Fireman Gavin Phillips from Winder was recently selected as an honor graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard’s eight-week basic training at its training center in Cape May, New Jersey.
During a graduation ceremony Friday, Dec. 4, Phillips, who was one of 84 graduates in Recruit Company Kilo 199, was presented a plaque on behalf of the Navy League for having the highest final overall standing out of his company, according to a report from the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. Phillips is authorized to wear the Coast Guard Honor Graduate ribbon on his uniform.
Approximately 20 percent of recruits do not graduate with their original company during the rigorous training, the report said.
“Being chosen as honor graduate makes me feel like it was all worth it, and that hard work and dedication always pays off,” Phillips said. “I have to thank my dad; he’s instilled qualities of a good person into me my entire life.”
Phillips’ company earned multiple awards during its training, including Physical Fitness, Marksmanship and Seamanship. Kilo 199 also earned the Company Commander and the Battalion Commander Pennant, according to the report.