Chief Petty Officer Matthew Casper Awarded “Coast Guardsman of the Year” by Military Times Foundation

Chief Petty Officer Casper Demonstrated Exceptional Valor and Leadership During the 2023 Maui Wildfires

ARLINGTON, VA., February 22, 2024 – The Military Times Foundation and Military Times have announced that U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Matthew Casper has been awarded the prestigious “Coast Guardsman of the Year” award for 2024.  Founded in 2001, the Military Times’ Service Member of the Year program honors outstanding military members from each branch of service who have demonstrated exemplary military service going beyond the call of duty.

Chief Petty Officer Matthew Casper’s superiors in the U.S. Coast Guard say his valor and leadership always shine brightly – but never brighter than during the recent Maui wildfires. Casper stood at the helm as Acting Officer in Charge of U.S. Coast Guard Station Maui and assumed the role of Commanding Officer to steer the initial response and help save numerous lives and extend aid to countless others.

The four-day response period saw Casper orchestrating the waterside operations while actively engaging with the local community, ensuring the safety and welfare of displaced citizens and military personnel. Casper worked tirelessly around the clock to ensure successful life-saving efforts and extend support to those who lost their homes in the fires.

On a regular basis, Casper’s unwavering commitment as Executive Petty Officer of Station Maui helps ensure the welfare of all unit members and foster relationships with local, state, and federal partners, which is a foundation that proved invaluable during the wildfire crisis. His proactive approach and coordination with intergovernmental agencies before the crisis facilitated an expertly synchronized response, saving lives and mitigating the disaster’s impact.

Operating on a 24-hour call status, he remains vigilant for operational and personnel matters, epitomizing selflessness and dedication beyond the call of duty. His advocacy for community engagement can be seen in his active participation in various events, from charity swims to harbor cleanups and volunteer initiatives like Habitat for Humanity.

“Chief Petty Officer Matthew Casper’s pivotal role during the Maui wildfires, ensuring safety and aiding the community, exemplifies the commitment we honor,” said Michael Reinstein, Chairman of Military Times Foundation.  “Casper’s proactive engagement in day-to-day operations and community initiatives reflects the values of duty, resilience, and community partnership that define the Military Times Service Member of the Year program.”

The Military Times Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) established to recognize, salute and highlight the exemplary service of active duty personnel serving in each branch of the U.S. Armed Services.

The annual Military Times Service Members of the Year Award has grown into a much-anticipated event. The awards ceremony has become one of Washington D.C.’s A-list events attended by congressional, military and community leaders.  Since 2019 Military Times and the Military Times Foundation have donated over $20 million in cash and media value to support over 150 military and veteran service organizations, such as Fisher House, Children of Fallen Patriots, TAPS, Objective Zero and others.

Sponsors of the event include Fisher House Foundation, Veteran Benefits Guide, Leonardo DRS, IHG Army Hotels, The Nationals and Delta. For more information on the selection process, history of the award, past winners, and other details, visit:



About Military Times

Service members and their families rely on as a trusted, independent source for news and information on the most important issues affecting their careers and personal lives including, branch updates, financial services, pay and benefits, healthcare, education, transition resources, and more. is a part of the Sightline Media Group who also owns Army Times, Marine Corps Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times, Federal Times, Defense News, and C4ISRNET.


Kelly Facer
Military Times Foundation

# # #

Copyright © 2024 Military Times Foundation. All rights reserved.