The Coast Guard Foundation’s 39th Annual Salute to the United States Coast Guard took place on October 4, 2019 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. This signature event is the Foundation’s longest-running tribute dinner and counted more than 400 people in attendance.
In recognition of the organization's fiftieth anniversary, the Foundation honored Clay Maitland, a long-time board member and generous supporter of Coast Guard members and families. Mr. Maitland’s philanthropy extends to all Coast Guard Foundation areas of support, including the sailing program at the Coast Guard Academy, college scholarships for Coast Guard children, and morale projects and spaces for Coast Guard families’ community building activities.
The national award for mission excellence and heroism recognized the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro, a HITRON squadron and a unit from the Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement detachment (PACTACLET) that together received national acclaim and international attention for a dramatic interception of a drug smuggling semi-submersible in the Eastern Pacific Ocean this past summer. The boarding and interception featured in the video resulted in the confiscation of 17,000 pounds of cocaine, totaling $232 million, and the detention of five suspected smugglers.
Keynote remarks were delivered by Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Karl Schultz.
“When we talk about other kinds of heroes...we take a look at the Coast Guard Foundation,” remarked Schultz. “The Coast Guard Foundation is fifty years strong, with fifty years supporting the front line operators, the drug interdictors, the maritime first responders, the federal regulators and the search and rescuers.”
Susan Ludwig, Coast Guard Foundation president, acknowledged those present who support the organization’s mission, and make relevant, impactful support possible.
“There is a direct link between the recognition we give to the exceptional men and women of the Coast Guard, as we have done for half a century, and the development of stronger Coast Guard families,” shared Ludwig.
Other Event Highlights:
- Chris Johnsen, Coast Guard Foundation Vice-Chairman, acknowledged the contributions of the late James J. Coleman, Jr., a long-time Coast Guard Foundation board member who passed away in March.
- Admiral Charles Ray, Vice-Commandant of the Coast Guard, shared remarks and introduced the Honor Guard from Coast Guard Sector New York.
- Coast Guard members from Sector New York and representatives from the Coast Guard Academy, including more than 50 cadets, were in attendance and were recognized for their service.
- The Coast Guard Auxiliary Association was the presenting sponsor for the event.
- The United States Coast Guard Band, under the direction of Commander Adam Williamson, performed ceremonial music, including a medley of military service songs to wrap-up the evening’s festivities.
- The Coast Guard Academy Glee Club performed the National Anthem and a selection of patriotic songs. Dr. Robert Newton, Glee Club Director, has been at the helm of the student choral group for 49 years.
- Reggie Rivers served as the event’s master of ceremonies. Rivers is well-known at Coast Guard Foundation events and brings humor to the evening’s program and honors the Coast Guard’s contributions to our Nation.