Coast Guard command at Fort Macon changes hands

Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 07:00 PM.

Two area Coast Guardsmen are starting new adventures.

A ceremony held Wednesday morning at Fort Macon formalized the transfer of command from Chief Warrant Officer Thaddeus Bouchard to Senior Chief Boatswain Mate Jeremy McConnell.

During his two years of service at Fort Macon, Bouchard and his crew were responsible for monitoring the daunting area of shoals and sandbars that proliferate North Carolina’s coastal waters. Under Bouchard’s leadership, the crew executed close to 240 search-and-rescue missions, conducted hundreds of private and commercial fishing vessels inspections and prevented an estimated $3 million in property damage.

Beyond his efforts in the water, Bouchard exhibited significant commitment to the professional development of senior boatswain leaders. From his station, he helped four boatswain mates pass the panel and board examinations to achieve their certifications.

Capt. Anthony Popiel, captain of the U.S. Coast Guard North Carolina Sector, said Bouchard has performed his duties “exceptionally well.”

“No one else delivers the same kind of intensity and passion for the Coast Guard that he brings to the table day in and day out,” Popiel said. “His prowess as a leader and a man of action has set the tone for the crew here at Fort Macon. He poured his heart and soul to making sure his crew was prepared to do the job well and their professionalism and proficiency is apparent every day.”

For his efforts while stationed at Fort Macon, Bouchard received a Coast Guard Accommodation medal and was presented with a Gold Star in lieu of a second ribbon for the award by Popiel and Executive Chief Petty Officer Marco Cowley, who served as master of ceremonies. Bouchard is scheduled to report to the Special Mission Training Center Tactics Branch aboard Camp Lejeune.

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