Cape Cod-based Petty Officer honored with top Coast Guard award

BOSTON –Two Northeast based Coast Guard petty officers were chosen as the 2016 active duty enlisted person of the year and reserve enlisted person of the year this month for the First Coast Guard District.

The Coast Guard Enlisted Person of the Year Program recognizes exemplary performance by the men and woman from the active and reserve enlisted workforce.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Solden, a maritime enforcement specialist assigned to the Northeast Regional Fisheries Training Center in Bourne, and Petty Officer 1st Class John Spada, a reserve maritime enforcement specialist assigned to the Coast Guard Sector Boston, were selected as the EPOY and REPOY, respectively.

Solden is being recognized for his work in instructing 10 Northeast Living Marine Resource Boarding Officer classes and mentoring new instructors and assisting them with unit training qualifications.

He also deployed with a Canadian Coast Guard ship in support of the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization treaty mission to enforce international fisheries laws.

In his community, Solden has served as a Boy Scout Troop leader, a little league baseball coach, and volunteered to place flags at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in honor of Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

Spada is being recognized for his leadership and impact. He planned and organized a boarding team member college for more than 20 Vessel Boarding and Security Team members and Station Boston personnel.

He also chaired numerous boarding team member and boarding officer qualification boards and ensured members had proper resources.

“It is never easy choosing only two members from the large pool of talented and dedicated enlisted personnel we have in the Northeast,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Jason Griffin, First Coast Guard District Command Master Chief. “However, Petty Officers Solden and Spada really epitomize the spirit of the award.”