Each year the National Cuttermen Chapter honors active duty cuttermen and units by recognizing outstanding achievement. Awards include the The Captain Hopley Yeaton Superior Cutterman Award and The Captain Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence Award. See below for award descriptions along with present and past recipients.
The Captain Hopley Yeaton Superior Cutterman Award
CWO Kenny Yarbrough, CGC DAUNTLESS
BM3 Matthew Fawcett, CGC ASPEN
The Captain Hopley Yeaton Superior Cutterman Award annually recognizes one Coast Guard officer and one Coast Guard enlisted member who have most embodied the Coast Guard Core Values and contributed to furthering the Coast Guard’s sea going profession. The Gold and Silver Ancient Mariners present award plaques to the award recipients at a Cuttermen’s Call event at the annual Surface Navy Association National Symposium in Washington, D.C.
Leading by example, BM3 Matthew Fawcett certified as Aids to Navigation (AtoN) Rigger and Positioner, Over-the-Horizon boat and Cutter Boat-Large Coxswain and Engineer, Boat Deck Captain and Davit Operator, Focsle and Fantail Petty Officer in Charge, Cutter Rescue Swimmer, and Boarding Team Member, all during his first year onboard the cutter. His exceptional expertise led to superior evaluations during Buoy Deck Training Team, Shipboard Oil Recovery Systems deployment, and the Boat Standardization visit, yielding an impressive 99.6 percent compliance rate. With a mind towards safety, BM3 Fawcett adeptly orchestrated numerous CB-OTH launch and recovery evolutions without a single mishap, in support of an attached MSST conducting counter-narcotics operations. Dedicated to serving others, BM3 Fawcett served as ASPEN’s Victim Advocate and led annual Sexual Assault Prevention and Response training and discussions. He also contributed regularly to the Leadership Diversity Advisory Committee, Morale Committee, Food Advisory Board, and volunteered his liberty time toward assisting at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, Project Open Hand, and The Shepherd’s Gate women’s shelter. Demonstrating exceptional selflessness, bravery, and quick thinking BM3 Fawcett used his surfboard to save a fellow surfer who was pinned down by a larger swell set after being separated from her surfboard. BM3 Fawcett towed her out beyond the break, preventing her from being dashed on the nearby cliffs, until she could be safely delivered to Emergency Medical Services waiting ashore.
A Master Cutterman, CWO Kenny Yarbrough epitomized the “can do” attitude of the Cutterman community, as evidenced by the 200 percent reduction in mission limiting casualties, and 25 percent improvement in maintenance completion during his tenure onboard DAUNTLESS. An expert in his craft, CWO Yarbrough consistently found ways to minimize lost operational time, overcoming aging equipment and unpredictable casualties. He directed the replacement of five main diesel engine jacket water pumps, renewal of a ship’s service diesel generator, and two emergency diesel generator gen-sets, ensuring DAUNTLESS remained mission ready. CWO Yarbrough’s expertise and leadership went well beyond the machinery spaces. He participated in several at sea boardings and led the rescue and assistance team effort to prevent the F/V Captain Richards from sinking, preserving vital evidence in the process. CWO Yarbrough tirelessly drilled his crew in emergency response procedures, enabling a swift response to a class charlie fire on the emergency generator while the cutter was laden with migrants. CWO Yarbrough also stood out as a superb mentor who frequently provided inspiration, sage advice, and guidance to both junior and senior DAUNTLESS crew members.
The Captain Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence Award annually recognizes one major cutter (210 feet for greater) and one small cutter (175-feet and smaller), that have demonstrated mission excellence while maintaining a strong commitment to work-life and crew morale.
CGC MORGENTHAU completed two arduous three-month patrols in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, earning the nickname “the Bering Hammer,” and totaling over 189 days away from homeport. As a long range law enforcement platform, the cutter conducted over 125 at sea boardings in some of the world’s most remote and treacherous waters. While deployed, MORTENTHAU’s crew ensured the safety of America’s fishing fleet and the sustainability of the nation’s living marine resources (LMR); an industry valued at over 6 billion dollars annually and accounting for more than half of the annual catch in the United States. MORGENTHAU displayed an exemplary commitment to her crew and their families, enabling crewmembers’ presence with their families for pivotal life moments, and maintaining a superb morale program. Demonstrating exceptional dedication to mission readiness, MORGENTHAU achieved a drill completion rate of 84 percent by completing over 190 drills, which led to 300 earned crewmember qualifications and the expenditure of 100 percent of ship’s Non-Combat Expenditure Allowance ammunition. MORGENTHAU’s rigorous deployment schedule, in addition to her 93 percent engineering maintenance completion rate, are a testament to skill and tenacity of her Engineering department and the crew’s can-do attitude. This award serves as a crowning achievement as MORGENTHAU nears the conclusion of her remarkable 47 year career of exceptional service to the nation.
Demonstrating superior devotion to duty, CGC LIBERTY attained more than 100 percent of her target operational hours for FY16 and leveraged her underway periods to conduct 78 fisheries and recreational boardings, leading the D17 Patrol Boat fleet in boardings throughout Central and Southeast Alaska. Demonstrating remarkable proficiency in the execution of SAR operations, the crew of the LIBERTY ensured 100 percent coverage throughout Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska, which resulted in eight lives and over 200,000 dollars in property saved over the course of eight SAR cases. Demonstrating remarkable dedication to the personal and professional development of her crew, CGC LIBERTY implemented a rigorous onboard training program, and helped numerous crewmembers prepare for service wide exams, pursue advanced education opportunities, attain advanced qualifications, and improve junior crewmembers’ familiarity with all CG ratings through “rate-shadowing days.” LIBERTY attained exceptional results during SEOPS and RFO assessments when her crew skillfully passed 43 out of 44 drills, attained a 100 percent annual drill completion rate, which led to crewmembers earning 37 inport and underway qualifications. LIBERTY’s Engineers expertly trouble-shot and corrected numerous machinery casualties including engine failures, fuel contamination, and a throttle failure. Exhibiting phenomenal resolve, CGC LIBERTY’s engineers overcame the hurdles associated with a long supply chain and remote operating theatre, and in several cases performed depot repairs including a complete main diesel engine top-end overhaul, restoring the ship to fully mission capable status.