National Hispanic Heritage Month: AMT1 Gus Albaladejo

Petty Officer 1st Class Gus Albaladejo poses for a photo in front of a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak C-130 Hercules airplane in Kodiak, Alaska, Sept. 24, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Diana Honings.

Petty Officer 1st Class Gus Albaladejo poses for a photo in front of a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak C-130 Hercules airplane in Kodiak, Alaska, Sept. 24, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Diana Honings.

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, five members of Coast Guard 17th District will be featured September 29 through October 3.

Petty Officer 1st Class Gus Albaladejo, aviation maintenance technician, Air Station Kodiak

Albaladejo was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Miami from the age of 10. He is married and has a 13-year-old daughter.

Albaladejo is an aviation maintenance technician at Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak as a C-130 Hercules airplane flight engineer. He joined the Coast Guard in 1984 and was stationed at Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico, and Air Station Sacramento, Calif.

Albaladejo departed the Coast Guard in 1991 to pursue an aviation career over-seas. In 2006, he returned to the Coast Guard and was stationed at Air Station Clearwater, Fla., before transferring to Kodiak.

Why did you choose to serve in the Coast Guard?

I am attracted to the Coast Guard for our role in serving and protecting the public and our nation’s ocean and natural resources. As a professional dive master, I love the ocean and its diverse ecosystem. I also take a great joy and pride in having a career that helps others in need.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your career?

The most important thing I have learned throughout my aviation career is mentorship. As a young airman I had senior petty officers take me under their wings and guide and assist me with both professional and personal growth. Now as a senior petty officer, it’s my time to to do my part and mentor those junior to me and pass on the knowledge and experience gained over the years. One main point was the importance of having a proper work ethic.

How has being a part of a sea-going service impacted your life?

Serving in the Coast Guard has provided me with skills that I was able to carry over to a civilian career. That career allowed me to travel all over the world and experience different cultures.

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the positive influences and traditions that Hispanic Americans have enriched our nation with. What does it mean to you to celebrate this month in the Coast Guard?

I believe it is important to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices made by various ethnic groups within the Coast Guard, and showcase their particular culture. This provides valued education within our diverse workforce and strengthens our Coast Guard community.

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