Eighth Coast Guard District names enlisted persons of the year

8th Coast Guard District NewsNEW ORLEANS — The Eighth Coast Guard District announced the 2012 Eighth District Enlisted Person of the Year and the Reserve Enlisted Person of the Year award winners, Thursday.

The active duty enlisted person of the year is Petty Officer 1st Class Josip Pehar, a boatswain’s mate stationed at Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi in St. Louis and a native of St. Louis. He received this prestigious award due in part to organizing and directing 56 crewmembers from six different units in support of four separate Federal Emergency Management Agency requests for Disaster Assistance and Response Team deployments.

The DART deployments positively impacted the lives of thousands of citizens throughout Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Louisiana and South Dakota by providing direct assistance to people in flooded regions along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

Pehar also prepared the Sector Boat Forces staff for the unit’s first Comprehensive Law Enforcement Assessment and Readiness visit which resulted in an excellent rating. Amongst many other things, he spearheaded efforts to provide badly needed supplies and gifts for families facing financial hardships during the holidays by adopting two needy local families and assisting with three Habitat for Humanity building projects in the St. Louis area.

“To be recognized as the enlisted person of the year is humbling. There were many qualified personnel nominated for the award, and I feel honored to accept it,” said Pehar.

The reserve enlisted person of the year is Petty Officer 2nd Class Michelle C. Malouf, a marine science technician stationed at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle and a native of Seattle. Malouf was recognized for serving with distinction during the Deepwater Horizon spill response. During the response, she was instrumental in establishing a safety communications protocol so underway vessels could effectively communicate.

Malouf was also developed local standard operating procedures that coordinated the efforts of multiple agencies. Her efforts eliminated logistical concerns while minimizing impacts on wildlife and environmentally sensitive lands.

She was instrumental in working with bird rescue services to create a reporting program that assisted response personnel in identifying various species and monitoring the return of rescued birds to their natural environment. Her efforts set the standard for training personnel across the response and became the groundwork for response wide operational and communications policies.

“It’s an honor to receive the award. But I want to acknowledge that I didn’t achieve this alone but with the support of my dedicated shipmates,” said Malouf.

The EPOY program is designed to recognize exemplary men and women from the active and reserve Coast Guard workforce. Only enlisted members who demonstrate sustained exceptional standards of proficiency and conduct; whose military appearance and bearing are consistently impeccable; and that reflect the Coast Guard’s core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty are nominated for the award.

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