MCPOCG Vanderhaden swears in leadership of the CPOA and the CGEA in St. Pete, Fla. (HSToday photo)

A New Day for CPOA: BMCS Jon Ostrowski Sworn as President of Chief Petty Officers Association

The Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA) of the U.S. Coast Guard installed new leadership at this week’s 50th convention in St. Petersburg, Fla.  Sworn as president was BMCS Jon Ostrowski (ret), a 30 year Coast Guard boatswain who will lead the organization during its landmark 50th anniversary of serving the Chiefs of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Campaigning on a platform of modernization, partnership, and communication, Ostrowski said in an interview with HSToday that “I’m not planning to change the course of the CPOA; I am looking to increase our ’payload’ – our reach, membership, and speed – to bring our association into an era where things move at the speed of light.”

“We must be agile and meet the needs of our current and future members,” he said.

Ostrowski, a member of the CPOA since 2006, served as treasurer of the LA/LB Chapter, president and vice president of the Washington, D.C., Chapter, and co-chairman of the National Membership Committee; he is a Silver Lifetime Member of the association. During his service as a chapter president, his chapter was twice awarded the CPOA President’s Outstanding Chapter Award, and led the charge to raise over $120,000 to restore the Coast Guard WWI memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. During his tenure they doubled sponsorships and increased their membership by 10 percent. He has also worked diligently to mentor junior enlisted, culminating in the creation of a CGEA branch in Washington, D.C.

“I believe in developing cooperative, collaborative relationships and partnerships with other organizations to enhance the CPOA’s reputation and engagement in the broader community in addition to adding more value to our members,” Ostrowski continued.

Ostrowski will serve a three-year term as president and is eligible for one more term if re-elected.

Charlie Womack (Courtesy photo/Chief Petty Officers Association)

Also elected to the CPOA board was Charlie Womack, a CPOA member since 1985 and a Silver Lifetime member since 1997. Womack held chapter presidencies in Honolulu, New Orleans, and Mobile and served as vice president and secretary for those chapters as well. Nationally, he has served one term as vice president.

Established in 1969, the Coast Guard CPOA was formed to advance the interests of the United States Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Corps, encouraging integrity and fidelity to the Service and fellowship within the ranks. In 1991, the Coast Guard Enlisted Association was chartered by and for junior enlisted personnel, under the auspices of the CPOA, reinforcing the association’s motto: “In respect for those who have gone before us, and as a guide for those who follow.”

The CPOA and the CGEA proudly serve Coast Guard and other military active duty and reserve members, veterans, their families and their communities. Through a strong and united network of over 10,000 members, the organizations work to advance the interests of membership through community service, scholarships and fundraising, and by partnering with military and veterans organizations both locally and nationally.

CPOA members re-elected to the CPOA Board include: Secretary YNCS Bruce Garrison, Treasurer CW02 Mark Tahtinen, Region 1 Advisor MKCM Dave Isherwood, Region 2 HSCM Tyrone Anderson, and Region 3 Advisor CWO Amy Ponce.

For more information on the CPOA or to join, click here.

Kristina Tanasichuk is CEO of the Government Technology & Services Coalition and Executive Editor of Homeland Security Today. She founded GTSC to advance communication and collaboration between the public and private sector in defense of our homeland.  A leader in homeland security public private partnership, critical infrastructure protection, cyber security, STEM, innovation, commercialization and much more, she brings to HS Today decades of experience and expertise in the intersection of the public and private sectors in support of our homeland's security. Tanasichuk worked for Chairman Tom Bliley on electric utility restructuring for the House Commerce Committee, then for municipal electric utilities sorting out deregulation. She also worked for the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank in Washington, D.C., ran the largest homeland conference and trade show in the country, and represented public works departments In homeland security immediately after 9/11. Tanasichuk brings a new vision and in-depth knowledge of the federal homeland and national security apparatus to the media platform.  She is also the president and founder of Women in Homeland Security and President of InfraGardNCR, a public private partnership between the FBI and private sector to share information to protect the nation's critical infrastructure. She has attended the FBI and DEA Citizens Academies and the Marine Corps Executive Leadership Program and holds her undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College and an MPA from George Mason University.

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