Rear Adm. Mark Butt, commander of the Coast Guard 13th District, shakes hands with Petty Officer 1st Class Tara Dodd after she was announced as the enlisted person of the year at a ceremony held at Coast Guard Base Seattle last week. (Amanda Norcross/U.S. Coast Guard)

Sequim resident wins Coast Guard’s Enlisted Person of the Year award

Petty Officer 1st Class Tara Dodd of Sequim has received the Enlisted Person of the Year award for the 13th Coast Guard District.

Dodd received the award during a recognition banquet March 3 at Coast Guard Base Seattle.

Dodd is the culinary specialist aboard the cutter Swordfish — an 87-foot coastal patrol boat based in Port Angeles — where she is responsible for the purchasing, preparation and nutritional value of all meals on board, as well as responsible for the sanitation and cleanliness of the cutter as the unit Master at Arms.

Hailing from Kingwood, Texas, and currently living in Sequim, Dodd began her Coast Guard career in 2007. She was assigned to Station New York as a non-rate before transitioning to “A” school, according to a news release.

“A motivated self-starter, Dodd has epitomized sound leadership with her unique ability to instill confidence and followership in others, encompassed by her attention to detail, empathy and mentorship,” the Coast Guard said in a news release.

She was asked to train perspective-officer-in-charge candidates on galley operations at a conference held at Station Port Angeles. Through her own initiative, she qualified in three additional unit certifications normally not achieved by culinary specialists.

In her off-duty time, she assists an 85-year-old World War II veteran by mowing his grass and performing odd jobs around the property, and also has volunteered for the local Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, where she inspected and replaced 40 nonfunctional smoke detectors at a retirement center.

Petty Officer 1st Class Nicole Cimino, a reserve gunner’s mate assigned to the Coast Guard Port Security Unit 313 in Everett, was tapped as the Reserve Enlisted Person of the Year during the Friday ceremony.

A panel of senior enlisted members evaluates each nominee against a set of established criteria that includes performance, work ethics, military bearing, standards of conduct and a strong community service commitment.

The regional winners are eligible for national honors along with their peers from other Coast Guard regions across the nation.