Jason Briggs, a chief warrant officer at Training Center Petaluma, California, and a management studies major at UMGC, was selected by U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp to receive the 2014 Captain John G. Witherspoon Inspirational Leadership Award.
Rear Adm. Scott Buschman, commander of the Virginia-based Force Readiness Command, presented the award at an all-hands event at the training center on May 22, 2014.
"This Award is highly competitive and truly honors the best of our leaders throughout the Coast Guard," said Capt. Charles E. Fosse, commanding officer of Training Center Petaluma.
The Witherspoon Award annually recognizes the active-duty or reserve Coast Guard officer who best exemplifies the Coast Guard's core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty.
Briggs was stationed at Training Center Petaluma from 2010 to June 2014. He led the 23-person maintenance branch responsible for upkeep of the training center's 837-acre property, which includes 116 buildings and 127 residences.
Briggs said his goal at Petaluma was to try to get the best out of each of his men. The citation noted his success in reorganizing his maintenance unit, transforming it from inefficient to high performing.
"The Coast Guard values to me are my conditions of employment," he said. "I was able to take people whose careers were on the precipice and tried to find ways to make them productive again."
Last year, he said, he completed a UMGC business management course in decision making that aided his Coast Guard assignment. "It helped me in reorganizing my workforce and ensuring I was making the right tradeoffs in putting resources in the right place."
Training Center Petaluma, located in the Two Rock Valley, is home to more than 650 active-duty service members, civilian employees, and military family members. Each year more than 3,000 students attend basic and advanced career training courses to become the Coast Guard's newest cooks, medics, storekeepers, yeomen, information technicians, electronics technicians, and operations specialists.