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Meridian native cited by Coast Guard

By Staff
special to The Star
Oct. 18, 2002
Petty Officer George R. Neal, formerly of Meridian and the son of Willie and Jewel Neal, has been awarded the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.
Neal was cited for superior performance of duty while assigned as Navigation Division Leading Petty Officer in USCGC Decisive (WMEC 629) from December 1999 to May 2002.
Displaying outstanding leadership and initiative, Neal seamlessly assumed the role of Division Leading Petty Officer upon reporting and, in the absence of the Navigation Division Chief, immediately assumed leadership of the Navigation Division.
With excellent professionalism and providing hundreds of hours of mentoring and training, Neal qualified three new rated Quartermasters and certified eight underway Quartermasters of the Watch, directly contributing to the ship's operational readiness.
Neal led the Navigation Team during TACT to successful completion of all navigation drills, leading the ship to earn the Battle "E" award for Navigation and Seamanship at TACT 2000-2001, and to earn the Operational Readiness "O" Award in 2001.
The citation said Neal demonstrated expert fiscal responsibility and accounting as Operations Department Supply Officer. He initiated more than 300 necessary procurements throughout his tour resulting in significant aesthetic improvements, adequate navigational and administrative supplies and properly stocked charts.
Neal also completed a 14-day course of instruction on maritime search planning at the National Search and Rescue School and the Maritime Search Planning Course in September.

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