An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Press Release | April 10, 2024

USCGC Frederick Hatch's Lt. j.g. Mary Sims awarded for excellence in Pacific maritime operations

U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam

SANTA RITA, Guam — Aboard the USCGC Frederick Hatch (WPC 1143), Lt. j.g. Mary Sims sets an example of excellence on the vast waters of the Pacific Ocean. She was honored in March 2024 with the prestigious inaugural Sector Guam Officer Excellence Award for the second half of 2023 for her unwavering devotion to duty and outstanding leadership. 

While she's been doing incredible work for nearly two years, Sims serves as the executive officer and a boarding officer. She played an essential part in groundbreaking maritime operations, including the first-ever execution of enhanced maritime bilateral agreements with the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of Palau. She also set an outstanding example as a boarding officer during 16 boardings of foreign-flagged fishing vessels, illuminating the issue of illegal fishing and capturing data on potential violations documented and turned over to the partner nation or regional fisheries management organization for further action. Her unwavering commitment to maritime law and steadfast support of good maritime governance represent the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.

While serving as acting commanding officer, she showcased outstanding skills and tactical sense by spearheading the cutter effort in two complex nuclear missile submarine escorts with U.S. Navy Submarine Squadron 15. Further demonstrating her diplomatic skills, Sims arranged a meeting between the Frederick Hatch crew and the BAP Unión crew, a Peruvian Navy tall ship voyaging around the globe and calling on Guam. 

But her efforts go well beyond geopolitical concerns and tactical strategy. During the M/V Mama Loling towing operation, she showed resilience and fortitude in the face of hardship by expertly navigating the Frederick Hatch in eight-foot seas and hazardous weather to save five mariners and their damaged 39-foot research vessel in the Northern Mariana Islands threatened by an oncoming tropical cyclone. Her bravery and sound reasoning saved lives inspired the crew and honored the highest ideals of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Furthermore, Sims is an admirable contributor to community engagement and public service. During the cutter's historic visit to Tacloban, Philippines, she led the organization of 14 community engagement activities over four days. This visit helped to build connections and improve diplomatic contacts with the local community and Philippine Coast Guard colleagues. On many occasions, Sims shared her experience with women and girls across the Pacific, which embodies the spirit of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) initiatives, as her presence not only showcases the importance of gender inclusivity within security operations but also serves as a potent symbol of empowerment, inspiring community resilience and fostering a more inclusive approach to regional peace and security efforts. 

A native of Alabama, she has several siblings, including her sister Emma, who is also in the U.S. Coast Guard, assigned to USCGC Lawrence Lawson (WPC 1120) as the executive officer, out of Cape May, Jew Jersey. Sims is an avid runner, plays on a thriving local rugby team, and follows her faith. 

In her upcoming assignment at U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area LANT-35, operations department maritime security enforcement, Sims will continue to excel and significantly contribute to the Coast Guard's mission. Her transfer signifies the trust and confidence in her abilities to tackle new challenges and uphold the highest service standards as she concludes her tour here in Guam; her legacy of dedication, leadership, and commitment to excellence will continue to inspire her colleagues and leave an ever-lasting mark on the U.S. Coast Guard's legacy! Bravo Zulu, Lt. j.g. Sims, and best wishes for continued success in your future endeavors.


U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam
The U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam team focuses on maritime safety, security, and stewardship in Oceania. With a primary presence in Guam and Saipan and over 300 members across Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the team maintains a strong U.S. presence in the Micronesia sub-region and adjacent areas, closely tied to local communities.

About USCGC Frederick Hatch (WPC 1143)
The Frederick Hatch is the 43rd 154-foot Sentinel-class fast response cutter named for a surfman and lighthouse keeper who was a two-time Gold Life Saving Medal recipient. The Service commissioned the ship along with its sister ships, Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139) and Oliver Henry (WPC 1140), in Guam in July 2021.