Coast Guardsman retires after 27 years of service

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – With family and friends looking on, a Coast Guard officer concluded 27 years of military service today in a retirement ceremony at Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City.

Cmdr. Scott McFarland, originally from Wilbraham, Mass., enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1980. In 1981, he was assigned as an avionics technician to Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, where he served as aircrew aboard HH-3F helicopters.

Following a subsequent assignment to Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., McFarland was commissioned from Coast Guard Officer Candidate School in 1988. After an assignment on the Marine Safety Planning staff at Coast Guard Headquarters, McFarland attended Naval Flight Officer basic training in Pensacola, Fla., and Naval Flight Officer advanced training in Norfolk, Va.

Following tours of duty at Air Stations Clearwater, Fla., Cape May, N.J., and Miami, McFarland reported for his final tour as operations officer at Air Station Atlantic City in 2003.

McFarland is the only Coast Guardsman to be awarded three sets of aviation qualification insignia. His uniform is adorned with aircrew, naval flight officer and pilot wings.

In attendance at the ceremony were McFarland’s wife Gracie, his children Erin, 21, and Jack, 19, his parents Dick and Barbara McFarland, his mother-in-law Fran Guerra and his brother Jeffrey McFarland. His eldest child Adam, 24, a senior airman in the Air Force, could not attend the ceremony due to a deployment to Korea.

McFarland says, now that he’s retired, he hopes to pilot commercial aircraft.

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