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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Passing The Anchors

One of the sayings in the Coast Guard is you should be training your replacement.  I took it one step further…I fathered mine.  My son Ryan has been in the Coast Guard now for twelve years and I got to partake in another time honored tradition.  I passed on to him my Chief Petty Officer anchors now that he has earned that promotion.

These anchors were mine and I wore them proudly on my uniform.  They proudly adorn Ryan’s uniform now that he is also a Chief.


Ryan is stationed in Philadelphia on the USCGC CAPSTAN, an ice breaking harbor tugboat.



We spent a little time visiting the tug prior to Ryan’s promotion ceremony.  Taylor and Kierra had to try out the helm.



The engine room brought back memories for me.  It has a 500 HP Cat diesel and two Onan generators.




Finally, it was time for the promotion ceremony in the conference room.  Many people were crammed in to see the action.


The Officer in Charge of Ryan’s cutter read the promotion certificate.

Then I had a chance to relate the story of my anchors and remember the Chief that had taken me under his wing and mentored me in my career.  He had passed these anchors to me years ago.   I wished Ryan to have the same great success as a Chief Petty Officer as I had.


Next, Ryan’s wife, Amber and I placed my anchors onto Ryan’s uniform.


The Chief Petty Officer (E-7) wears a different hat, too than the junior enlisted (E-1 to E-6).  It has an anchor on it instead of the Coast Guard shield.


Taylor put the Chief’s hat on her daddy’s head.


An emotional moment for the new Chief.  (Marti was fighting back tears, too).


After the ceremony, we had some family pictures taken.  Ryan, Amber, Taylor, Kierra and little Rebekah. A happy Coast Guard family on this special day.


And proud parents of the new Chief.


The hat and the promotion certificate.


Then next Chief Petty Officer in the family?


Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. Paul, what a special moment for you and Marti. Thanking Ryan and his family for their service.

  2. We have developed a new understanding of the Coast Guard. Thanks for serving and raising sons to serve.

  3. What a very special ceremony!! I could feel the emotion in your post. Congratulations to Ryan and the whole family!! Mom and did good:o))

  4. Congratulations to Ryan... and to you and Marti for raising such a fine young man. What a great tradition... and an excellent story.

  5. A great amount of congratulations are in order to you and your son. What a special day for you!

  6. Congratulations to all of you! What a moment and it's so much better that you are all there to share it together.

  7. congrats to your son and his family..a great moment in your family! you did good, both of you!

  8. that is an amazing thing in this world, Paul. How proud you must be.

  9. Congratulations to Ryan and his family....and to a very proud father and mother.

  10. Brought tears to my eyes reading about this special honor for you and your son. You raised him will, both of you!

  11. A proud moment in the Dahl family! Congratulations to all!

  12. Congratulations to Ryan and to you and Marti for raising him. How proud you must be, and rightly so. Thank you both for your service. I can see why Marti had to hold back the tears.

  13. Congrats and thanks for your service and your sons. I went to see The Duttons tonite. Of Branson fame, they winter in AZ. Anyway they pay tribute to each branch of the military by playing the branches music. When they played the Coast Guard music, I thought of you and your Christmas story.

  14. I too could feel the emotions of your blog and had tears looking at the pictures also. Thank you for you and your sons service to our country. My brother served on the USS Minnitonka years ago.

  15. A wonderful post on many levels, congratulations to Ryan and all family members! Your words made me remember the expression “God, Family, and Country”.

    John and Ellen

  16. Congrats to Ryan and thanks for his service. Love the tradition, a very proud moment for you and Marti.

  17. What a special day for you all. It's nice that you and Marti got to be there. Congrats Ryan.

  18. What a wonderful tradition, both in the Coast Guard and in your family! Your feelings were evident in your writing. Made me cry. How happy you all are. May it always be so!

  19. A special ceremony indeed; even more so when something personal like passing on of your anchors is involved. Congratulations to Ryan ... and to his entire family. I'm sure you and Marti are very proud of him and his accomplishments.

  20. What a wonderful proud tradition you are passing down! Congratulations to all.

  21. Congratulations ~ I know you must be some kinda proud!!! What a wonderful ceremony... great photos
    Have fun

  22. Adding my congratulations to all the rest...definitely a day to be extremely proud.

  23. Thank you so much for sharing this special moment with us all.
    Congratulations to your family. And, thank y'all for your service.

  24. Real nice. I know you are very proud. Great that you were able to be there and able to participate.

  25. Awesome. Congratulations all around.
    One of my nieces (older brother's youngest) married a U.S. Coast Guardsman. (is that a word?) I'm not so sure of his rank, as I haven't had a chance to ask. We've been on the wrong side of the world for too long to be able to do much more than see baby pictures (well past toddlerhood at this point) and exchange the odd email. He seems like a pretty decent chap, as are they all.
    They live in Port Angeles, WA. He's gone for a few months at a time on a regular basis. Problem with those coasts, is that there's a honkin' big chunk of land in between, and if your assignment is to be on a ship that's going through the Panama Canal for example, that can take a while.

  26. A huge congrats to Ryan, his family and, of course, to the proud parents you and Marti.

    I can understand how it would be a happy yet emotional moment passing on your anchors. Well done.

  27. Just looking at the pictures made me cry! Congratulations to this precious family. We love you and are so proud of you (all).

    Karen Seager

  28. butterbean carpenterJanuary 20, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    Howdy Marti & Chief,
    We're certainly proud of y'all & your family, especially Ryan, at this time; he has BIG reputation to hold up, but we think he can make y'all more proud as he wears HIS anchors well!!! His looks like a wonderful family too, also!!GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

  29. Woo hoo! Fond memories were made for the whole family. Congratulations to Ryan.

  30. Congratulations! It is sure one of the great moments in military families' lives:)

  31. Thanks for sharing this special day!!

  32. Congratulations to the new Chief and his proud family.

  33. A proud moment for sure! How wonderful it must be to have your son follow in your foot steps.