Coast Guard uses new program to advance high-performer in San Francisco

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Peter W. Gautier, 11th Coast Guard District commander, meritoriously advanced Petty Officer 2nd Class Kimberly Zsuffa, at Coast Guard Sector San Francisco, July 17, 2020. Zsuffa’s accomplishments include restructuring Coast Guard Station Monterey and Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe’s ordnance programs, successfully developing four firearms instructors, qualifying twelve firearms marksmanship coaches and 10 weapons petty officers, as well as being the 2019 Sector San Francisco Enlisted Person of the Year. (U. S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Giles/Released)

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Peter W. Gautier, 11th Coast Guard District commander, meritoriously advanced Petty Officer 2nd Class Kimberly Zsuffa, at Coast Guard Sector San Francisco, July 17, 2020.  (U. S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Giles)

SAN FRANCISCO — The 11th Coast Guard District commander meritoriously advanced his first enlisted member Friday from Coast Guard Sector San Francisco after a recent expansion in the service’s Meritorious Advancement Program.

Rear Adm. Peter W. Gautier, the 11th Coast Guard District commander, meritoriously advanced Petty Officer 2nd Class Kimberly Zsuffa, a Coast Guard Sector San Francisco gunner’s mate, to petty officer 1st class, for her outstanding accomplishments.

“I am proud to recognize Petty Officer Zsuffa for her outstanding performance,” said Gautier. “The Coast Guard’s Meritorious Advancement Program rewards the service’s topmost enlisted members and I don’t think we could have found a more deserving person. Petty Officer Zsuffa’s commitment and dedication to the Coast Guard and her community are inspiring and it was a pleasure to advance her to first class petty officer today.”

Zsuffa’s accomplishments include restructuring Coast Guard Station Monterey and Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe’s ordnance programs, successfully developing four firearms instructors, qualifying twelve firearms marksmanship coaches and 10 weapons petty officers. Zsuffa was also selected as the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco’s Enlisted Person of the Year in 2019.

Zsuffa also contributed to her community through volunteer work, including more than 200 hours of volunteer service, helping those within the community formulate safety plans and took time to discuss Coast Guard career options with a local Girl Scout Troop.

“I don’t know if I can put this feeling into words,” said Zsuffa. “If it weren’t for the people I work with, I wouldn’t be here. A huge thank you to everyone who helped me make it.”

This advancement marks the first meritorious advancement conducted by the 11th District commander. Following a policy update in May 2020, an additional nine district commanders can select one person per year in pay grades E-4 or E-5 for a meritorious advancement.

Prior to the May 2020 change, only five Coast Guard flag officers at headquarters and area commands had the authority to select enlisted personnel for meritorious advancement.

The meritorious advancement program expedites the advancement process for top-performing individuals and can speed up the process for those selected by a minimum of seven months, but possibly years depending on the number of open spots in the member’s career field.

The Meritorious Advancement Program is a talent-management program designed to recognize superior performance and exceptional adherence to Coast Guard core values that, in an advancement authority’s judgment, clearly warrant advancement.

The Coast Guard’s meritorious advancement program began in 2018.

Zsuffa was born in Apollo Beach, Florida and attended Alonso High School in Tampa. After graduating from high school, she began a career with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando before enlisting in the Coast Guard in 2013. Zsuffa attended Gunner’s Mate “A” School in 2016 where she was recognized as the Honor Graduate of her class. She has earned an Associate degree from Columbia College and is currently working on a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology at the University of Central Florida.


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