Coast Guardsman meritoriously advanced during virtual ceremony

Megan Atkinson pins a rank insignia Dec. 12, 2020, on Petty Officer 2nd Class Trevor Atkinson of Winter Haven, Florida, during a virtual meritorious advancement ceremony at Coast Guard Port Security Unit 307 in Clearwater, Florida. Atkinson, is a tactical boat crewman at PSU 307 and became the second Coast Guard reservist to be meritoriously advanced under a new program established by the commandant in March 2020. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Lt. Glenn Sanchez

Megan Atkinson pins a rank insignia Dec. 12, 2020, on Petty Officer 2nd Class Trevor Atkinson of Winter Haven, Florida, during a virtual meritorious advancement ceremony at Coast Guard Port Security Unit 307 in Clearwater, Florida.  Coast Guard photo courtesy of Lt. Glenn Sanchez

CLEARWATER, Fla. – A Coast Guard reservist with Port Security Unit 307 was meritoriously advanced Saturday to petty officer second class during a virtual ceremony in Clearwater.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Trevor Atkinson of Winter Haven, Florida, was advanced by Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, becoming the second Coast Guard reserve member to be meritoriously advanced under a program released by the service earlier this year.

“The Coast Guard needs strong leaders who excel in the face of adversity and embody our core values,” said Fagan. “Petty Officer Atkinson has demonstrated sustained leadership and performance far beyond his current rank, and it was my honor to recognize his commitment to our service, his shipmates and the community.”

The Coast Guard Meritorious Advancement Program allows top ranking officials to advance petty officers in pay grades E-4 and E-5 for superior performance. The service’s top officer and commandant, Adm. Karl Schultz, announced the program during the State of the Coast Guard Address in February, and numerous service members have been recognized since it was formerly established in May.

Atkinson, a tactical boat engineer and crewmember, assumed several training and leadership roles normally reserved for higher ranking personnel, and he prepared a sister unit for expeditionary defense operations and trained U.S. Navy sailors in vessel operation and security zone enforcement during a joint mission. Atkinson also helped dozens of personnel at PSU 307 get qualified in their roles, ensuring the unit is deployment ready. He also volunteered hundreds of hours in his community, serving at a large animal rescue and assisting with the care of neglected farm animals.

“Petty Officer Atkinson’s honor, respect and devotion to duty are indicative of all the extraordinary men and women stationed at Port Security Unit 307,” said Cmdr. Gregory Rogers, commanding officer, PSU 307. “It’s humbling to see how leadership is still recognizing and engaging with our troops despite the challenges of this global pandemic.”

Coast Guard port security units conduct worldwide defense operations focused on waterside antiterrorism and force protection of U.S. and allied vessels. Established in 1999, PSU 307 has an operational history. Unit personnel deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations four times since 2001. Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the unit deployed to secure Boston Harbor and protect U.S. naval vessels in Providence, Rhode Island. The unit also conducts humanitarian service missions, including deployments to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Haiti following the earthquake in 2010.

Pacific Area is the Coast Guard’s regional command element and force provider for maritime safety, security and stewardship in the Pacific, including PSU 307. The command’s area of responsibility encompasses six continents, 71 countries and more than 74 million square miles of ocean.

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