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Local Coastguardsman Receives Award For Exceptional Service

Hope McKenney/KUCB

A local petty officer with the U.S. Coast Guard received an award earlier this month for exceptional service, "modeling a superior example and distinction" amongst his shipmates.

Marine Science Technician (MST) Jake Hill – who has been with the 7-person Marine Safety Detachment Dutch Harbor since last summer – was awarded the Sector Anchorage Enlisted Person of the 4th Quarter of 2019 honor.

He was nominated by his current command, and went up against other nominated individuals within their area of response, which includes Anchorage, Kodiak, and Homer.

"I was called forward and they read out the things that they put me in for to get the award and it was kind of unreal hearing what you do, because when you're doing it, it's just a normal day-to-day activity," said Hill. "When it's all said and done, you realize the impact it had, and it feels unreal sometimes." 

Hill was nominated for numerous reasons, including the number of commercial fishing vessel exams and compliance checks he completed before king crab season in the fall. He was also the on-scene coordinator for the fatal Saab 2000 plane crash in Unalaska last October, acting as "a link between [District 17] and Dutch Harbor for Coast Guard aviation assets to remove injured crash victims from the island of Unalaska," according to his award. He also saved two children in distress at Unalaska's community pool while volunteering as a lifeguard.  

"Petty Officer Hill, your actions exemplify the Commandant's guiding principles of 'Ready, Responsive, and Relevant,' and the Coast Guard's core values of 'Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty,'" wrote Captain Sean MacKenzie, commander for Sector Anchorage. 

Hill is scheduled to leave Unalaska in July, and will be stationed in his hometown of Los Angeles, CA, where he will be supervising in the incident management division to guide the next round of upcoming MSTs.  

"Honestly, it just feels so amazing when you get rewarded for something that you think is just a day-to-day job," said Hill. "The reason I joined the Coast Guard is because I like helping people. So getting rewarded for something you love to do, besides just coming to work, is pretty amazing, and it pushes me to do even better. It's just special. I don't know how else to put it." 

Hope McKenney reported for KUCB from 2019 until 2022. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2021.
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