A Moultrie native stationed at Woods Hole, Mass., with the U.S. Coast Guard was recently honored by the Greater Boston Federal Executive Board.
Lt. Andrew Pritchett received the Unsung Hero Award from the board.
“Lt. Pritchett is an outstanding military officer who consistently does more than required without needing the commensurate accolades for his work,” his unit wrote in its nomination letter. “Through his fantastic leadership and performance, Lt. Pritchett ensures the safe and efficient operation of the 10 sub-units that conduct Coast Guard missions in the southeastern part of Massachusetts.”
Pritchett, son of Lynn and David Pritchett of Moultrie, is the engineering officer for Sector Southeastern New England, which includes 800 personnel. For more than 12 weeks, he served as chief of the logistics department, a position two ranks above his own, the nomination said.
His duties include being a leader/mentor in the sector’s safety board and championing improvements in the sector’s security program. He has voluntarily assumed a leadership role in the majority of sector morale events. He designed and implemented a training program for engineering petty officers that other units have sought to replicate.
The nomination specifically mentioned two occasions, both related to Hurricane Sandy, in which Pritchett went beyond the call of duty.
As the hurricane approached the Northeast, the Coast Guard cutter Sanibel suffered significant damage to the main diesel engine on the port side; oil spilled from the engine and entered the exhaust system and was dispersed across the famtail. Pritchett led a team to remove materials, clean the oil and replace the engine.
“Far exceeding expectations, he completed the installation of the engine — a several day job — completed in less than 24 hours,” the nomination said. “Though his leadership, professionalism he saved the Coast Guard in excess of $500K in contractual repairs.”
When the hurricane hit the sector’s base, the storm surge overcame the pier front and flooded the facility. Pritchett traveled through the storm to the base, assessed the situation and established a safety plan for the personnel trying to salvage equipment, vehicles and perishables from floodwaters.
“Lt. Pritchett kept a positive, can-do attitude that exuded among the other responders in spite of the impending damage,” the nomination said. “His keen eye for safety ensured no one was injured during rush to respond. His leadership set the road to recovery from which the sector quickly returned to full operations.”
Capping the nomination, the letter describes how he authored awards and recognition for other responders to Sandy without considering such notoriety for himself.