The Coast Guard Foundation is a not-for-profit organization governed by a voluntary Board of Trustees and Board of Directors. The board sets the Foundation’s direction and strategy, and oversees Foundation policies and business. Members of the board provide significant financial support for the Foundation’s mission and assist with fundraising for Coast Guard programs.
Board members also generously volunteer their time as ambassadors to Coast Guard units nationwide ensuring Coast Guard members and families know about the support available from the Foundation.
Coast Guard Foundation director Judith Roos is one such board member who has made it a personal mission to connect with Coast Guard members to ensure the Foundation best supports their needs. Judith recently received a prestigious recognition when she was named an Honorary Chief in a ceremony at the Coast Guard’s Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Ala.
With the chiefs assigned to the unit assembled on the flight deck, commanding officer Capt. Chris Hulser provided background on the meaning and significance of the award. Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Heath Jones and retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Jason Vanderhaden participated in the award presentation.
Since joining the Coast Guard Foundation board in 2010, Judith has personally visited more than 200 units to share the Foundation's programs, listen to workforce concerns, and see facility conditions. Both master chiefs cited her passion for building public awareness for the Coast Guard and her success in raising funds that directly impact many members and families across the service.
Retired Vice Admiral Sally Brice-O'Hara, an Honorary Chief since 2000, and Master Chief Vanderhaden pinned on the anchors that signify a chief petty officer in the naval services.
In the award citation, Master Chief Vanderhaden noted that Judith's values mirror those that Coast Guard chiefs model every day as leaders and mentors to their crews.
"She is confident but humble, a persuasive speaker and careful listener who speaks up when advisable to do so. Among Judith's wide network of Coast Guard friends, many turn to her for advice and guidance. With deep commitment and professionalism, Judith will certainly add to the stellar reputation of the Chief and revere traditions of the Chiefs' Mess, upholding their motto Altus Tendo, Reach High."
Every individual named an Honorary Chief is rigorously evaluated. The process begins with the unanimous consent of the initiating Chiefs' Mess. The mess submits a comprehensive nomination through the chain of command to the office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard. Master Chief Vanderhaden approved Judith's recognition on his watch, although the ceremony was delayed until all involved could gather. Notably, Master Chief Vanderhaden approved fewer than a dozen nominations during his four years as Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard.