Inspire: Cmdr. Andrew Brown

Each month the Office of Leadership will be posting a blog post on what inspires people to be great leaders. Rear Adm. William Kelly, assistant commandant for Coast Guard Human Resources, and Mr. Curtis Odom, director of Civilian Human Resources, Diversity and Leadership, kicked off the “Inspire” series in March with a video asking for you to keep the leadership dialogue going and to share what inspires you to be a leader. The 2017 Inspirational Leadership Awards Winners will be highlighted in this series and will share what has inspired them to be great leaders.

Cmdr. Andrew Brown and his family. Photo courtesy of Cmdr. Brown.

Cmdr. Andrew Brown and his family. Photo courtesy of Cmdr. Brown.

Cmdr. Andrew Brown was selected as the 2017 Jarvis Inspirational Leadership Award winner for his outstanding leadership during his tour as executive officer of Coast Guard Base Boston over calendar year 2016. Brown worked tirelessly to foster an environment of collaboration amongst a diverse team through team building events, strengthening the unit’s Leadership and Diversity Advisory Council (LDAC), and by addressing military and civilian concerns raised in annual surveys. Brown assessed multiple Work-Life related issues, expedited moves for multiple members stationed at a dilapidated Long Island facility to a temporary facility, promoted charitable actions and enhanced relationships between the enlisted and officer workforce through events such as “Eagles and Anchors” especially when a shipmate lost a young daughter, and instituted a leadership methodology known as “Friday morning coffee” to build camaraderie and allow for opportunities for mentoring. Brown’s personal mentorship guided numerous junior officers through the course of their career and resulted in three O-4s being selected for O-5.

Brown shares how “attitude is everything” has become his personal mantra below:

Cmdr. Andrew Brown with his father, retired Coast Guard Mater Chief Petty Officer Jim Brown, and his brother, Olympia Fire Department Capt. Jim Brown, in Olympia, Washington, as well as a Coast Guard veteran. Photo courtesy of Cmdr. Brown.

Cmdr. Andrew Brown with his father, retired Coast Guard Mater Chief Petty Officer Jim Brown, and his brother, Olympia Fire Department Capt. Jim Brown, in Olympia, Washington, as well as a Coast Guard veteran. Photo courtesy of Cmdr. Brown.

There is a reason I’m a mission support professional: I enjoy my role behind the scenes supporting others in achieving their own success. However, as I started to brainstorm ideas, I quickly realized that this narrative is really about others, which makes it much easer to write.

Throughout my Coast Guard career (and life) I have been deeply inspired by my late father, retired Coast Guard Master Chief Petty Officer Jim Brown. The constant that I work to emulate everyday is his enthusiasm and the positive attitude he had in approaching any and everything that he faced, whether it be on the personal or professional front, “attitude is everything” was his mantra. His positive attitude coupled with an exceptionally engaging personality made him a truly extraordinary Coast Guardsman and human being. Upon graduation from the Coast Guard Academy in 1996, my only goal was to serve the men and women of the Coast Guard as well as my father had done. Twenty-one years later I am still working towards this goal.

Over the last two years I have been further inspired by my brother, Olympia Fire Department Capt. Jim Brown, in Olympia, Washington, as well as a Coast Guard veteran (he was a surfman at Station Tillamook Bay late 80’s/early 90’s). In May 2015 Jim was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and over the last two years has proven to be the miracle in fighting the disease, largely in part to his positive attitude. He is a tremendous role model and I am inspired to be a better person every day as I observe his approach to life, work, family, and battling cancer – “ attitude is everything”.

Cmdr. Andrew Brown and his brother, Olympia Fire Department Capt. Jim Brown, in Olympia, Washington, and Coast Guard veteran. In May 2015 Jim was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Photo courtesy of Cmdr. Brown.

Cmdr. Andrew Brown and his brother, Olympia Fire Department Capt. Jim Brown, in Olympia, Washington, and Coast Guard veteran. In May 2015 Jim was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Photo courtesy of Cmdr. Brown.

I am inspired by the opportunity as a leader to “pay it forward” and “do the right thing” for today’s Coast Guard men and women in the spirit of those that did so for my father and brother while having tremendous influences on their lives and careers in the Coast Guard – “attitude is everything”.

I am inspired by the intellect, dedication, talent, motivation, and professionalism of our workforce, both military and civilian, who (along with my kids) challenge me to be at my best every day – “attitude is everything”.

Note from the Leadership Awards Panel: I was honored to be the president of this year’s leadership panel, comprised of amazing individuals that spanned the entire Coast Guard family — active, reserve, officer, enlisted, civilian, Auxiliary. We had a very difficult time whittling down 152 well-crafted nominations. Our deliberations were long and thoughtful and we left no stone unturned in selecting the best of the best. Panel members often noted that this was an extraordinary opportunity that inspired us. In fact, one teammate with three decades of active and civilian experience stated that he left the panel each day with a spring in his step. We truly have the best leaders and followers of any organization. Let’s continue to work together to perpetuate that track record. Thanks everyone – Capt. Greg Stump

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