Cuttermen Master Cuttermen
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Master Cuttermen

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Click on each name to see their custom certificate.

  1. CWO4 Paul Dilger
  2. BMCM Mark Romesburg
  3. CWO4 Garrett VanHoesen
  4. CWO4 Keith Raisch
  5. CWO4 Randy Salenski
  6. CWO4Thomas Svejcar
  7. FSCS Anthony Williams
  8. FSCS Jeffrey Brophy
  9. CWO4 James Robson
  10. BMC Stephen Ross
  11. CWO4 Todd Murphy
  12. CWO2 James Bigbie
  13. CWO4 Bradley Stevens
  14. CWO3 Michael Moretti
  15. EMCM Christopher Janssen
  16. LT Richard Blaszak
  17. BMCM Henry Strehle
  18. CWO4 Douglas Tribou
  19. MKC Paul Hicks
  20. CWO3 Charles Reynolds
  21. LT David Unger
  22. LT Robert Lewald
  23. BMCM Stephen Hearn
  24. BMCM Jeffrey Sherman
  25. BMC Gregory Papineau
  26. LCDR Stephen Matadobra
  27. CWO2 Mark P Gilmore
  28. FSCM Kenneth D Sylvester
  29. CWO3 David Slobojan
  30. CDR Steve Tucker
  31. BMCM James Schmader
  32. BMCM Bryon Rahilly
  33. F&S4 Robert J Janney
  34. BOSN4 Thomas J Jones
  35. CWO Jay Bride


History of the Master Cutterman Certificate Program

During the years since the Ancient Mariner program began in 1978, there has been confusion in some areas as to the program’s criteria. Ancient Mariners have been thought to be cutterman with the most creditable sea duty, as opposed to the actual criteria of cutterman with the earliest receipt of the permanent cutterman insignia.

After the selection of the Gold (Officer) Ancient Mariner in 2006, a discussion began about the possibility of recognizing the Coast Guard member with the most sea time. Discussions continued through the fall of 2006 relating to the title and design of this certificate. Based on raw data provided by the Personnel Support Command (PSC), Topeka, KS, CWO Paul E Dilger, CO of USCGC ABBIE BURGESS had the most sea duty of any current Active Duty member. He was enthusiastically chosen as the first Master Cutterman. After lively discussions within the Office of Cutter Forces, the following decisions were made:

• The title of the certificate would be “Master Cutterman”.

• The design would be loosely based on certificates provided by the U.S. Naval Institute.

• The design would incorporate images of cutters associated with the designated Master Cutterman.

• The Master Cutterman certificate would be signed by the Commandant.

• This would initially be a “one-time” award based on the initial candidate’s lengthy sea duty record of 26 years and counting.

• The future and criteria of this program would continue to be discussed.

The Cutter Training Division (CG-37RCU-3), working with the Customer Service Branch of the Headquarters Support Command (HSC t-2), designed a certificate following the decisions discussed above. With the help of the Coast Guard Historian, images were found of all the cutters that CWO Dilger served aboard.

The draft certificate, with an appropriate “Digest”, was routed to the Commandant’s office via the chain-of-command on 16 April 2007. The Chief of Staff, VADM Papp, concurred with the one-time recognition and was interested in the proposed long-term program. The Commandant, ADM Allen, approved the concept of the certificate; however, he returned it because the text was not “salty enough”. A second attempt at “salty language" also failed. Finding that our “saltiness” was lacking, the Commandant wrote the text himself. After HSC corrections, the Commandant signed the final certificate on 16 May 2007.

The first Master Cutterman certificate for the officer with the most sea time was presented to CWO Paul Dilger at his retirement ceremony on 27 July 2007 by BMCM David Pierce, Office of Cutter Forces, Cutter Training Division (CG-7513).

The second certificate for the enlisted member with the most sea time was presented to BMCM Mark Romesburg on 07 March 2008.

Cuttermen with 20 years of sea duty now earn the award of Master Cutterman.