Coast Guard

Combat Veterans Association

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Terry O'Connell

National Vice-President
Coast Guard Combat Veterans Association
2017-2019

   I started my military career by enlisting in the USNR in 1959 and attended recruit training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center.  In 1960, I transferred to the USCG as a Seaman Apprentice. I went to boot camp again, in Company B-44.  


   My first assignment was to the CGC McCulloch (WAVP-386) where I served nearly 5 years as a Quartermaster before transfer to the CGC Blackhaw (WAGL 390) in Hawaii.  My next tour was on the CGC Basswood (WLB 388), also in Hawaii.  I left the Basswood as a QM1 in 1967 for OCS and then, as a freshly minted Ensign, I was sent to the CGC Hornbeam (WLB 394) at Woods Hole, MA.  


   My next assignment was to Vietnam after completing COIN-SERE training at Alameda, CA.  Upon arrival in DaNang, Republic of Vietnam, I was assigned to the XO position on CGC Pt. Orient (WPB 82319) followed by a transfer to Commanding Officer, CGC Point Arden (WPB 82309). 


   My remaining career consisted of roles at CGC9 (oan); XO CGC Sweetgum (WLB 309); Commander, CG Group Santa Barbara and O in C PSD Santa Barbara;  CO CGC Citrus (WLB 300), Administrative Division Officer, Support Center Kodiak; CGHQ (NP), CGHQ Chief (GNSR-2) and finally, retirement from CGD2, Chief, Aids to Navigation and Waterways Management Branch.  My combat related awards include a Bronze Star Medal with V device, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.  


  As a Life Member of the CGCVA, I served two terms as a National Trustee, two terms as National Vice President, under the leadership of National President Paul Scott LM and a term as National Vice President with NationalPresident Steve Petersen, LM.