Kristi Langenbacher: Celebrating the last Coast Guard milestone: Retirement

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Throughout a family’s life in the Coast Guard, there are many milestones to celebrate.

A Coast Guard career begins with an enlisted person’s graduation from boot camp or an officer’s commissioning. It is followed by celebrations of promotions, transfers and Change of Command ceremonies. Then, all too suddenly, it is time for retirement.

Retirement ceremonies are a time-honored tradition that formally recognizes the completion of service for the men and women who have served in the military.

Last week our family was honored to attend and take part in the retirement ceremony Capt. Jay Jewess, who retired after 31 years of faithful and honorable service to the United States Coast Guard and to his country.

The service was held on May 24 on the lawn at U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco on Yerba Buena Island, where Jay served as the Deputy Sector Commander. It was a beautiful sunny day, and friends, relatives and Coast Guard members from all around the country gathered to celebrate Jay’s retirement.

Prior to his last assignment, Jay served as the District 11 Chief of Incident Management directing Search and Rescue and Marine Environmental Response operations for California, and Mexico and Central America’s coastal waters out to 1,000 nautical miles offshore.

A native of Bessemer, Mich., Jay graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1986. Following graduation, he was assigned as an Engineer in Training on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell home-ported in Seattle. He attended flight school asnd was designated as a Naval Aviator in October 1989 and served at several Coast Guard Air Stations, including Houston, Texas, Kodiak, Alaska, and Detroit.

He graduated with honors from postgraduate school at Purdue University, and headed to North Carolina. Jay served at the Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City as the Logistics Support Branch Chief. In 2005 he headed to Group/Air Station Astoria, Ore., then moved to the San Francisco area.

During his retirement speech, Jay spoke fondly of his time in Elizabeth City.

“I am an aviation engineer – a red ragger – extremely proud of that, and have worked with some of the best and brightest engineers and workforce at the Aviation Logistics Center in North Carolina.”

Jay also mentioned my husband in his speech, and the fact that our family has followed his family to almost every locale in his career. We either overlapped or came just after Jay and his family had left numerous areas including Kodiak, Detroit, Purdue, Elizabeth City and now the San Francisco Bay area.

Jay and his wife Luci had their first two children, Tyler and Hannah in Kodiak. Jack, their youngest, was born in Detroit – our daughter was born at the same hospital about a year later. Our families spent a lot of time together in Elizabeth City, and also here in California.

The entire Jewess family has been a shining example of friendship and support to us and many other Coast Guard families over the years. And, they have all embraced Jay’s career and supported him in his service throughout deployments, separations and long nights on duty.

Jay has been a dedicated officer, inspirational leader, and devoted servant to the Coast Guard for more than 30 years. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is lucky to have him, and the entire Coast Guard community will miss Jay and his family.

Kristi Langenbacher is a Coast Guard spouse and writes about military family life.


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It must be very touching to

It must be very touching to attend a retirement ceremony for someone that served in the military for 31 years. When the time will come, Jay and his wife should look for assisted living in Sacramento. They deserve to be in a place where they can live the rest of their lives peacefully, surrounded by caring people.

Nice article!

I really can't express to you how much I like your lifestyle. Good example to follow! A lot of useful information to practice writing of essays, term papers, dissertation and other types of writing you can get on

I am very happy to read this

I am very happy to read this post! Being a coast guard, I think we should have much strong mind and also there are a lot of things to be considered. assisted living arizona Kristi has completed his duty being a good coast guard. Really a good person!

Just like Capt. Jay Jewess,

Just like Capt. Jay Jewess, my uncle had big plans after retiring and he was very so happy he will be able to spend so much time with his family. He wanted so much to buy a new house and his dream was possible because his best friend that attended the seminars found him a very good home located nearby a lake, the backyard garden was huge and he could grow vegetables for his wife and grandchildren that visited him very often.

Now that Capt. Jay Jewess

Now that Capt. Jay Jewess completed his service and got retired, he will have a lot of free time and will be able to spend it with his family. We were so happy when our father celebrated his retirement in 2005, too bad that in a couple of years he got ill and only one year after we had to search for cremation services at Jay dedicated all his career for the Elizabeth City base and all his colleagues must be very proud of him.

Jay`s retirement speech is

Jay`s retirement speech is indeed amazing, he was so lucky to have a loving family by his side that would sustain him for so much time. My uncle also retired the last year, at first he was not used to his new lifestyle but soon after that decided that it was the time for him to make a lot of trips and see beautiful places, he also started buying on-line for the first time and he loved it! He bought a lot of products already, like clothing, perfumes and even straight razors, now he really enjoys his retirement and has big plans for the future.

A coast guard officer helped

A coast guard officer helped by providing very good hints when I was looking for gun cleaning systems, he knew a lot of things about all types of weapons and how to take care of them. He has retired the last year and we often meet at my favorite restaurant, he likes going there as he used to work there when he was younger.

It must be wonderful to see

It must be wonderful to see that your efforts are being honored by your community. Symbolic items like the flags can get you really emotional. There are some great stories about wonderful ceremonies listed at The Flag Company. These stories can be inspiring for the future generations, they help our kids to aspire for greatness.

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