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Master Chief decorated as command changes hands

Master Chief Curtis Dewey is decorated for meritorious service by Capt. Jeremy Smith. – Citizen photo Cody Mann

A Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony was held at U.S. Coast Guard Station Tillamook Bay on May 31. Master Chief Boatswains Mate Curtis Dewey retired after 31.7 years of service, and Senior Chief Boatswains Mate Corbin Ross assumed command of the station.

The formal ceremonies are a time-honored military tradition. Capt. Jeremy Smith, Commanding Officer of Sector Columbia River, attended and spoke highly of Dewey. Immediately after command of the station was turned over, the retirement ceremony commenced. Dewey fondly remembered his years of service, highlighting the quality of the Coast Guardsmen he was proud to work alongside.

During the ceremony, Dewey was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his performance as Officer in Charge at Station Tillamook Bay from July 2014 to May 2019. The award citation heralded Dewey for selflessly postponing his retirement twice to the answer the call of duty, adding that he cultivated one of the top units in the surf community through an unwavering commitment to operational expertise, comradery and empowerment.

According the award citation, Dewey executed 4,500 mission hours in one of the nation’s most dangerous coast areas, saving or assisting 613 lives and $12.1 million in property.

“Master Chief Petty Officer Dewey’s proficiency and direction inspired his crews during the recovery of five people from the frigid and tumultuous surf along the Oregon Coast after their watercraft capsized,” the citation read.

Dewey was also cited for his exceptional diplomacy – revitalizing outreach programs by serving on the boards of three fire and rescue leadership teams across the county, seamlessly integrating the Coast Guard’s capabilities with a diverse collection of shore-based assets, saving countless lives on both land and sea.

He was also recognized his work on the Coast Guard’s surfman shortage as the senior enlisted advisor on the Prospective Surfman Program Panel, implementing an innovative, systematic, repeatable approach that identified 19 candidates, streamlining the certification process, and strengthening the program’s effectiveness.

“Dewey’s dedication and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Coast Guard,” the citation read.

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