2016 Coastguardsman of the Year
Lt. Cmdr. Megan Drewniak
Lt. Cmdr. Megan Drewniak is someone who helps fellow Coast Guardsmen anytime, on-duty or off.
Drewniak was known as an overachiever and a motivator at Coast Guard Sector Miami in 2015. She created the sector?s mentorship program and specifically its women's leadership program, bringing in speakers to inspire her female shipmates, and volunteered off-duty as a fitness instructor to help fellow Coast Guardsmen get in shape.
Her reputation served her well last year, when a fellow Coast Guardsman at Sector Miami dealing with alcoholism and suicidal thoughts reached out.
"She relentlessly followed up with the member to ensure they had sources of support, were involved in positive activities, underscored reasons to live (such as commitment to family, friends, Coast Guard), and safe people to call and places to go," according to her nomination. "Her intervention and assistance, along with the assistance of others, helped save the member?s life, brought them from rock bottom and on the road to recovery."
Her mentorship program pairs junior Coast Guardsmen with mentors of their choice and also features events from leadership workshops and lunches to speed mentoring.
Drewniak's mentorship duties went beyond the scope of her billet in Miami, where she served from 2014 to April 2016 as an investigations officer, getting to the bottom of marine and commercial vessel casualties, negligent mariner cases and other issues at sea.
"She was just one of those people that people felt very comfortable with," Cmdr. Bradley Clare, her former department head, told Navy Times.
Comfortable enough for Clare, the deputy sector commander and a couple dozen other coworkers to take her Crossfit classes at the base gym where Drewniak volunteered as an instructor up to five days a week.