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Vice Mayor's son receives Coast Guard medal

June 12, 2013
By BOB PETCHER ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Matthew Kosinski, one of the sons of Fort Myers Beach residents Vernie and Joe Kosinski (Beach Vice Mayor), recently picked up a highly decorated award to go along with a near-perfect Ordinance Safety Inspection he attained back in February.

Kosinski, listed as a Maritime Enforcement Specialist Second Class, was given the Coast Guard Achievement Medal for superior performance of duty while serving at USCG Station Lake Worth (Fla.) Inlet from July 2009 to May 2013.

While at Lake Worth Inlet, the Petty Officer quickly moved up the military ranks. He has qualified as a coxswain, boarding officer, pursuit crew member, tactical crew member and Officer of the Day and has greatly enhanced the Station's overall mission effectiveness, according to CWO John Gatti, the commanding officer at USCG Station Lake Worth Inlet.

Article Photos

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Matthew Kosinski.

During his four-year tour, he accumulated over 1,200 underway hours and conducted more than 350 law enforcement boardings. He was instrumental in the West Palm Beach station's achievement of two consecutive Sumner I. Kimball Awards for Excellence and four outstanding Ready for Operations Evaluations.

"Petty Officer Kosinski's display of his diverse talent to Station Lake Worth Inlet and the Coast Guard was evident with his dedication to the station in preparation to near impeccable drills and four outstanding boats helping the unit pass four Ready for Operation visits and receiving two consecutive Sumner I Kimball awards," Gatti said. "Petty Officer KOSINSKI has transitioned to his current rate, Maritime Enforcement, and demonstrated a strong functional knowledge of his rate that was overpoweringly observed when Petty Officer KOSINSKI obtained two flawless ordinance safety inspections. 'Ski' will be missed by all and will no doubt continue to do great things in service to his country, the Coast Guard and his shipmates."

Nearly two years ago to the day, on June 14, 2011, Petty Officer Kosinski and his crew responded to a distress call regarding a vessel that had capsized off of Boynton Beach with 12 reported overboard. Once on scene, Kosinski was said to have quickly pulled two people from beneath the capsized hull and then rapidly transitioned to a third victim with a weak pulse, while conducting CPR on her until she was transported by Emergency Medical Services. According to reports, the move ultimately saved the life of a woman.

Further reports say that Kosinski played a vital role as the Boarding Officer during the waterside protection for two Presidential visits, demonstrating an innate ability to operate in a high-profile environment. Following his seamless transition to his current rate of Maritime Enforcement, he flawlessly passed two ordinance safety inspections.

As a unit's fire arms instructor, Kosinski completed 1,000 weapons' certifications and re-certifications for 70 personnel, greatly strengthening his station's readiness. He has mentored five crew members, six boarding team members and five boarding officers to enhance the skill set and capabilities of the unit.

"As the Unit Health Promotion Coordinator, Petty Officer KOSINSKI effectively developed clear goals to keep the unit healthy and physically fit," Gatti added.

Kosinski comes from a line of family who have served their country, including his grandfather who was in World War II, his father who served in the Army, his older brother who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Army and his older two sisters who attended the U.S. Naval Academy, with the oldest serving as a Navy diver.

His father couldn't be prouder of his son's accomplishments.

"Matt has excelled ever since he joined the Coast Guard," said Vice Mayor Kosinski. "He comes from a long line of family members who served their country, and we are so proud of his service and devotion to duty. Matt has always been focused and dedicated, and we know he will continue in his new assignment."

The elder Kosinski stated Matt will be transferred in July from West Palm Beach station to the Norfolk area where he will join a Marine Safety Response Team and be trained as a first responder for emergency situations. Two of his older sisters live in the Virginia Beach area.

"Vernie and I know he will do a great job there as well and we wish him success," he said.

Back in February, Kosinski scored nearly 100 percent on the Ordinance Safety Inspection test conducted by Sector Miami for the unit's weapons program. The OSI involved the testing of 247 line items. In doing so, he received a certificate of appreciation and a special ceremony that commended him.

Kosinski has given high praise for his "meticulous organizational skills and flawless record keeping,"

and his Chief Warrant Officer, John Gatti, called the feat "a very impressive and, nearly impossible, perfect 100 percent score" as he read off the accomplishments during the ceremony.

U.S. Coast Guard Station Lake Worth, which takes on a number of duties from law enforcement to search and rescue to illegal immigrant interdiction to wildlife protection, is responsible for the area between St. Lucie Inlet in Port St. Lucie to just north of Boca Raton.



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