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Press Release | May 17, 2024

Chief Deren Perez: Champion athlete and community leader in Guam

U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam

In the heart of the Western Pacific, where the waters of tradition and innovation merge, stands Chief Petty Officer Deren Perez, a figure of inspiration and leadership within the U.S. Coast Guard and beyond. This year, Chief Perez has been honored as the U.S. Coast Guard's Elite Male Athlete of the Year, a testament to his exceptional athletic abilities and unwavering dedication to his community.

Chief Perez's journey in the ninja warrior world, a sport that combines physical strength, agility, and mental fortitude, is a testament to his personal growth and determination. From his humble beginnings in Santa Rita and now at the Recruiting Office in Guam, he has risen to achieve remarkable success on both national and international stages, competing in "American Ninja Warrior" multiple times, reaching the National Finals, and winning accolades across countries, including the USA, Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, and, of course, his home, Guam.

Chief Perez's impact extends far beyond his athletic achievements. Recognizing a lack of facilities for aspiring ninja athletes in Guam, he took it upon himself to establish the island's first Ninja Warrior gym. This initiative has not only provided a much-needed training facility. Still, it has also become a community hub, fostering the development of 14 members of the Guam National Team and inspiring countless others.

Chief Perez shares his passion for the sport and its potential to transform lives: "Ninja warrior is not just a sport; it's a way to challenge your limits and grow. Bringing this program to Guam, especially for our youth, has been incredibly rewarding. Coaching these young athletes, watching them overcome obstacles, and grow stronger physically and mentally mirrors the resilience and spirit of our community."

Capt. Nick Simmons, who presented the award to Chief Perez, praised his dedication, "Chief Perez embodies the spirit of the Coast Guard through his commitment to excellence and community service. His efforts to inspire and lead the youth of Guam through sports is a remarkable example of how our service members are making a difference, far beyond their call of duty."

This award and the recognition of Chief Perez's accomplishments come at a pivotal time, as the Coast Guard also celebrates the soft opening of its newly relocated recruiting office at the Orlean Pacific Plaza. This new location promises to be a beacon of opportunity, reflecting the Coast Guard's commitment to the community and its future leaders.

As we observe Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Chief Perez's story resonates deeply, highlighting the importance of physical well-being, mental health, and cultural heritage. His journey from local athlete to a symbol of CHamoru pride continues to inspire not only the youth of Guam but everyone who hears his story, proving that anything is possible with dedication and community support.