Tucked under the east span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge lies Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. Hugging the shoreline of Yerba Buena Island, the campus is home to numerous sector departments, patrol boats, an aids-to-navigation team, a small boat station, and a buoy tender, among other units. Like a central hub, bringing all of these spokes together, is the galley.
Knowing outside eating options are few without colossal effort to leave the island and battle traffic, the galley crew consistently goes above and beyond to prepare quality, innovative meals for the sector crews.
At the helm of this popular galley is Chief Petty Officer Elizabeth Meister, a culinary specialist, and the 2018 winner of the Douglas A. Munro Award.
The award, presented once a year, recognizes Coast Guard enlisted members who demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities and professional expertise.
Meister, a Chicago native, came to the Sector San Francisco galley two years ago, after completing a tour with Patrol Forces Southwest Asia in Bahrain.
Shortly after her arrival, the galley crew found itself with a leadership void following the removal of their chief. As a first class petty officer, Meister stepped boldly into the role of food specialist officer (FSO), assuming all of the duties of that position, while continuing to fulfill her duties as lead petty officer.
“I basically had to rally the troops and bring them together, motivate everyone and let them know that we care,” said Meister. “I truly care about them.”
On top of the hard-to-quantify, invaluable mentoring and leadership Meister provides her crew, she also manages an operational budget of $240,000, coordinates many high-profile events, stands watch as a qualified officer of the day, serves as the sector’s Leadership Diversity Advisory Council secretary and mentors Job Corps students.
Meister also serves as a primary victim’s advocate, leading efforts to decrease sexual assault in the Coast Guard and to increase awareness of resources for sexual assault victims.