Yeoman 1st Class Nicholas Durrant doesn’t shy away from a long day at work.
As a recruit company commander at the Coast Guard’s Training Center Cape May, N.J., Durrant would frequently work 60- to 70-hour weeks to make sure recruits were trained and his shipmates were taken care of, District 13 Chief of Staff Capt. Anne Ewalt wrote in her nomination. .
Durrant, 30, also takes volunteering seriously, having donated time and materials over the past year to build two park benches dedicated to Coast Guard heroes. He’s an unpaid volunteer in his local police department in Washington state and arranged a food drive that collected more than 600 pounds of supplies for the Food Bank of Southern New Jersey in February 2010. .
Durrant not only leads subordinates, but also offers advice to senior leaders, said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kimberly Angel, a friend and former supervisor at Cape May. “He takes time to listen and assist fellow Coast Guardsmen and ... women in need,” Angel wrote. “He is a true shipmate and a perfect example of someone in our service who took the charge of our commandant seriously.” .
Lt. Justin Vanden Heuvel tackled two of the Coast Guard’s most challenging operations in 2010, taking both on with what fellow officers called quick thinking and careful planning.
On less than a day’s notice in early January, the 36-year-old prepared a crew for contingency operations after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti. As executive officer of the seagoing buoy tender Oak, Vanden Heuvel navigated into Port-Au-Prince’s harbor at night and helped get a crucial ship channel reopened within 36 hours of his ship’s arrival.
On Two months after the 30-day deployment to Haiti, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and began leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Oak supported nearly three months of response operations.
On Seen as a leader, follower and mentor, Lt. Vanden Heuvel personally gives of himself to junior enlisted like no other person,” Lt. Cmdr. Peter Niles, Oak’s commanding officer, wrote in nominating Vanden Heuvel.
On Vanden Heuvel left the Oak this month for an assignment starting Aug. 1 as school chief of the Chief Warrant Officer Professional Development Course in New London, Conn.