Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Judy Aguinaga, a native Texan and intelligence specialist with the Coast Guard, reported to the 9th District Intelligence Branch in July 2010 following her assignment at Coast Guard Cryptographic Unit Hawaii.
“She’s become an indispensable part of the team,” said Lt. Cmdr. Chris Sweeney, Aguinaga’s branch chief.
“Her leadership and management skills are absolutely critical to maintaining our day-to-day responsibilities to the senior officers here on staff as well as our customers in the field.”
She is responsible for managing most of the day-to-day tasks of the branch ranging from monitoring commercial cargo vessel activity on the Great Lakes to examining reports of suspicious or illegal activity occurring on or around the district’s waterways.
Her keen attention to detail and analytical skills help the branch to develop products which directly support operational commanders and enable them to allocate resources and conduct operations based on actual levels of activity.
Additionally, she is a key contributor to the district’s Geospatial Information Services program which provides current imagery, charts, terrain analysis, and planning graphics to district units. These products are often critical to the planning and execution of many of the Coast Guard’s missions by providing area familiarization and situational awareness to district senior staff, operational commanders, and individual boat crews.
Aguinaga’s prowess as an Intelligence Specialist is only part of her contribution to the district and the local community.
“She is what a shipmate should be,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Kitts.
“As the Unit Health Promotion Coordinator, she encourages people to live a healthy life by living one herself.”
She takes her role as UHPM very seriously and routinely provides guidance, support, and encouragement to her fellow Coast Guardsmen in the areas of physical fitness and general health.
Her commitment to a happy and healthy life doesn’t end there. She is also active in Esperanza, an organization which provides responsible mentors and positive role models for Hispanic youths in the Cleveland area. Judy is very engaged with her mentee, providing everything from assistance with homework to advice on financial responsibility to general advice on life.
Overall, Aguinaga has nothing short of an immensely positive impact on the Intelligence Branch and the district as a whole.
“She makes my job here much easier,” said Lt.j.g. Jared McGuire, Aguinaga’s immediate supervisor. “The value of an outstanding petty officer can never be overstated. Her ability to manage our foundational tasks takes immense pressure off of myself, the assistant branch chief, and the branch chief, which frees us up to grow the intelligence program and respond to new customer requirements. We absolutely would not have come as far as we have in the last two years without her diligence.”