Auxiliarist Ralph “Greg” Hendricks of the Central Brevard Flotilla (17-6) in District 7 was recognized with the 2022 COMO Charles S. Greanoff Inspirational Leadership Award in May 2022. This award recognizes the Flotilla Commander who best exemplifies the Coast Guard's Core Values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty during the previous calendar year. Only Flotilla Commanders who demonstrated the sustained and exceptional standards of proficiency and conduct, and whose appearance and bearing were consistently impeccable, are considered for nomination.

Mr. Hendricks, who retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with 34 years of service, joined the Auxiliary following his retirement to relive his experience being on the water while growing up in Miami, Florida. “One day I was reading in the local paper that a representative from our national estuary’s program was to give a presentation at the next Auxiliary Flotilla meeting. I told my wife I thought I would attend their meeting to hear the talk and to address my curiosity about the Auxiliary,” said Mr. Hendricks. And thus began his journey. Following his achievement of becoming boat crew qualified, Mr. Hendricks began his pursuit of the Operational Auxiliarist qualification, and after a few years, stepped up to his elected terms as Vice Flotilla Commander and Flotilla Commander.

When Mr. Hendricks entered his role as Flotilla Commander, his original mentor shared that the biggest goal during his tenure should be leaving the flotilla better than it was before him. He shared, “My success as a Flotilla Commander stems from all of the leaders that came before me within my flotilla. As Flotilla Commander, I inherited a large flotilla with a deep history consisting of a diverse membership with a broad expanse of expertise in many fields. I say we did accomplish that goal thanks to the outstanding team of staff officers that we were fortunate to assemble, and for having the absolute best Flotilla Vice Commander anyone could have.”

Speaking upon the values of teamwork and collaboration that Mr. Hendricks has become renowned for, he makes it clear that his success is only the result of having equally important shipmates along his side. He says, “Receiving this award is a culmination of the 60-plus years that our flotilla has been in existence, and is recognized to ALL of our members, including appointed and elected staff, that contributed in so many ways to the success of our mission. From building a marine safety team second to none, developing a space launch support team that advises vessel operators on rocket launch hazards, to elevating living marine resource protection, all while maintaining our core mission of RBS, public education, and member training. Believe me when I say that this recognition stems from our team’s accomplishments and I feel so very fortunate to have been a part of their success.”

The official citation highlights Mr. Hendrick’s role in overhauling a division-wide operations program to ensure that training sessions, check rides and patrol dates all happened to certify division boat crew members. Meanwhile, he strengthened the relationship with Station Port Canaveral and filled personnel gaps with members of Division 7, including radio watch standers, culinary assistants, and rescue and survival system personal protective equipment inspectors. Confidence in the Auxiliary being a force multiplier in the region extended to the command of the Coast Guard Cutter Confidence who has extended offers to members to go underway.

When speaking about his selection for the award, Mr. Hendricks said that he learned of it from Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant of the Coast Guard, himself during a surprise phone call. He told the Commandant, “It’s the team around me.” Commodore Charles Greanoff, who joined the U.S. Coast Guard Temporary Reserve (U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary) during WWII in 1943, served as Flotilla Commander in 1950 following the transition of the Temporary Reserves into the Auxiliary that we know of today. Quickly rising through the ranks within the Auxiliary, Commodore Greanoff became our National Commodore from 1958 to 1959. During his tenure, he traveled across the United States in support of programs across the board and even testified the importance of boating safety to the United States Congress. Commodore Greanoff's exceptional leadership and 63 years of continued service to the Auxiliary and the nation established the criteria for the Auxiliary Inspirational Leadership Award. The Commandant established the COMO Charles S. Greanoff Inspirational Leadership Award in dedication of his service.

Bravo Zulu to Auxiliarist Ralph “Greg” Hendricks on his selection for this prestigious award.

By Andrew Niquette, Branch Chief – Publications Support


Auxiliarist Ralph Hendricks. Photos provided by Flotilla Central Brevard.

Auxiliarist Ralph Hendricks. Photos provided by Flotilla Central Brevard.