The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 13, 2013

Ashtabula Coast Guard Station has new leader

ASHTABULA — The Ashtabula Coast Guard Station is under new leadership as Chief Boatswain’s Mate David K. Phillips took the reigns from Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate James Dean Jr. on Friday morning at the Ashtabula Elks Club.

The Change of Command ceremony is a formal tradition that took place in front of fellow U.S. Coast Guard personnel and area fire and police officers.

“The change of command is a transfer of total responsibility and authority from one individual to another, designed to strengthen the respect for authority that is vital to any military organization,” states an explanation of the ceremony on the event program.

“I was the officer in charge of Fairport for five years,” said the former Bessemer, Ala. resident. He replaces Dean who was born and reared in Mobile, Ala.

Phillips said he also served at stations in Virginia, Louisiana, Texas, Florida and California before heading north to the frigid upper midwest.

Phillips said he doesn’t mind the cold weather too much. “There are days in February when I miss the warm weather,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to working with the partner agencies,” Phillips said of local law enforcement and emergency workers.

He said it will be an on-going priority to continue community outreach in the area. “We have a responsibility and obligation to give back to the community,” Phillips said.

He said working with schools and helping charitable efforts are two important parts of the U.S. Coast Guard mission in Ashtabula.

Phillips has been honored for his service in many ways including a Coast Guard Commendation Medal, three Coast Guard Achievement Medals, three Commandant’s Letter of Commendation, five Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendations and a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and an Iraqi Campaign Medal.

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