Maine Coast Guard officer relieved of duties by superiors

U.S. Coast Guard cutter Moray. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard.

U.S. Coast Guard cutter Moray. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard.


By Abigail Curtis, Bangor Daily News, Maine

March 07–JONESPORT, Maine — U.S. Coast Guard officials said Saturday morning the officer in charge of Jonesport-based cutter Moray has been relieved of his duties because of loss of confidence in his ability to command.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Christopher Bouchard was relieved Friday by Rear Adm. Linda Fagan of the First Coast Guard District and Capt. Brian Gilda of Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, according to Lt. Karen Kutkiewicz, a spokeswoman for the service branch.

“The investigation is ongoing,” she said Saturday morning. “It’s rare that a commanding officer is relieved of his post. It doesn’t happen in the Coast Guard very often at all.”

She said that Bouchard, who has served more than 15 years in the Coast Guard, is being investigated for having “lost confidence in his ability to navigate the cutter safely and to lead his crew.”

He has been in charge of the Moray and its 13-person crew for a little over a year and a half. The 87-foot coastal patrol boat has two primary missions: search and rescue and law enforcement. It is not an icebreaker, Kutkiewicz said.

Bouchard temporarily is assigned to Coast Guard Sector Field Office Southwest Harbor. A final decision about whether he will be permanently removed from his duties or resume command of the cutter will be made by the Commandant of the Coast Guard in Washington, D.C.

Lt. Nolan Cuevas, the commanding officer of the Gloucester, Massachusetts-based cutter Grand Isle, has assumed temporary command of the Moray.

A previous report from the Coast Guard indicated Senior Chief Petty Officer Charles Petronis, the officer currently in charge of Coast Guard Station Jonesport, would assume temporary command of the cutter.

“We have high expectations of all coast guardsmen,” Kutkiewicz said. “We hold commanding officers to the highest standards.”


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  1. Gary Randall says:

    Somethings wrong with this picture… A senior chief in 15 years how is that possible? I retired in 96 as a chief and it took me all of 14 years to make chief and by the time I made chief I could definitely navigate a boat. I don’t see how it’s possible to gain experience required of the position of senior chief in 15 years.

  2. Laura Ruiz-Miner says:

    I agree with Gary Randall. Something is just not adding up.

  3. Danny Shilkett says:

    Why did they mention that it is NOT an icebreaker? And a 15-year senior chief. Must’ve been a hard charger.

  4. CPO Retired says:

    There’s a bunch of kids that have made chief really fast as of late, some experienced, good workers and leaders and some that just get promoted quick and don’t have the maturity to assume command. Hopefully is a misunderstanding or he’s done.