Office of Diversity and Inclusion (CG-12B)

Contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Commandant (CG-12B)
U.S. Coast Guard
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE Stop 7907
Washington, D.C. 20593-7907

Portraits of Diversity

1. What is your name and what do you do in the Coast Guard?
"Leonel Robles, I'm an MH-65 Aircraft Commander at Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City."

2. Describe diversity in a word or two and explain what it means to you.
"I grew up moving a lot as a kid. I lived in two boroughs in NYC, Puerto Rico, Lakewood, New Jersey and eventually Parsippany New Jersey. Each one of those places was unique and had a different "culture" and sometimes different languages. What was acceptable in one wasn't necessarily acceptable in others. From an early age, I learned the value of diversity, appreciating the unique differences that individuals bring to the table and above all of being respectful of others. My experiences motivated me to chase my dreams which eventually led me to a career as a Coast Guard helicopter pilot." 

3. How has your experience and background prepared you to be effective at
your job?
"As a military officer, you're put in leadership positions fairly early in your career. Whether you're running a shop or leading an aircrew on a mission, the people we work with all have their own stories, backgrounds and motivations. I've tried my best to get to know the people I work with, where they’re from, what motivates them and where they’re trying to go. When you look at people with a holistic view I think you're able to better understand them and ultimately be a better leader."

4. Tell me a little bit about your life outside of work.
"I try and maintain a fairly active life outside of the Coast Guard. I've been taking graduate classes at Indiana University and I’ve had the opportunity to travel to some cool places. Last year I had the opportunity to travel to Athens, Greece and Tampa, Florida to participate in two student projects where we helped two different organizations develop their strategy. It was a great opportunity to learn about different industries, but more importantly, an opportunity to see how folks in other professions think and tackle prob
1. What is your name and what do you do in the Coast Guard?
"My name is Mariah Roling and I'm a boat crew member at Station Cape May. As a boat crew member, a couple of my responsibilities include cleaning and maintaining the small boats, training and assisting mariners in distress." 

2. Describe diversity in a word or two and explain what it means to you.
"I chose "embracing differences" because I just think it's so awesome that everyone in the Coast Guard has a different story and comes  from different walks of life, but join the same organization to fulfill the mission." 

3. How has your experience and background prepared you to be effective at
your job?
"Growing up in Southern California I've always had a love for the water. I became a lifeguard when I was 15-years-old, and an EMT when I was 20-years-old. I joined the Coast Guard in late 2011 and was stationed at the Honor Guard. While I was there, I volunteered at the fire department and ended up going to the fire academy graduating as a firefighter. Throughout the years, I've been put in a lot of high stress situations where lives depend on how well I can work under pressure and rely on my training to save myself and others. I think those experiences have really prepared me to be an efficient boat crew member in an ever-changing work environment where it's frequently necessary to adapt and overcome to successfully complete the mission."  

4. Tell me a little bit about your life outside of work.
"I'm really into working out and almost anything outdoors. I love hanging out with friends and also enjoy going to church every Sunday I have off."

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist David Lau
1. What is your name and what do you do in the Coast Guard?
"I am Eric Wilson. I am the Chief Pilot and Operations Officer at Coast Guard Air Station Washington. Air Station Washington provides global on-demand executive transport service for the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Commandant of the Coast Guard and other senior service leaders. The unit currently has two Gulfstream 5 aircrafts."

2. Describe diversity in a word or two and explain what it means to you.
"Diversity of thought, diversity of experience, diversity of background all increase our services dynamic capabilities to execute our many missions. Therefore, diversity is not just a buzz word or project initiative; it is about readiness."

3. How has your experience and background prepared you to be effective at
your job?
"I’ve had a wealth of great opportunities in the Coast Guard. I served as a Deck Watch Officer aboard CGC WILLOW, a pilot in the HU-25, HC-144 and C37 aircraft.  I’ve been able to experience a diverse array of operational Coast Guard missions.  Every day is a unique challenge and new opportunity to learn."

4. Tell me a little bit about your life outside of work.
"Outside of work, I am working on a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership.  When I'm not writing essays, I’m spending time with my wife and kids."

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist David Lau
1. What is your name and what do you do in the Coast Guard?
"My name is Shantel Guillory and my position here at Air Station Atlantic City is the Supply Shop Procurement Leading Petty Officer. In the Supply Shop, myself and two other Storekeepers procure and track the unit's supplies and personal protective equipment so the unit can maintain its operational readiness."

2. Describe diversity in a word or two and explain what it means to you.
"I chose the word "Flavor" to describe diversity because to be diverse is to different and If you have a lot of differences, you have "Flavor" just like ingredients to food!!! :-)"

3. How has your experience and background prepared you to be effective at
your job?
"Coming from such a diverse heritage, when I joined the Coast Guard, it was easy for me to adapt to the wide range of culture in this service. Working in a job specialty for over 15 years where its primary function is customer service, I’ve been able to interact with people from all walks of life, age, gender, religion, etc. Because I have diversity deeply rooted in me, I’m able to relate to others with an open mind. It’s the main reason why I serve on the unit's Leadership, Diversity, Advisory Council or LDAC. Diversity is who I am."

4. Tell me a little bit about your life outside of work.
"Outside of work, I’m the mother of a 12-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son. I enjoy taking my kids to new places where they can experience different cultures and activities this country has to offer. My daughter is a model, so we spend a good bit of time doing photo shoots and fashion shows. I also mentor a young single mother in Atlantic City. As a single mother myself, it’s important to me this young mother is empowered with the knowledge and strength that she needs to provide a stable and safe life for herself and her children, not only right now, but in the future."

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist David Lau
1. What is your name and what do you do in the Coast Guard?
"My name is Iris Pennypacker and I’m a Health Services Technician Coast Guard at Air Station Atlantic City. I am responsible for maintaining the health and readiness for more than 200 members at this unit and surrounding units."

2. Describe diversity in a word or two and explain what it means to you.
"I chose the word UNITY because even though we all come from different backgrounds here in the Coast Guard, we all come together to get our jobs done. Maybe that's why they call our billets a unit."

3. How has your experience and background prepared you to be effective at
your job?
"Growing up in a large and loving family really prepared me for my job in many ways. First, there is the age difference between myself and my siblings whom are older. I had to be able to fit in and really learn group dynamics at an early age. Second, with my sister being biracial, I was exposed early on that family isn't as much about race as it is about love and respect." 

4. Tell me a little bit about your life outside of work.
"Outside of work I am a wife and a mother of three. I am currently taking an EMT course to help me advance in my career. I like to stay active so when I'm not chasing around my youngest son age 3, I take a ballet class every week. I also love photography! If I'm not taking pictures of my children, I'm taking pictures of the beautiful things that nature has to offer."

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist David Lau
1. What is your name and what do you do in the Coast Guard?
"I'm Kasey Stamper and I am an engineer, boarding officer and boat crew
member at Station Cape May. I assist with the repair/replacement of all
mechanical aspects, as well as respond to Search and Rescue and conduct Law
Enforcement."

2. Describe diversity in a word or two and explain what it means to you.
"I chose acceptance and respect to represent diversity because it best depicts what our country represents." 

3. How has your experience and background prepared you to be effective at
your job?
"My background and experience has prepared me to be effective at my job because I joined the Coast Guard at a later age and was able to mature and build a solid work-ethic to base my career off of." 

4. Tell me a little bit about your life outside of work.
"Outside of work, I enjoy everything sun, sand, and saltwater related! I also work out and play video games!"

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist David Lau
1. What is your name and what do you do in the Coast Guard?
"My name is Mario Guzman. I am a 3rd Class Maritime Enforcement Specialist. My job expectations are to conduct Ports, Waterways and Coastal Security missions, Antiterrorism and Force Protection measures and instruct junior personnel in Coast Guard law enforcement procedures."

2. Describe diversity in a word or two and explain what it means to you.
"Assortment. I believe that Diversity is an assortment of people with different backgrounds that all contribute different knowledge to our service."

3. How has your experience and background prepared you to be effective at
your job?
"The training I received from the Coast Guard through various schools and qualifications at Station Yankeetown prior to becoming a Maritime Enforcement Specialist has helped me to be effective in my current position."

4. Tell me a little bit about your life outside of work.
"Outside of work, my wife Diana and I like to use our time to explore Cape May and the surrounding area. We also enjoy traveling back home to Puerto Rico to visit family and friends."

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist David Lau
1. What is your name and what do you do in the Coast Guard?
"My name is Kendall L. Ferebee and I am a non-rate at Air Station
 Atlantic City, working in the facility engineering department (FACENG)."

2. Describe diversity in a word or two and explain what it means to you.
"I chose the word variety to describe diversity to me. The quality or state of having many different forms, types, and ideas, which to me means variety. My job here at the air station consists of maintenance and cleaning, which doesn't require any special skills or knowledge." 

3. How has your experience and background prepared you to be effective at
your job?
"Working with my dad tuning up cars, doing chores and yard work was
all the preparation I think I needed to prepare me for all the maintenance, which needs to be done on base." 

4. Tell me a little bit about your life outside of work.
"I live a simple life outside of the Coast Guard. I wake up, come to work, go to the gym and then go home and play video games. I spend my nights preparing myself for A-school and continuing my education by studying my old college books and trying to understand as much as possible."

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Micallef
1. What is your name and what do you do in the Coast Guard?
"Paulina Castillo, I work in the Response Department under Enforcement. I manage Ports Waterways and Coastal Security hours and work with the Vessel Boarding Security Team."

2. Describe diversity in a word or two and explain what it means to you.
"I chose the word "challenging" because sometimes diversity makes it really hard to connect with others! I was fortunate to get to travel a lot in my life. I lived in Chile, California, Mexico, Hawaii and did two foreign exchanges to Japan. When you are fully immersed in a culture (not as a visitor but as a long term guest) you realize what a challenge it is to communicate with language and culture differences. Diversity is a challenge, but with your persistence and the kindness and patience of those around you (and their own curiosity about your culture) it is possible and worthwhile to overcome and learn from the experience."

3. How has your experience and background prepared you to be effective at
your job?
"The Coast Guard deals a lot with people from all over the world. I think my travels and experiences being the foreigner gives me common ground and patience working with people."

4. Tell me a little bit about your life outside of work.
"Most of my free time revolves around my dog. He is a 120-pound Caucasian Ovcharka, one of the biggest dog breeds in the world. People definitely stop and say hi whenever we go on walks, so life with him is very social."

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist David Lau
1. What is your name and what do you do in the Coast Guard?
"Marguerite Champlin, but I go by "Maggie." I'm a pilot in the MH-65D helicopter and one of two Education Services Officers at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City. As a pilot my duties include standing search and rescue duty on a regular basis as one of two pilots in a typical SAR crew. As an ESO I administer mid-term and final exams for personnel in college. I counsel U.S. Coast Guard members on college options and tuition assistance. I am also qualified to administer Federal Aviation Administration exams to pilots and flight mechanics seeking professional qualifications outside of the Coast Guard."

2. Describe diversity in a word or two and explain what it means to you.
"I chose "experience" as my word. I grew up in Alabama and before joining the Coast Guard I was a U.S. Navy helicopter pilot. I've travelled and have been stationed all over the world."

3. How has your experience and background prepared you to be effective at
your job?
"When I transferred to the Coast Guard, I brought with me the diversity of those experiences. There are a lot of Coast Guard service members with prior military experience from other services. This melting pot of backgrounds makes the Coast Guard stronger. "

4. Tell me a little bit about your life outside of work.
"Life outside of work is pretty simple. I'm either hiking with my husband and our Great Dane or in my sewing room making and/or repairing quilts."

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist David Lau
1. What is your name and what do you do in the Coast Guard?
"My name is Gordon Martinez Diaz. I assist in conducting small boat search and rescue missions for STA Cape May. In addition to that I perform safety boarding's and law enforcement as a boarding team member."

2. Describe diversity in a word or two and explain what it means to you.
"Unique Path. I believe that people coming together from all walks of life is diversity. "Strength lies in differences, not in similarities." Since the Coast is so diverse, we can look at a problem and see the solution through various thought processes. Using different walks of life, the Coast Guard members have an array of angles to view every situation."

3. How has your experience and background prepared you to be effective at
your job?
"I am a proud Cuban American, and was raised to have a hard work ethic, strong morals, and to strive for excellence. My background has always pushed me to do my best and never give up. My experiences and hardships have made it easier for me to identify and mitigate hazards that could potentially affect my shipmates in a negative way." 

4. Tell me a little bit about your life outside of work.
"I like long walks on the beach."

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist David Lau
1. What is your name and what do you do in the Coast Guard?
"I'm Sean-Paul Cavalier and I'm a boatswain mate at Station Cape May. I’ve been a BM for about a year now." 

2. Describe diversity in a word or two and explain what it means to you.
"I chose “Range & Assortment” for my two words. I said range because in the Coast Guard I have shipmates from all around the world, many miles away from their homes. I said assortment because we have many nationalities and religions in the Coast Guard. If you met a new shipmate today, that person would be different from the one you met yesterday."
 
3. How has your experience and background prepared you to be effective at
your job?
"I grew up in Los Angeles, California and had the opportunity to attend YMCA Big Bear Camp for four years during the summer and winter. I was able to meet and interact with different races and cultures going to that camp at a young age so the world wasn't just black and white for me. Getting older I got accepted to a charter high school in Malibu California which allowed me to further my experience with diversity as a teenager that I would not experience growing up in South Los Angeles. I loved every moment of it." 

4. Tell me a little bit about your life outside of work.
"Outside of work I don't do much. I still live on base in the barracks, so I don't go many places."

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist David Lau
1. My name is Venus Hulst. I’ve been in the Coast Guard for eight years. I'm a fully qualified Officer of the Day, Coxswain and Boarding Officer at Station Cape May. 
2. My word to describe diversity is sexual orientation. In the past, there was "Don't ask, Don't tell" and you were judged for being different and possibly kicked out for it. Now, I'm a respected second class Boatswain's Mate that people look to for guidance regardless of who I like or love. Now, my friendships are stronger for not hiding myself. 
3. With my experience and ethnic background, I’ve learned to be patient and never judge a book by its cover. 
4. Outside of work I love to spoil my dog and spend time with friends that accept me.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist David Lau
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Portraits of Diversity
1. My name is Venus Hulst. I’ve been in the Coast Guard for eight years. I'm a fully qualified Officer of the Day, Coxswain and Boarding Officer at Station Cape May. 2. My word to describe diversity is sexual orientation. In the past, there was "Don't ask, Don't tell" and you were judged for being different and possibly kicked out for it. Now, I'm a respected second class Boatswain's Mate that people look to for guidance regardless of who I like or love. Now, my friendships are stronger for not hiding myself. 3. With my experience and ethnic background, I’ve learned to be patient and never judge a book by its cover. 4. Outside of work I love to spoil my dog and spend time with friends that accept me. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist David Lau

Find out more about our Portraits of Diversity Campaign

Recognizing Diversity as a Mission Readiness Issue
Mission:diversity logo

The role of the Coast Guard is critical to national security. Its mission is to protect the public, the environment, and America’s economic interests in the nation’s ports and waterways. The Coast Guard values diversity, teamwork, and responsiveness. Our mission in valuing diversity is to build a positive and respectful work environment for all personnel, regardless of their similarities or differences, to enhance our mission capabilities.

Vision:

The Coast Guard will be recognized as the “service of Choice” in the federal government for recruiting, retaining and sustaining a ready, diverse and highly-skilled total workforce. We will foster an environment in which every individual has the opportunity to prosper and contribute to Coast Guard missions.

Values:

The Coast Guard Core Values embody the very nature of selfless service achieved through the contributions of each individual.

Diversity and Inclusion Doctrine

Coast Guard Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Plan - 2015-2018

2016 Diversity and Inclusion Observances Across the United States (source: Anti-Defamation League)


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