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Monday, June 24, 2024

CPOA Celebrates 50 Years of Supporting the Coast Guard Family

This past December and January, U.S. Coast Guard members did not get paid. They still had to go to work; they just were caught in the political marksmanship of budget negotiations.

So the Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA) went to work organizing the fight to get their members — and all service members paid.

Former Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Jason M Vanderhaden Bill PetrosCPOA

For 50 years the CPOA has worked to support the U.S. Coast Guard and its thousands of members. The organization marked its 50th anniversary on Saturday night with a star-studded evening of U.S. Coast Guard royalty, Chiefs from across the country, and organizations that work with them to support Coast Guard enlisted service members. Former Commandant Thad Allen, Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Jason M. Vanderhaden and many others celebrated in Herndon, Va.

READ: MCPOCG Vanderhaden talks readiness, operational demands with HSToday

“I am honored to lead the organization for its 50th anniversary and am so proud and pleased with how we have honored those who have gone before us and continue to provide a bridge for those who will follow,” said National President Jon Ostrowski at the dinner. “Our organization is growing because we are a vibrant and relevant part of the landscape of support for our enlisted shipmates – we’ve proven that with the shutdown and with our response to hurricanes Florence and Michael.”

The CPOA met its greatest challenges in the past couple of years: service members with no pay and service members who had to perform their duties despite having their own homes and families devastated by hurricanes. The Coast Guard recognized CPOA’s support with one of its highest awards, the Distinguished Public Service Award to the organization “in recognition of its unwavering dedication and support of Coast Guard members and families during the unprecedented hurricane season of 2017…the CPOA’s nationwide coordination and efforts with senior leaders from the service and Coast Guard Foundation were instrumental to ensuring members on the front lines of humanitarian operations remained focused on conducting rescue and port reconstruction missions, resulting in more than 12,000 lives saved.”

Silver Lifetime member and National President of the Chief Warrant Officers Association CWO4 Mark Cortor and 50 year CPOA member Gunnersmate Senior Chief Albert H McClelland at the anniversary dinner Bill PetrosCPOA

More than 350 attendees gathered to honor the Association and its accomplishments over the past 50 years – capped by the unveiling of a legacy time capsule. “We’ve been collecting Words of Wisdom and mementos for months,” said Executive Director Randy Reid. “Those attending the gala had the best chance to add special notes, coins, and artifacts to the capsule. Once the Coast Guard Museum in New London, Conn., is complete, it will be placed on display and, hopefully, opened at our 100th Anniversary in 2029. Our hope is to have present-day Chiefs pass on their knowledge and experience to our future Chiefs.”

Allen delivered the keynote address, recalling the many times throughout his career he would “ask the Chiefs” and how in times of emergency or when they needed to get the job done, they would turn to the Chiefs.

The CPOA was initially formed in 1933, disbanded due to WWII, and re-founded and officially chartered in 1969 as a service organization to support the “Chief” rating of the U.S. Coast Guard. Its original motto – “Ut Prosimus,” so that I may serve – represented the original mission: “Encourage fidelity, integrity to the Service, and better understanding and fellowship, and to advance the best interests of the enlisted personnel of the Coast Guard, especially of those associated as members of this organization, and to extend all possible relief to their widows and children; to foster the cultivation of military discipline and true allegiance to the United States of America.”

CPOA National President Jon Ostrowski left and keynote former Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen Bill PetrosCPOA

The association serves as the umbrella organization for the Coast Guard Enlisted Association (CGEA), which serves the needs of the enlisted in the service.

“The Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association has stood as the guide for their junior enlisted workforce for 50 years. They have exemplified a commitment to selfless service and determination, through their missions. As founders of our Coast Guard Enlisted Association, they have honored our membership for 28 years through their leadership and mentorship. We congratulate Chiefs on this milestone and continue to be grateful for their commitment to grow us as future leaders in our associations and organization,” said CGEA President YN1 Casey Lawrence, who flew in for the event from the USCG station in Kodiak, Alaska.

READ: Casey Lawrence discusses the future of CGEA with HSToday

In his remarks, President Ostrowski recounted some of the CPOA projects like restoring the Coast Guard World War Memorial on Coast Guard Hill at Arlington National Cemetery, taking care of Coast Guard families impacted by the hurricanes, and most recently the fight for Coast Guard pay. “We marshal our resources to support one another and to assure that once you are part of the Coast Guard family you have your network and support for life,” he said. “That is what we do at the CPOA.”

Time capsule unveiled at the CPOA 50th anniversary gala Bill PetrosCPOA
author avatar
Kristina Tanasichuk
From terrorism to the homeland security business enterprise, for over 20 years Kristina Tanasichuk has devoted her career to educating and informing the homeland community to build avenues for collaboration, information sharing, and resilience. She has worked in homeland security since 2002 and has founded and grown some of the most renowned organizations in the field. Prior to homeland she worked on critical infrastructure for Congress and for municipal governments in the energy sector and public works. She has 25 years of lobbying and advocacy experience on Capitol Hill on behalf of non- profit associations, government clients, and coalitions. In 2011, she founded the Government & Services Technology Coalition, a non-profit member organization devoted to the missions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and all the homeland disciplines. GTSC focuses on developing and nurturing innovative small and mid-sized companies (up to $1 billion) working with the Federal government. GTSC’s mission is to increase collaboration, information exchange, and constructive problem solving around the most challenging homeland security issues facing the nation. She acquired Homeland Security Today (www.HSToday.us) in 2017 and has since grown readership to over one million hits per month and launched and expanded a webinar program to law enforcement across the US, Canada, and international partners. Tanasichuk is also the president and founder of Women in Homeland Security, a professional development organization for women in the field of homeland security. As a first generation Ukrainian, she was thrilled to join the Advisory Board of LABUkraine in 2017. The non-profit initiative builds computer labs for orphanages in Ukraine and in 2018 built the first computer lab near Lviv, Ukraine. At the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, she worked with the organization to pivot and raise money for Ukrainian troop and civilian needs. She made several trips to Krakow, Poland to bring vital supplies like tourniquets and water filters to the front lines, and has since continued fundraising and purchasing drones, communications equipment, and vehicles for the war effort. Most recently she was named as the Lead Advisor to the First US-Ukraine Freedom Summit, a three-day conference and fundraiser to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of Ukrainian war veterans through sports and connection with U.S. veterans. She served as President and Executive Vice President on the Board of Directors for the InfraGard Nations Capital chapter, a public private partnership with the FBI to protect America’s critical infrastructure for over 8 years. Additionally, she served on the U.S. Coast Guard Board of Mutual Assistance and as a trustee for the U.S. Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial Foundation. She graduated from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Citizens’ Academies, in addition to the Marine Corps Executive Forum. Prior to founding the Government Technology & Services Coalition she was Vice President of the Homeland Security & Defense Business Council (HSDBC), an organization for the largest corporations in the Federal homeland security market. She was responsible for thought leadership and programs, strategic partnerships, internal and external communications, marketing and public affairs. She managed the Council’s Executive Brief Series and strategic alliances, as well as the organization’s Thought Leadership Committee and Board of Advisors. Prior to this, she also founded and served for two years as executive director of the American Security Challenge, an event that awarded monetary and contractual awards in excess of $3.5 million to emerging security technology firms. She was also the event director for the largest homeland security conference and exposition in the country where she created and managed three Boards of Advisors representing physical and IT security, first responders, Federal, State and local law enforcement, and public health. She crafted the conference curriculum, evolved their government relations strategy, established all of the strategic partnerships, and managed communications and media relations. Tanasichuk began her career in homeland security shortly after September 11, 2001 while at the American Public Works Association. Her responsibilities built on her deep understanding of critical infrastructure issues and included homeland security and emergency management issues before Congress and the Administration on first responder issues, water, transportation, utility and public building security. Prior to that she worked on electric utility deregulation and domestic energy issues representing municipal governments and as professional staff for the Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce. Tanasichuk has also worked at the American Enterprise Institute, several Washington, D.C. associations representing both the public and private sectors, and the White House under President George H.W. Bush. Tanasichuk also speaks extensively representing small and mid-sized companies and discussing innovation and work in the Federal market at the IEEE Homeland Security Conference, AFCEA’s Homeland Security Conference and Homeland Security Course, ProCM.org, and the Security Industry Association’s ISC East and ACT-IAC small business committee. She has also been featured in CEO Magazine and in MorganFranklin’s www.VoicesonValue.com campaign. She is a graduate of St. Olaf College and earned her Master’s in Public Administration from George Mason University. She was honored by the mid-Atlantic INLETS Law Enforcement Training Board with the “Above and Beyond” award in both 2019 – for her support to the homeland security and first responder community for furthering public private partnerships, creating information sharing outlets, and facilitating platforms for strengthening communities – and 2024 – for her work supporting Ukraine in their defense against the Russian invasion. In 2016 she was selected as AFCEA International’s Industry Small Business Person of the Year, in 2015 received the U.S. Treasury, Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization Excellence in Partnership award for “Moving Treasury’s Small Business Program Forward,” as a National Association of Woman Owned Businesses Distinguished Woman of the Year Finalist, nominated for “Friend of the Entrepreneur” by the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Military Spouse of the Year by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2011, and for a Heroines of Washington DC award in 2014. She is fluent in Ukrainian.
Kristina Tanasichuk
Kristina Tanasichuk
From terrorism to the homeland security business enterprise, for over 20 years Kristina Tanasichuk has devoted her career to educating and informing the homeland community to build avenues for collaboration, information sharing, and resilience. She has worked in homeland security since 2002 and has founded and grown some of the most renowned organizations in the field. Prior to homeland she worked on critical infrastructure for Congress and for municipal governments in the energy sector and public works. She has 25 years of lobbying and advocacy experience on Capitol Hill on behalf of non- profit associations, government clients, and coalitions. In 2011, she founded the Government & Services Technology Coalition, a non-profit member organization devoted to the missions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and all the homeland disciplines. GTSC focuses on developing and nurturing innovative small and mid-sized companies (up to $1 billion) working with the Federal government. GTSC’s mission is to increase collaboration, information exchange, and constructive problem solving around the most challenging homeland security issues facing the nation. She acquired Homeland Security Today (www.HSToday.us) in 2017 and has since grown readership to over one million hits per month and launched and expanded a webinar program to law enforcement across the US, Canada, and international partners. Tanasichuk is also the president and founder of Women in Homeland Security, a professional development organization for women in the field of homeland security. As a first generation Ukrainian, she was thrilled to join the Advisory Board of LABUkraine in 2017. The non-profit initiative builds computer labs for orphanages in Ukraine and in 2018 built the first computer lab near Lviv, Ukraine. At the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, she worked with the organization to pivot and raise money for Ukrainian troop and civilian needs. She made several trips to Krakow, Poland to bring vital supplies like tourniquets and water filters to the front lines, and has since continued fundraising and purchasing drones, communications equipment, and vehicles for the war effort. Most recently she was named as the Lead Advisor to the First US-Ukraine Freedom Summit, a three-day conference and fundraiser to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of Ukrainian war veterans through sports and connection with U.S. veterans. She served as President and Executive Vice President on the Board of Directors for the InfraGard Nations Capital chapter, a public private partnership with the FBI to protect America’s critical infrastructure for over 8 years. Additionally, she served on the U.S. Coast Guard Board of Mutual Assistance and as a trustee for the U.S. Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial Foundation. She graduated from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Citizens’ Academies, in addition to the Marine Corps Executive Forum. Prior to founding the Government Technology & Services Coalition she was Vice President of the Homeland Security & Defense Business Council (HSDBC), an organization for the largest corporations in the Federal homeland security market. She was responsible for thought leadership and programs, strategic partnerships, internal and external communications, marketing and public affairs. She managed the Council’s Executive Brief Series and strategic alliances, as well as the organization’s Thought Leadership Committee and Board of Advisors. Prior to this, she also founded and served for two years as executive director of the American Security Challenge, an event that awarded monetary and contractual awards in excess of $3.5 million to emerging security technology firms. She was also the event director for the largest homeland security conference and exposition in the country where she created and managed three Boards of Advisors representing physical and IT security, first responders, Federal, State and local law enforcement, and public health. She crafted the conference curriculum, evolved their government relations strategy, established all of the strategic partnerships, and managed communications and media relations. Tanasichuk began her career in homeland security shortly after September 11, 2001 while at the American Public Works Association. Her responsibilities built on her deep understanding of critical infrastructure issues and included homeland security and emergency management issues before Congress and the Administration on first responder issues, water, transportation, utility and public building security. Prior to that she worked on electric utility deregulation and domestic energy issues representing municipal governments and as professional staff for the Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce. Tanasichuk has also worked at the American Enterprise Institute, several Washington, D.C. associations representing both the public and private sectors, and the White House under President George H.W. Bush. Tanasichuk also speaks extensively representing small and mid-sized companies and discussing innovation and work in the Federal market at the IEEE Homeland Security Conference, AFCEA’s Homeland Security Conference and Homeland Security Course, ProCM.org, and the Security Industry Association’s ISC East and ACT-IAC small business committee. She has also been featured in CEO Magazine and in MorganFranklin’s www.VoicesonValue.com campaign. She is a graduate of St. Olaf College and earned her Master’s in Public Administration from George Mason University. She was honored by the mid-Atlantic INLETS Law Enforcement Training Board with the “Above and Beyond” award in both 2019 – for her support to the homeland security and first responder community for furthering public private partnerships, creating information sharing outlets, and facilitating platforms for strengthening communities – and 2024 – for her work supporting Ukraine in their defense against the Russian invasion. In 2016 she was selected as AFCEA International’s Industry Small Business Person of the Year, in 2015 received the U.S. Treasury, Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization Excellence in Partnership award for “Moving Treasury’s Small Business Program Forward,” as a National Association of Woman Owned Businesses Distinguished Woman of the Year Finalist, nominated for “Friend of the Entrepreneur” by the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Military Spouse of the Year by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2011, and for a Heroines of Washington DC award in 2014. She is fluent in Ukrainian.

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