Air Station Elizabeth City, Vittone developed an effective operating guide that has resulted in improved productivity and training. He wrote several safety and leadership articles which resulted in the enhancement of safety and leadership competency at the air station.

Vittone is also a member of the commandant’s diversity advisory council and volunteers with neglected children in Chesapeake, Va.

The ceremony will start at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday. It will be held in the large training room in hangar 55 at the air station.

Fifth District Commander Read Adm. Larry Hereth, Fifth District Command Master Chief Thomas Botzenhart and Charles Foster, mayor of Elizabeth City, will be attending with other local dignitaries.

Vittone will be recognized for his selection as the Coast Guard-wide enlisted person of the year during ceremonies in Washington May 22.

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