2015 Coastguardsman of the Year
Aviation Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Lee Biladeau
Aviation Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Lee Biladeau is a consummate coach on and off duty, whether it's teaching kids to play lacrosse or staying late at work to help a shipmate study.
As an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter mechanic and aircrewman at Air Station Traverse City, Michigan, Biladeau is beloved by all, from his maintenance and engineering officers to the pilots and rescue swimmers, to the young AMT3s and a contract boat skipper who provides a target for search and rescue practice.
"You can tell when it's him on the hoist," Sonny Aeschliman told Navy Times on a recent afternoon outing on Lake Michigan. "He's the best."
At his first duty station as an AMT, in Port Angeles, Washington, Biladeau got involved with a local lacrosse club called the Mountaineers.
Biladeau signed up to be head coach of the new, co-ed junior high-age team, taking on seven boys and three girls who'd never played a day in their lives. He spent three seasons with them, practicing every day after school and traveling on Saturdays for games in the Seattle area.
Meanwhile, he made a name for himself at the air station, volunteering to take duty when others had a conflict, and earning his flight mechanic instructor designation has an E-4, well ahead of schedule for most AMTs.
Biladeau transferred to Traverse City, Michigan, in the summer of 2014, where his coaching continued.
While networking to find lacrosse opportunities in Michigan, he made a name for himself at the air station as the guy who's always willing to pick up shifts when someone has a personal conflict, or stay late helping a junior Coastie get up to speed on his syllabus.
Biladeau has dozens of SAR missions and hundreds of flight hours under his belt. His awards and decorations include two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, a Unit Commendation Ribbon, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, two Meritorious Team Commendation Ribbons, a Commandant Letter of Commendation Ribbon, a Special Operations Service Ribbon and two Good Conduct Medals.