Gold Ancient Mariner to Preside over Smilax ceremony

On 14 April 2011, the Gold Ancient Mariner will crown the Coast Guard Cutter Smilax “Queen of the Fleet.” The Gold Ancient Mariner is a ceremonial title given to the officer with the earliest date of qualification as a cutterman.

Coast Guard officer's Cutterman Pin.

The cutterman designation comes after five years of sea-service but to be eligible for Gold Ancient Mariner, a person must have a minimum of 10 years sea-duty. The Ancient Mariner keeps a close watch to ensure the sea-service tradition is continued and that the time-honored reputation of the Coast Guard is maintained.  During the ceremony to transfer the change of Ancient Mariner, the new Ancient Mariner dons the traditional Ancient Mariner “garb” consisted of a fore and aft style hat, gold braided shoulder epaulets, a Revenue Cutter log book and a nautical long glass.  The first commissioned Ancient Mariner was Capt. Axel J. Hagstrom who assumed the title in 1980.  Currently, the Gold Ancient Mariner is Admiral Papp, Commandant of the Coast Guard. He will preside over the ceremony to honor Smilax.

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