Coast Guardsman Honored as Top Reserve Enlisted Person for 2015

  • Adm. Paul Zukunft and Coast Guard Reserve Force Master Chief Eric Johnson congratulate PO1 Wilton Terry after presenting him with a Commendation Medal during the 2015 Coast Guard Enlisted Persons of the Year Banquet. (U.S. Coast Guard/CPO Nick Ameen)
    Adm. Paul Zukunft and Coast Guard Reserve Force Master Chief Eric Johnson congratulate PO1 Wilton Terry after presenting him with a Commendation Medal during the 2015 Coast Guard Enlisted Persons of the Year Banquet. (U.S. Coast Guard/CPO Nick Ameen)
  • Janelle Terry and Army 1st Sgt. (retired) Jerry Loya pin new collar devices onto the uniform of Wilton Terry as he is advanced from petty officer first class to chief petty officer. (U.S. Coast Guard/CPO Nick Ameen)
    Janelle Terry and Army 1st Sgt. (retired) Jerry Loya pin new collar devices onto the uniform of Wilton Terry as he is advanced from petty officer first class to chief petty officer. (U.S. Coast Guard/CPO Nick Ameen)

WASHINGTON — An Ohio-based Coast Guardsman was formally recognized as the Coast Guard's top enlisted reservist during the 2015 Coast Guard Enlisted Persons of the Year Banquet Thursday on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, in Washington, D.C.

The banquet and awards ceremony was held at the Bolling Club on JBAB to recognize the outstanding achievements of Petty Officer 1st Class Wilton S. Terry, the 2015 Coast Guard Enlisted Person of the Year — Reserve Component.

During the EPOY Banquet, Petty Officer 2nd Class Evan M. Ward was also recognized as the 2015 Coast Guard Enlisted Person of the Year — Active-Duty Component. To learn more about Ward, read the event news release.

Terry is a machinery technician assigned to Coast Guard Port Security Unit 309 in Port Clinton, Ohio. He is from Stevensville, Mich., and is a 1988 graduate of Lakeshore High School.

He joined the U.S. Navy in 1988, the Army National Guard in 1998, and the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve in 2000. Since then, he has spent most of his career attached to Coast Guard Port Security Unit 309 in Port Clinton.

Terry also serves as a lieutenant at Saint Joseph City Department of Public Safety, Fire Division, in Saint Joseph, Mich.

Terry is the boat support engineer and manager of PSU 309's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Program. In 2015, Terry's superb planning and logistical expertise facilitated the movement of 43,000 cubic feet of cargo across 19,000 miles of land, rail, air and sea in support of Exercises Patriot Sands 2015 and Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore 2015, the latter of which represented the historic first ever sea-basing of a Coast Guard port security unit. Terry's meticulous administration of the unit's CBRN-E Program was evidenced by his ability to obtain no-cost training from Department of Defense CBRN-E courses. He is recognized as one of the subject-matter experts for Coast Guard expeditionary CBRN-E issues.

"To be chosen out of over 7,000 members of the Reserve Component is truly a great honor," Terry said. "Having spent the majority of my 20 years of service in the Coast Guard Reserve, I know the true dedication, commitment and hard work the members of the reserve community put forth."

"Members of the Coast Guard Reserve bring a special and unique value to the Coast Guard, bringing not only traditional Coast Guard training and skills but also all of the experiences and training from their respective civilian careers and life - invaluable experience, wisdom and abilities the Coast Guard can tap into."

"I am very honored and proud to represent the members of the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve," he said.

Terry was presented the Coast Guard Commendation Medal and received numerous gifts from sponsor organizations.

As a result of being selected as the Coast Guard's Enlisted Persons of the Year, Terry was authorized to be meritoriously advanced to the next higher paygrade. During the ceremony, he was advanced from petty officer first class to chief petty officer.

Each year, commanders from each of the Coast Guard's nine districts select one active-duty Coast Guardsman and one Reserve Coast Guardsman from the units within their geographic boundaries and send nomination packages to the Office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard. The master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard then convenes a panel to review the nine active-duty submissions and the nine reservist submissions, ultimately choosing one awardee for each component. More information about the Coast Guard's Enlisted Person of the Year program, including eligibility requirements and entry guidelines, can be found in the commandant instruction.

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