Detroit-area Coast Guardsman presented CG Commendation Medal for being named 9th District Enlisted Person of the Year

9th Coast Guard District NewsCLEVELAND — Petty Officer 1st Class Bethannie Kittrell, a boatswain’s mate stationed at Coast Guard Station Belle Isle, in Detroit, was recognized during a formal ceremony Friday for being named the 2011 9th Coast Guard District Enlisted Person of the Year, announced earlier this year.

Kittrell was recognized at her unit by Rear Adm. Mike Parks, 9th Coast Guard District commander.

“Petty Officer Kittrell is very deserving of this award,” said Capt. John Bingaman, the 9th District’s chief of staff. “She signifies everything that is good about the Coast Guard and is a great example for her shipmates”

Kittrell, a native of Columbus, Ohio, was named 9th District EPOY in part for demonstrating superb leadership and adaptability while acting as Station Belle Isle’s executive petty officer, a position normally reserved for a chief petty officer.

The crew of Station Belle Isle conducts search and rescue, ice rescue, law enforcement and homeland security missions throughout the Detroit River and around metropolitan Detroit. Built in 1942, Station Belle Isle has been in operation as a light station since 1881 and falls under the operational control of Coast Guard Sector Detroit.

Acting as operations petty officer, Kittrell worked proactively with Canadian, federal, state and local agencies to strengthen partnerships and enhance the law enforcement presence along our shared border with Canada and throughout the critical infrastructure around Detroit. Outside of her duties as a Coast Guardsman, Kittrell actively volunteers in the community as a children’s t-ball coach.

“Receiving this award is a big honor for me, and I really appreciate just being nominated for something like this,” said Kittrell. “Even though I may be the one receiving the award, it wouldn’t be possible without my shipmates at Station Belle Isle — we are all part of the same team.”

Stretching from northern New York state to northern Minnesota, the 9th Coast Guard District encompasses the five Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and parts of the surrounding states, including 6,700 miles of shoreline and 1,500 miles of shared international border with Canada. Out of about 1,700 members in the district who are in the eligible enlisted rates — petty officer third class, petty officer second class, and petty officer first class — 17 were selected as candidates for these awards.

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