When Lt. Tara Pray assumed command of the Gloucester-ported U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo in 2019, it was below considerably curious circumstance.
The Island Class cutter, now in its thirty second 12 months, was in dry dock in a Baltimore shipyard for a monthslong overhaul, precluding the standard change of command ceremony.
As a substitute of on the boat, she was given her command publicly in a smaller ceremony at Station Gloucester.
Pray acquired the true deal Thursday. On an impossibly lovely day, with the postcard of East Gloucester because the backdrop, Pray surrendered the command of the Key Largo in a ceremony on the Everett R. Jodrey State Fish Pier, adjoining to the gleaming 110-foot Key Largo.
“She persistently met the challenges of all her missions,” Capt. Eric J. Doucette, commander Sector Boston, mentioned of Pray. He later awarded her the Coast Guard Commendation Medal.
Doucette went on to commend Pray’s dedication to the Coast Guard’s multi-layered mission of nationwide safety, maritime regulation enforcement, and boating and fishing security. He additionally complimented the native of Bedford, New Hampshire, for her management in constructing what he mentioned was one of many most interesting crews he’d ever seen.
“After I get a name from Angela (Sanfilippo) on the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Affiliation, I’m in a position to inform her that one of the best workforce within the Coast Guard is on the market defending the fishermen of this metropolis,” Doucette mentioned.
Pray, who graduated and acquired her fee in 2012 from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, is returning to high school to acquire a graduate diploma in marine affairs on the College of Rhode Island.
“I like going to sea and I like being a part of a workforce,” Pray informed the viewers of Coast Guard brass, her crew and her household and pals. “I’m pleased with every thing this workforce has achieved.”
She mentioned the Key Largo crew collectively personified the boat’s motto: “Any time, anyplace, any mission.”
“This crew has by no means waivered,” she mentioned. “They’re essentially the most resilient people I’ve ever labored with.”
She then provided a private message to every member of her crew, reminding them of particular missions and particular moments aboard the Key Largo.
The brand new commanding officer of the Key Largo is Lt. Devin Monteiro, a local of New Bedford who spent 10 years as a boatswain’s mate earlier than incomes his fee in 2017.
Monteiro, most lately the operations officer aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba, mentioned receiving the command of the Key Largo is a long-sought dream.
“I’m privileged to be standing right here because the commanding officer of the Key Largo,” Monteiro mentioned. “Since my first day within the Coast Guard, taking command has all the time been my aim.”
Monteiro mentioned he spent final week working with the Key Largo crew at dock and got here away impressed.
“Cohesion like that can not be taught,” he mentioned. “We construct on these sturdy bonds to maintain this neighborhood protected on the water.”
Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Observe him on Twitter at @SeanGDT.