Digest>Archives> Jul/Aug 2014

A Voice for Cuttermen


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Master Chief Petty Officer Lloyd Pierce, Command Master Chief of the Coast Guard Academy with U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets, is shown here to the right at a regimental review to honor his passing down of the station’s keeper’s hat, which is an exact replica of the U.S. Lighthouse Service hat, and the long glass of Silver Ancient Mariner designation to Master Chief Petty Officer Steven Cantrell (who is not shown in this image.)

Pierce, who graduated from boot camp at Cape May, New Jersey on March 26, 1982, received the Silver Mariner designation nearly 30 years later on August 18, 2011. The ancient mariner titles - gold for officers and silver for enlisted members – were established in 1978 to recognize service members with the earliest designation as a permanent cuttermen. As the 11th Silver Ancient Mariner, Pierce was charged with keeping a close watch to ensure the continuation of sea-service traditions and that the time-honored reputation of the Coast Guard would be maintained. He accomplished this by using the largely ceremonial titles to be a voice for cuttermen by advocating for enlisted crewmembers.

He said, “I thought it was important for the voices below deck to be heard. It’s easy to forget or not know what conditions below decks on our cutters are, and I just wanted to make sure those voices are heard.”

Pierce further increased the presence of “The Ancient” by attending all of the commissioning ceremonies for the Coast Guard’s Sentinel-class fast response cutters, which are named after enlisted members who served heroically in the Coast Guard or its predecessor services: the Revenue Marine, Life-Saving Service, and the Lighthouse Service.

With his upcoming retirement, as he passed on the title, he said, “I feel honored to be able to serve with all the people I’ve been stationed with, and I’m humbled by all the attention. I think it’s awesome that I got to put this uniform on and serve with great Americans.” (Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Richard Braum, USCG, courtesy The Coast Guard Compass.)

This story appeared in the Jul/Aug 2014 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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