At the end of U.S. Coast Guard Senior Chief Adam W. De Rocher’s list of military awards, medals, and qualifications earned after 22 years of service is an endearing one for Alaskans: more than 1,100 king fishing hours.
De Rocher, a USCG Sector Juneau Operations Specialist, retired on Friday before family and friends inside the Buoy Deck. Sector Juneau shipmate Yeoman Senior Chief Tracy A Mancuso retired Thursday evening before friends at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor’s Center.
“Continue to be teachers, leaders, and mentors,” De Rocher told his shipmates. “The Coast Guard really needs you.”
De Rocher thanked his mentors in the service and then thanked his family.
“These 21 roses are for the 21 years of wedded bliss,” De Rocher said to his wife Cyd. “Thank you for being such a great friend, life partner and renewing my contract every year. Thank you for blessing me with a wonderful family and four wonderful children.”
De Rocher stated that every community they moved to since 1998 had to become accustomed to the “De Rocher half-dozen.”
De Rocher will work in a civilian capacity at the USCG Dist. 17 Command Center in Juneau and continue to work on his king fishing hours with wife Cyd, son Alex, 19, who is playing baseball at Yakima Valley Community College, and daughters Caitlin, 18, graduating from JDHS and heading to Boise State, Chloe, 15, a soon-to-be high school sophomore, and Abby, 13, heading to eighth-grade.
Mancuso is moving to Vancouver, Washington to spend time with her son James, his wife April, and grandchildren Jordan, 12, James, 2, and Asher, 7 months.
“I realize I have spent the last 46 of my 55 years on earth in the military,” Mancuso said in her retirement speech. “I, my father, grandfather, nine uncles, five brothers, my son and a nephew have all served in branches of the military. That service has been an honor for the Mancuso family. My military life experience has been priceless. I appreciate my peers, hard working subordinates and mentors.”
De Rocher joined the Coast Guard in 1989 at Cape May, New Jersey. After graduation he went to the USCGC Bear in Portsmouth, Virginia, and sailed through Hurricane Hugo. In 1990 he went to Training Center Petaluma, graduating as a radioman and was stationed at Communication Station Kodiak. In 1992 he advanced to RM2 and in 1993 went to Group/Air Station North Bend as assistant radioman in charge of the communications center. In 1996 he became Telecommunications Specialist second class, transferred to D17 Response Division Communications Center and in 1997 advanced to Telecommunications Specialist first class. In 1999 he transferred to the USCGC Sweetbrier in Cordova, running the test platform for the USCG’s HFDX system. He advanced to TC Chief in 2001 and assisted in the Sweetbrier’s decommissioning. He then transferred to group Woods Hole, Massachusetts as TC Specialist in charge of the communications center and was directly involved with the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and the plane crash that killed John F. Kennedy Jr. and others. In 2003 he became operations specialist chief and later advanced to OS Senior Chief. In 2004 he reported to USCG Training Center Yorktown, Virginia, and was a national search and rescue instructor for the Coast Guard, Department of Defense and 80 countries around the world. In 2006 he reported to Juneau as sector command center supervisor.
Mancuso was born and raised in Germany and Italy. She joined the Army in 1974 and during three years of enlistment she was stationed at Ft. Mead, Md., and the Republic of Korea. She joined the Coast Guard in 1979.
“I was born into the military,” Mancuso said. “And I really loved the people in it. When my dad told me I couldn’t go to UCLA, I knew that I didn’t want a job that would put me out to pasture, I knew I wanted a career that would let me give back.”
Her 30-year military career includes stations at U.S. Army Basic Training at Ft. McClellan, Ala. (1974), U.S. Army Advanced Individual Training at Ft Gordon, Ga. (1974), Ft. Meade, MD (1974), I Corps HQ camp Red Cloud, Uijongbu, Korea (1975), USCG Recruit Training Tracen, Cape May, New Jersey (1979), Yeoman A School Tracen, Petaluma, California (1979), District One, Boston, Massachusetts (1980), District Seven Miami, Florida (1981), Air Station Sitka, Alaska (1985), ATTC Elizabeth City, N.C. (’88), Supply Center Brooklyn, NY. (1992), Air Station Brooklyn, NY., (1992), MLCPAC Legal Admin. Alameda, Calif. (1996), PERSDIV ISC Kodiak, (2000), CGC Eagle, New London, Conn. (2003), PERSRU GP, North Bend, Ore. (2003), PATFORSWA, Bahrain (’05), PERSDIV ISC, Alameda, Calif (2006), and Support Division Sector Juneau,(2009).
“Training and passing on my knowledge to the younger people,” Mancuso said when asked of her most satisfying memories. “We all come from different countries and cultures but we all end up being a team and working together for one cohesive effort.”
In his closing sentence to those in attendance, De Rocher summed up why the Coast Guard will always be needed by quoting a popular country song: “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.”
• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at email@example.com.