The U.S. Coast Guard announced the recipients of the 2022 Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence and Superior Cutterman Awards. The winners were selected from amongst a highly competitive pool of nominees.
Cutter Excellence Award:
(1) Large Cutter: USCGC MIDGETT (WMSL 757)
(2) Medium Cutter: USCGC DAUNTLESS (WMEC 624)
(3) Small Cutter: USCGC GLEN HARRIS (WPC 1144)
Superior Cutterman Award:
(1) Officer: LT Michael Overstreet – USCGC KATMAI BAY (WTGB 101)
(2) Enlisted: OSC Collin Strange – USCGC CHARLES MOULTHROPE (WPC 1141)
2. Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence Award (Large) – CGC MIDGETT (WMSL 757):
During RIMPAC 2022, the world’s largest international maritime exercise, USCGC MIDGETT advanced mission excellence and became the first CG cutter to command two Combined Task Forces, successfully completing 33 joint and combined at-sea events with U.S. and foreign warships. In the midst of RIMPAC exercises, USCGC MIDGETT responded to a real-world engine room fire aboard a Peruvian naval vessel, enabling the immediate transport of two severely burned crew members to MIDGETT for stabilizing first aid and facilitating a MEDEVAC ashore for higher-level medical care. MIDGETT’s courageous rendering of rescue and assistance was key to the Peruvian crew saving their ship. While deployed under USN 7th fleet TACON in support of INDOPACOM’s strategic priorities, USCGC MIDGETT skillfully operated in and around some of the world’s most highly trafficked and politically sensitive areas, including the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea. USCGC MIDGETT worked extensively with PACAREA and CG-711 to sharpen our competitive edge by supporting prototype testing of CG MH-60 “blade fold/tail fold” capability and deploying with a USN MH-60R during RIMPAC.
Honorable Mentions for the Large Cutter Award are:
(1) USCGC HAMILTON (WMSL 753)
(2) USCGC KIMBALL (WMSL 756)
Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence Award (Medium) – USCGC DAUNTLESS (WMEC 624):
In 2022 during the Operation VIGILANT SENTRY phase elevation, USCGC DAUNTLESS interdicted 18 unseaworthy migrant vessels and held, processed, and repatriated 975 Cuban and Haitian migrants over 67 days in the Florida Straits and Windward Passage. USCGC DAUNTLESS upheld WMEC migrant holding standards despite operating short-staffed. USCGC DAUNTLESS was the first post-COVID-19 cutter to complete the full three-week TSTA, earning a 98% average drill score across 109 training evolutions and the Atlantic Area Overall Operational Readiness Award. During Operation UNIFIED RESOLVE, USCGC DAUNTLESS safely conducted a challenging and heroic rescue of 27 migrants from Monito Island in heavy surf conditions.
Honorable Mentions for the Medium Cutter Award are:
USCGC ALDER (WLB 216)
USCGC DILIGENCE (WMEC 616)
Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence Award (Small) – USCGC GLEN HARRIS (WPC 1144):
USCGC GLEN HARRIS executed Operation GRIDIRON, a 99-day voyage from Key West, FL to Manama, Bahrain covering over 14,500nm. While transiting off West Africa after completing the first-ever South Atlantic crossing by an FRC, USCGC GLEN HARRIS and the accompanying cutter responded to two unseaworthy migrant rafts transiting from Morocco. Fearing for the safety of life at sea, GLEN HARRIS closed on the submerged raft with people in the water and rescued them all, saving 103 lives. During Operation GRIDIRON, USCGC GLEN HARRIS performed exercises and professional exchanges with the Armed Forces of Malta, Lebanese Armed Forces-Navy, Royal Jordanian Defense Forces, and the Israeli Navy, greatly enhancing foreign maritime partnerships in the region. Additionally, USCGC GLEN HARRIS conducted the first three drug interdictions by a USCG vessel in the Middle East. In support of Operation UNIFIED TAKEDOWN, USCGC GLEN HARRIS seized over 3,600kgs of hashish, heroin, methamphetamine, and amphetamines from 3 stateless dhows. USCGC GLEN HARRIS also supported Operation SPARTAN SHIELD by providing layered defense to coalition assets through 15 transits of the Strait of Hormuz. USCGC GLEN HARRIS’ poise and professionalism during 8 interactions with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy safeguarded 10 coalition assets and prevented further escalation with adversarial forces.
Honorable Mentions for the Small Cutter Award are:
USCGC EMLEN TUNNELL (WPC 1145)
USCGC JOSEPH DOYLE (WPC 1133)
Hopley Yeaton Superior Cutterman Award (Officer) – LT Michael Overstreet – USCGC KATMAI BAY (WTGB 101):
LT Overstreet led USCGC KATMAI BAY through sub-zero blizzard conditions while conducting domestic icebreaking mission alongside multiple 1000ft vessels in need of assistance when KATMAI BAY was diverted to a search and rescue mission for passenger vessel (PV) HURON. PV HURON had lost steering and had no operational anchor onboard. While closely monitoring and battling crew fatigue, complete darkness, freezing temperatures, and gale force winds, he expertly led a team to take the stricken vessel in side tow and returned it safely to the pier; avoiding a major environmental disaster due to the close proximity of jagged underwater rocks. LT Overstreet also organized multiple events and training opportunities to support and enable the growth of his and other cutters’ crews including the first-ever training at the Regional Fire Training Center for multiple WTGBs, an 8 Bells ceremony on the USS NIAGARA, and a Master Cutterman ceremony for his Engineer Officer. After USCGC KATMAI BAY suffered dual boiler casualties in January 2022, severely limiting the cutter’s heating system, the crew completed the MEDEVAC of a patient needing immediate medical care in conditions unsuitable for aviation assets. This lifesaving effort was done while wearing the heaviest winter gear available due to the failed heating system, a testament to the resilience of the crew under LT Overstreet’s adept leadership.
Honorable Mentions for the Superior Cutterman Award (Officer) are:
LT Jonathan Upton – USCGC RESOLUTE (WMEC 620)
CWO Sean Campbell – USCGC KIMBALL (WMSL 756)
Hopley Yeaton Superior Cutterman Award (Enlisted) – OSC Collin Strange – USCGC CHARLES MOULTHROPE (WMEC 1133):
While acting as the Operations Officer for 5+ months, OSC Strange spearheaded the planning for two large scale joint international naval exercises. This bolstered partnerships between the U.S., U.K., Oman, Pakistan, and the U.A.E. while promoting the U.S. as a top regional security partner. OSC Strange also planned three layered defense escorts through the highly contested Strait of Hormuz that protected strategic coalition assets and countered malign Iranian activity. He led the visual imagery collection team that captured video and photos of unsafe maneuvers by Iranian Naval Forces in a near-collision with coalition assets, providing compelling evidence of disregard for international norms and standards. While underway in the Arabian Sea during Operation UNIFIED TAKEDOWN, hundreds of nautical miles away from the nearest medical facility, OSC Strange noticed a shiprider from the Intelligence Exploitation Team exhibiting signs of choking during the noon meal. Displaying quick initiative without hesitation, he effectively identified the distress and cleared the object from the member’s airway. OSC Strange further demonstrated exceptional technical prowess when serving as a liaison aboard an Iraqi naval vessel during a trilateral exercise with the CG, USN, and Kuwait Navy. His professionalism engaging with foreign officers from O-1 to O-6 and expertise in coordinating formation maneuvering, tactical signals, and communications enabled the Iraqi Navy’s first successful participation since 2008, enhancing international relations and interoperability between the three countries.
Honorable Mentions for the Superior Cutterman Award (Enlisted)
MK1 Christian Jankuhn – USCGC RAYMOND EVANS (WPB 1110)
BMC Roberto LLamas – USCGC DAUNTLESS (WMEC 624)
The winners will be recognized at the 2023 Surface Navy Association (SNA) National Symposium, which will be held in Washington, DC from 10-12 January, 2023.