Women’s History Month: YNC Fabiola Germeille

Chief Petty Officer Fabiola Germeille poses for a photo in her officer at Base Kodiak, Alaska, March 9, 2015.  Germeille is the assistant service personnel office chief at Base Kodiak and leads 12 petty officers who oversee approximately 1,350 records for 29 Coast Guard units.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker.

Chief Petty Officer Fabiola Germeille poses for a photo in her officer at Base Kodiak, Alaska, March 9, 2015. Germeille is the assistant service personnel office chief at Base Kodiak and leads 12 petty officers who oversee approximately 1,350 records for 29 Coast Guard units. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker.

“Now you understand, just why my head’s not bowed, I don’t shout or jump about, or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing, it ought to make you proud. I say, it’s in the click of my heels, the bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, the need for my care. ’Cause I’m a woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.” – Maya Angelou

A young lady finishes reciting to her sophomore class the closing verse to Maya Angelo’s inspirational poem, Phenomenal Women. A poem she had picked at random from a hat for an assignment like the rest of the girls in her class of an all-girl school. This poem would introduce the teenager to a person she would later describe as, ‘an inspiring woman and leader who I admire because while her voice may be calm, she grabs your attention and is full of passion.’

The young lady was Fabiola Germeille, who would go on to become a leader as a Chief Petty Officer in the Coast Guard. She’s currently Base Kodiak’s assistant service personnel office chief and leads 12 petty officers who oversee approximately 1,350 records for 29 Coast Guard units. The poem is a fond memory for her, but her leadership inspiration started well before that assignment.

Chief Petty Officer Fabiola Germeille poses for a photo with her husband Gedeon and four children.  Germeille was born in Haiti before moving with her family to Boston at the age of two.

Chief Petty Officer Fabiola Germeille poses for a photo with her husband Gedeon and four children. Germeille was born in Haiti before moving with her family to Boston at the age of two.

“My parents are my role models,” said Germeille. “My dad worked two jobs to be able to send my siblings and I to private school and eventually went on to own his own business.”

Born in Haiti, Germeille and her family moved to Boston when she was two where they started a new life and the American dream.

“Coming to a new country, having to learn a whole new language, a new lifestyle, my parents really pushed me and my three siblings to have a better life for ourselves,” Germeille added.

Germeille has worn a uniform most of her life. She attended an all-girls private school and joined the Coast Guard soon after graduating from high school.

“I had planned on joining the Navy, but my recruiter was late,” said Germeille. “A Coast Guard recruiter saw me sitting there and asked, ‘Why do you want to join the Navy? The Coast Guard is where it’s at.’”

From there Germielle would go on to experience the life of a Coast Guardsman; one that’s full of challenges and unique experiences. Germielle has been deployed as an administrator yeoman for Activities Europe, where marine inspections and international port security is conducted throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

A multilinguist who speaks French and Creole, Germielle has been called upon by the Coast Guard on numerous occasions to act as a translator. Her most notable assignment was to translate during Operation Able Sentry in 2004 during a large influx of Haitian migrants to the U.S.

Throughout her carrier, Germeille has met several female leaders who have had an immense impact on her life. She fondly recalls working with Vice Adm. Vivian Crea, who went on to become the first female vice commandant in the Coast Guard.

Chief Petty Officer Fabiola Germeille rides aboard a Coast Guard C-130 during Operation Able Sentry in 2004.  As a multilinguist who speaks French and Creole, Germielle was called upon by the Coast Guard to act as a translator during a large influx of Haitian migrants to the U.S.

Chief Petty Officer Fabiola Germeille rides aboard a Coast Guard C-130 during Operation Able Sentry in 2004. As a multilinguist who speaks French and Creole, Germielle was called upon by the Coast Guard to act as a translator during a large influx of Haitian migrants to the U.S.

“Within the Coast Guard, I’ve met, befriended and worked with some really great supervisors,” said Germeille. “I have had a number of shipmates that I look up to and, whenever I have questions or issues, I reach out to them.”

From admiring a great female leader and poet at an early age to becoming a leader herself serving in the Coast Guard, Germeille describes what leadership means to her.

“Leadership for me has been learned though experiences,” said Germeille. “Throughout my 17 years in the service, I’ve come into contact with some really great leaders. If you can communicate with your people and have a mutual understanding of what’s expected, I think that helps build character and that credibility of being a good leader.”

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