2014 Coastguardsman of the Year
OS2 Lindsey Neumann
When the tour ship HMS Bounty started sinking off the coast of North Carolina in 2012, Operations Specialist 2nd Class Lindsey Neumann answered the distress call that launched 14 aircraft and two ships to safely rescue 14 members of the 16-man crew.
A year later, her watch team coordinated search-and rescue efforts for a sinking 149-foot passenger boat, saving the lives of the seven crew members and keeping the vessel from going under.
As a situation unit controller, Neumann is responsible for keeping track of Coast Guard assets in her sector’s 3,000 square miles of responsibility, assessing incidents and providing guidance to boats and aircraft on conditions.
All told, Neumann had the watch for more than 70 search-and-rescue or law enforcement missions in 2013, totaling 120 lives saved or assisted, as a situation unit controller. She also serves as Sector North Carolina’s unit health promotion coordinator and community service coordinator, positions traditionally done by those above her paygrade.
It’s her job to track her unit’s health and wellness, from weight management to injury prevention, and create programs and resources to address her shipmates’ concerns and promote health throughout the unit. As community service coordinator, she partners with local organizations to provide a Coast Guard presence at community events.
On and off watch, her superiors describe her as the embodiment of the Coast Guard’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty.
Throughout her four years with the Coast Guard, Neumann has made an impression on not only her unit but her community. When she’s not standing 24-hour watches, she volunteers in the Wilmington, North Carolina, community while working toward a master’s degree in management with American Military University.
“Petty Officer Neumann has distinguished herself as a servant leader. … [She] understands the importance of public support and takes every opportunity to represent the core values of this United States Coast Guard.”
Capt. Sean Murtagh, Sector North Carolina commanding officer
Neumann, fresh out of “A” school, arrived at Sector North Carolina in 2011. Soon after settling in with her unit, she joined Leadership Wilmington, a 10-month program put on by the city’s chamber of commerce to teach community leadership skills. Since graduation, she has volunteered as an event coordinator with the chamber of commerce to complete two dozen projects with local organizations, including helping the Boys and Girls Club secure a funding grant and participating in a Habitat for Humanity build and Adopt-A-Highway clean-ups.
She led a team of more than 100 volunteers to beautify The Yahweh Center, a home for abused, neglected and at-risk children, including planting a vegetable garden. She also volunteers with the Big Buddy Program, spending eight hours a month mentoring a child in her community.
Neumann has been recognized as the Navy League’s 2013 Coast Guardsman of the year, as well as Sector North Carolina’s enlisted person of the year and District 5’s enlisted person of the year for 2013. Her awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and the Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon.