Chief Warrant Officer 4 Joel Smith oversees the building of mobile offshore drilling rigs and has established himself as a tireless inspector and respected expert who's known for training and mentoring colleagues.
Smith, who's fluent in Spanish, finds time off-duty to help Latinos in need. During several annual trips, he helped expand an orphanage in Bolivia. On his self-funded trips, he has helped build a soccer court, classrooms and a dining facility for the center, which supports about 230 kids a week. Smith has also traveled to Guatemala to assist in building two churches.
Smith volunteers with the disaster relief component of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and has responded to natural disasters, including a tornado that struck Alice, Texas, in 2014. Smith also serves as a mentor for elementary school children and coaches a girls' youth soccer team.
Notable quote from nomination: "Chief Warrant Officer Smith makes community service a top priority. He is involved with several organizations doing some pretty amazing work."
Command Master Chief Jason Wong, a career health services technician, is the top enlisted Coast Guardsman for a sector that includes four stations, a marine science detachment, an aids-to-navigation team and seven cutters. Wong has established himself as a leader on and off the job, who coordinates volunteer efforts in the St. Petersburg, Florida, area.
At the sector, he has organized a study group for petty officers working on their advancements, created a unit-wide "Spring into Fitness" program to promote health, and worked with the local Tampa International Airport USO to coordinate morale-boosting events and trips for his command.
In his spare time, he heads the St. Petersburg Chief Petty Officers Association, supervising all association activities and fundraisers to benefit both Coast Guard personnel and the local community. He also devotes time every week to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program, mentoring youth.
Notable quote from his nomination: "His strict adherence to the Coast Guard's core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty, an exemplary dedication to volunteerism, and his selfless community service efforts are exceptional."