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Face of Defense: Coast Guard Mechanic Excels in Florida

By Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael De Nyse
American Forces Press Service

AIR STATION CLEARWATER, Fla., Nov. 23, 2011 – A Coast Guardsman stationed here is universally recognized as a consummate shipmate, role model and go-to guy.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Savage, an aviation maintenance technician stationed at Air Station Clearwater, Fla., looks out from aboard an HH-60 helicopter flying above the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Clearwater, Fla., Nov. 2, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael De Nyse

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Savage, an aviation maintenance technician, is raising the bar in his department. As a recent Coast Guard Achievement Medal recipient for superior service at his previous unit, Savage has not skipped a beat in bringing his work ethic and great attitude to the air station.

Whether it’s the most mundane task in the shop or the most challenging, bosses and coworkers said Savage makes it look easy and his enthusiasm is contagious.

“Savage has always been one of those guys you can always go to get the job done,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Lamb, Savage’s shop supervisor. “His positive attitude reflects on the rest of his peers and his work ethic is infectious to the rest of his crew.”

Savage, 35, of Raymondville, Texas, has served in the Coast Guard for eight years. After being laid off from his civilian job, he said he was ready to do something different.

“I think my good work ethic is something that just comes naturally, but if I was to credit someone for my inspiration it would my grandfather, who just passed away last year,” Savage said. “He was a devout Christian, World War II veteran, loving husband of 65 years, father and grandfather, and a person I would say had true grit. He always put family first, and never knew the meaning of give up.”

Savage’s sunny smile and hard work, his shipmates said, helps them to keep a positive attitude, especially during difficult tasks.

Savage’s superiors said he’s demonstrated vast knowledge about aircraft systems and maintenance procedures, proving to his shipmates he can be relied upon at any time.

“Savage is the type of guy you don't have to keep under a microscope -- you can give him a task and let him go to do it,” Lamb said. “You don't have to check back with him until the job is done.

“That, to me, is huge,” he continued. “We have $20 million worth of aircraft out there, and if you have to keep your eye on somebody all the time, it takes away from what you're doing as a supervisor for everybody else.”

Savage said he’s been a “grease monkey” since he could remember.

“I always wanted to get dirty working on tractors, cars, trucks, and now aircraft,” Savage said. “I love being a mechanic; I like working with my hands and always challenging myself to learn more.”

Coast Guard aviation mechanics like Savage have a plethora of responsibilities. They service and repair aircraft fuselages, wings, rotor blades, fixed and movable flight control surfaces, and also bleed aircraft air, hydraulic and fuel systems. The mechanics fill aircrew positions such as flight engineer, flight mechanic, load master, drop master, sensor-systems operator and basic air crewman.

“Savage makes it look easy,” said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Michael Ethridge, Savage’s senior enlisted supervisor.

It’s not all about work for Savage. When off duty, he prefers spending as much time with his loved ones as he can.

“I enjoy exercising, fishing, shooting, but most importantly spending time with my wife and two boys who joyfully take up most of my free time,” Savage said. “I am blessed with a job I enjoy, even with the ups and downs of it. Blessed with a beautiful wife and two beautiful boys, and I owe it all to the grace of God.”

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