Four times per year, each Coast Guard unit selects a Sailor of the Quarter, a member of the unit whose performance exemplifies the service’s motto of “Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty.”
The newest Sailor of the Quarter at CG Station Booothbay Harbor is Boatswains Mate Second Class (BM2) Brandon Frisoli. Known to his shipmates as “Friz,” BM2 Frisoli joined the team in Boothbay Harbor a year ago and has become both a leader and role model at the station. Cited for his tireless attention to duty and his cheerful willingness to train and support other station personnel, he’s utilized his advanced law enforcement training, as well as his boat operations skills, to ensure high scores on the frequent and comprehensive inspections to which all Coast Guard units are subjected.
A North Carolina native, Frisoli joined the Coast Guard after earning a bachelor of science degree in biology; his expectation was that he’d proceed into the Marine Safety career track when his appointment to a specialty school, known in the military as an “A-School,” was determined. That plan never materialized because while on his first posting aboard a 175-foot buoy tender as a “non-rate,” Coast Guard terminology for a new service member who has yet to qualify in a specialty, he was assigned to the boatswain’s area where he worked a variety of deck, navigation and buoy maintenance jobs. As Frisoli admits, he was a bit surprised that the boatswains’ track felt like such a good fit with teammates, duties and a “culture” he enjoyed, and so he selected an unexpected Coast Guard career path he still finds fulfilling.
After A-School, Frisoli was assigned to one of the largest Coast Guard vessels, a 378-foot cutter, aboard which he saw the far reaches of the Coast Guard’s duty area in the Pacific. From the perpetual summer of Guam to the notoriously bad winters in the Bering Sea, “Friz” experienced all facets of large cutter operations.
The tour on the Hawaii-based cutter kept him at sea 50% of the year, so it was a welcome change to be chosen to attend a specialty school for law enforcement operations which would, after completion, keep him near his soon-to-be wife and home in Hawaii. In addition to standard vessel boardings and maritime law enforcement, Frisoli was a member of the maritime presidential security details during then President Obama’s regular trips to Hawaii.
The process of selecting a new duty posting in the Coast Guard is a blend of merit-based performance, Coast Guard necessity and adventurousness; after years in Hawaii and the Pacific, “Friz” was ready for a change. Boothbay Harbor might as well have been on another planet in terms of any prior knowledge about the station, the town or even the state, but after asking around within the Coast Guard it was learned the Station Boothbay Harbor is known as good place to be with a diversity of both missions and seasons as well as a complex and challenging operating area. There are even occasional opportunities for “Friz” to keep up his surfing skills at some of the area beaches.
With 10 years in-service and two more years anticipated in Boothbay Harbor, Frisoli’s Coast Guard career is barely past his planned midpoint; being voted “Sailor of the Quarter” by his shipmates is a tangible validation of the professionalism, dedication and selflessness he’s exemplified during his years of service and his tenure at CG Station Boothbay Harbor.