Leadership has no rank

Petty Officer 3rd Class Noel Cordero poses for a photo while transiting through the Grenville Channel in British Columbia, Canada.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dale Arnould.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Noel Cordero poses for a photo while transiting through the Grenville Channel in British Columbia, Canada. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dale Arnould.

It’s often thought that a military leader must come from a high rank or command staff which fosters the development of junior members to one day become leaders themselves. However Coast Guardsmen like Petty Officer 2nd Class Noel Cordero, a junior member aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, prove the qualities of a good leader have no rank requirement.

Reporting aboard the Alex Haley in May 2013, Cordero right away made positive impacts with not only members in her division but also the rest of the crew aboard the Alex Haley. As a newly graduated store keeper, she quickly made a name for herself as someone who could be counted upon to get the job done.

“Cordero is a hard charger, compassionate shipmate who is always ready for the next task at hand,” said Chief Warrant Officer Heather Bove, Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley supply officer. “Any task I’ve ever given to her she finds a way to far exceed my expectations with the final outcome.”

As a third class petty officer, Cordero often excelled in positions normally filled by a first class petty officer. She single handedly operated the supply division in the absence of a first class petty officer, ensuring the Alex Haley and her crew was mission ready.

Cordero often times volunteered for operational duties outside her rating and would make the time to help others through mentoring. She’s held the roles of Unit Health Promotion Coordinator, Victim Advocate and secretary for the Leadership and Diversity Advisory Council. During a large training exercise Cordero led the medical training team, normally filled by a senior health services technician, earning a perfect score in all drills and the award of the Battle “E” for medical.

“She may not always be the most outspoken, but she is able to show through her actions,” said Bove. “Her positive attitude and selflessness are uncanny for a second class petty officer. I know that she will go far in this organization and I look forward to keeping track of her as she moves up in the ranks and continues to make a positive impact.”

Petty Officer 3rd Class Noel Cordero receives the Douglas A. Munro Inspirational Leadership Award during a ceremony at the Navy League of the United States National Convention held June 19, 2015.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Noel Cordero receives the Douglas A. Munro Inspirational Leadership Award during a ceremony at the Navy League of the United States National Convention held June 19, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Cordero’s passion to help others and excel at countless responsibilities did not go unnoticed. Cordero was recognized as the 2015 recipient of the Douglas A. Munro Inspirational Leadership Award during a ceremony at the Navy League of the United States National Convention held June 19, 2015. Along with the award, Cordero was meritoriously advanced to Petty Officer 2nd Class.

Signalman First Class Douglas Munro, the only Coast Guard recipient of the Medal of Honor, died heroically when he volunteered to evacuate a detachment of Marines on Guadalcanal in 1942. Munro is not only revered for his bravery, but also his dedication to helping others. The award in his honor recognizes a Coast Guard enlisted member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and professional competence to the extent of their rank and rate.

“The Coast Guard instills leadership at the most junior levels,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. “Through effective leadership we will build a service known for its culture of respect, high standards, and decisive action. We will develop leaders who uphold our core values, fulfill their obligations as men and women of character and integrity, and exercise their authority with a sense of accountability.”

Whether it’s leading daily workouts while underway, coordinating humanitarian projects with remote Alaskan villages, spearheading projects with the Kodiak Humane Society and the Partnership in Education program with the Kodiak High School or assisting fellow shipmates during difficult times, Cordero has time and time again displayed great leadership. Her unwavering drive to constantly help others not only displays what it takes to be a true leader, but also the embodiment of a true shipmate.

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