National Hispanic Heritage Month: HSC Federico Sanchez

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 on our blog.

Chief Petty Officer Federico Sanchez poses for a photo in his Base Kodiak office where he presides over the 17th District Substance Abuse Prevention Program as a full-time prevention facilitator.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker.

Chief Petty Officer Federico Sanchez poses for a photo in his Base Kodiak office where he presides over the 17th District Substance Abuse Prevention Program as a full-time prevention facilitator. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker.

Chief Petty Officer Federico Sanchez, Coast Guard 17th District Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist

Sanchez is currently stationed at Base Kodiak, Alaska, where he presides over the 17th District Substance Abuse Prevention Program as a full-time prevention facilitator who assists with Command Drug and Alcohol Representative issues, as well as developing and conducting alcohol and SAFE awareness training.

Sanchez is originally from San Antonio, Texas, and considers himself of Mexican descent with roots from both Spain on his father’s side and Mexico on his mother’s side.

During his Coast Guard career, Sanchez has served as the independent duty health services technician for Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles, Louisiana, and as the clinic supervisor for Health, Safety, Work-Life Department Boston, where he took charge of the medical supply for the Coast Guard 1st District. Sanchez has also served as an independent duty health services technician for the Coast Guard cutters Escanaba and Thetis, and Maritime Safety and Security Team Galveston.

Sanchez’s awards include the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Medal and numerous other personal and service awards. He was honored as the 8th District’s 2014 Independent Duty Technician of the Year.

Why did you choose to serve in the Coast Guard?

My Tio Polo was the one who first talked to me about the Coast Guard. He worked for the Border Patrol in Texas. He said, “You know I have talked to a lot of different servicemen, but the only ones that wish they had never gotten out were Coasties, you should look into that.” I wanted to join the Border Patrol like him and he said the Coast Guard would be a good start for me.

What does it mean to you to serve in the Coast Guard?

I originally only wanted to do four years, but I fell in love with this service. Once you’re in and see all the good you do for others, it really makes you proud to be a part of a military service that it is so multi-faceted and ingrains itself in the communities we live in.

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

The most important thing I’ve learned during my career is the ability to mentor others. Mentorship is the most important way that our service will continue to be great and is why we are great now. If we take care of our subordinates, and mentor them, they will carry our organization for generations to come.

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

I have been underway as a seaman and a corpsman. Both have been rewarding and challenging. This also came at different points in my life. Most importantly it has taught me to be independent and to always plan ahead. The Coast Guard’s motto “Always Ready” is ingrained in you early in your career and enables you to endure the challenges you will face while being part of a seagoing service.

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?

Come on, everyone loves Mexican night; a night when families all across the nation try to recreate a Mexican style dish. I believe our style of cooking is one of the most favored and I have not yet met a kid that does not want to hit a Piñata. All joking aside, Hispanics in general bring such a wide variety of customs and celebrations that we all enjoy. I have always enjoyed celebrating National Hispanic Heritage month in the Coast Guard as it makes me reflect on my own heritage, while also making me miss home.

Tags: , , , ,