GEICO Military Service Award winner has served proudly in two branches of service
OAHU, Hawaii, May 20, 2019 – U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class John W. Cochrane's military career began in the Army in 1997. After spending three years at Fort Lewis, Washington, with the 75th Ranger Regiment 2nd Battalion, he returned to civilian life.
"I joined the military straight out of high school to gain life experience," he recalled. "It was not until after leaving the Army that I finally realized what a great responsibility being in the military was and that serving the people of this great country was what I wanted to continue doing."
So he returned to military service in 2005, but this time in the uniform of the Coast Guard. PO1 Cochrane is the leading Petty Officer for the Damage Control & Repair Division and the Fire & Safety Division Manager for the newly-commissioned U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball, which is based in Oahu, Hawaii. He is responsible for developing fire prevention protocols and firefighting and emergency tactics to utilize should the 418-foot vessel find itself in harm's way.
"I see it as my job to make sure all those around me get home safely," said PO1 Cochrane, who was born in Denver, Colorado, and raised in Indian Springs, Nevada. "Our job has many hazards already, and I want to ensure that, at the end of the day, everyone has the proper training and the right equipment to make it home to their families."
PO1 Cochrane earned a GEICO Military Service Award last month for not only his efforts to keep his fellow Coasties safe, but his community service as well. He's a devoted volunteer with the youth mentoring organization Trail Life USA and is known for selflessness.
PO1 Cochrane has two kids of his own with his wife Misty. When he is not spending time with them or on duty, he enjoys woodworking, welding and diving into a good book.
PO1 Cochrane has advice for those who are considering enlisting; he says the military is not your average 9-to-5 and is more of a calling than a career.
"Do not take this responsibility lightly. The military is not just simply a job, it is a noble way of life that teaches and trains you and will carry you through the many challenges you face," he said.
This year marked the 30th anniversary of the GEICO Military Service Awards, which honor one enlisted member from each of the five Armed Services and one member from the National Guard or Reserve for their achievements and contributions to civilian and military communities.
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