Coast Guard Capt. Kelly Hatfield
National Security Cutter Waesche
U . S . C G C WAESCHE
Capt. Kelly Hatfield, right, with Coast Guard Commandant
Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. on the bridge of Waesche.
Ijoined the Coast Guard to play football at the academy. I was from Montana and didn’t know much about the
service, but the football coach recruited me and I had a
desire to play collegiately. Looking back, 27 years later, I
never could have envisioned the path I’ve taken in the
Coast Guard since I started classes at the academy.
After graduating, my first position was a deck watch
officer and weapons department head on the Cutter
Midgett. It was about a year into that tour that I decided I liked being on the water and I wanted to be a commanding officer of a ship. That became my goal.
I served aboard six cutters prior to my assignment on
Waesche. I’ve also had shore assignments that included
serving as chief of Coast Guard District Eleven’s Law
Enforcement and Intelligence Branch; assistant facilities
engineer at Coast Guard Support Center Kodiak, Alaska;
and the law enforcement detachment program manager
on the Operations, Law Enforcement and Intelligence
staff for commander, Seventh Coast Guard District, in
Miami. That assignment was interesting because it was
the heyday of the counterdrug business down there. It
was a pretty busy assignment for me.
“The No. 1 lesson I’ve learned since joining the Coast Guard is the importance of teamwork. … You can’t achieve anything by yourself, and if you
want to be really good at something you have to have good leadership qualities and be able to build and teach a team of people.”