Waltz Invites Ponce Inlet Coast Guard Station’s Senior Chief to SOTU

February 4, 2019
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael Waltz (R-FL), who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, has invited Senior Chief Jeffery S. Graham, the Officer in Charge of Station Ponce de Leon Inlet in New Smyrna Beach, FL, as his guest to President Trump’s State of the Union address tomorrow night.
 
Waltz and Senior Chief Graham first connected during the recent government shutdown when Waltz called for an update about the struggles Coasties at the New Smyrna station were facing without their paychecks. Waltz was inspired by the Chief’s leadership and invited him attend the SOTU in Washington.
 
“I’m honored to have Senior Chief Graham of New Smyrna station join me at the State of the Union tomorrow,” Waltz said. “The sacrifices and commitment he and other Coasties make to continue serving and protecting our community – despite not receiving paychecks during the recent government shutdown – is inspiring. I hope his presence in the Gallery tomorrow will serve as a reminder to all watching and attending that Congress has a responsibility to our men and women in uniform, our constituents, and all Americans to secure our border, keep the government open, keep our Coast Guard and federal workers paid, and keep our country safe.”
 
Waltz is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan Pay Our Coast Guard Act, which would provide pay and allowances for members of the Coast Guard, civilian employees, and contractors for any period during FY2019 in which interim or full-year appropriations for the Coast Guard are not in effect.
 
About Senior Chief Jeffery S. Graham
 
Originally from East Liverpool, OH, Senior Chief Graham enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1994.  He has served at stations in Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, New York and throughout Florida including Miami Beach, St. Petersburg and Marathon. He is currently the Officer in Charge of Station Ponce de Leon Inlet in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Senior Chief Graham is above the cut for Master Chief and has orders to serve as the navigator onboard the USCGC HEALY, a 420ft icebreaker homeported out of Seattle, WA. 
 
Senior Chief Graham is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force’s Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy located in Montgomery, Alabama. His personal awards include four Coast Guard Commendation Medals, two Coast Guard Achievement Metals, and two Commandant’s Letters of Commendation.  He has also earned his permanent Cutterman and Coxswain Insignias, as well as the Advanced Boat Force Insignia.  He holds command certifications for both multi-mission afloat and ashore.