WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today the completion of the Captain Jimmie H. Hobaugh Coast Guard Community Center. The Foundation will host a ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening celebration on Monday, July 27 at 1:00 p.m. in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Anne Brengle, Coast Guard Foundation president; RDML June Ryan, commander for Coast Guard District 9 (Cleveland); and CAPT Stephen Teschendorf, captain of the port will share remarks.
The grand opening is the culmination of a project that has been under development since 2001 – the Coast Guard Foundation took up the cause three years ago to bring the project to fruition. Through the generosity of local and national supporters, the Foundation contributed $400,000 of the $650,000 needed for the project. The United States Coast Guard provided the remaining funding.
The community center is named in honor of Captain Jimmie H. Hobaugh, USCG (Ret.) who passed away in Sault Ste. Marie in December 2014. Captain Hobaugh is a Coast Guard legend who made Sault Ste. Marie his home after serving with distinction throughout his career. Taking part in some of the most significant maritime and Coast Guard historic events on the inland waterways, Captain Hobaugh was commanding officer of the USCG Cutter Woodrich that responded to the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975. As commanding officer of Group Sault Ste. Marie, he served as the on-scene commander to oversee the seven-month salvage operation of the USCG Cutter Mesquite grounding in 1989. Both events tested his leadership skills to guide Coast Guard members and local, state and federal partners to overcome significant challenges to provide service to the Great Lakes maritime community.
In retirement, Captain Hobaugh continued to serve the Sault Ste. Marie community through his participation in the Rotary Club, Sault Shrine Club, the Elks Club, the Soo Pilots Association and more. Throughout his career and life-after-active duty, Captain Hobaugh lived the Coast Guard’s commitment to Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty.
“The grand opening of the Captain Jimmie H. Hobaugh Coast Guard Community Center involved a huge effort by so many individuals over years of diligent work,” said Anne Brengle, president, Coast Guard Foundation. “We are honored to be able to finally open the doors and welcome the family of Sault Ste. Marie Coast Guard members to their new home.”
Sault Ste. Marie is located in the far northern reaches of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The area is home to eight different Coast Guard units that are responsible for search and rescue, law enforcement, aids to navigation, marine safety, and homeland security on Lake Superior, and the northern parts of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, as well as surrounding navigable waterways. Approximately 600 active duty, reserve and civilian employees plus their families are based in the area. The Community Center gives Coast Guard members and their families in the area an all-inclusive indoor recreation facility that also serves as a safe place for families to enjoy themselves during the long Upper Peninsula of Michigan winters.
The United States Coast Guard is the finest branch of the military because of people like Capt. Jimmie Hobaugh. I knew Jimmie first as a BM1 in Cape May, N.J. and then as a Ltjg aboard the CGC Gentian Galveston where I was a BM2. He congratulated me with a phone call when I made BM1, and offered me my job back aboard the Gentian. He later complimented me with a job offer in Group Duluth, Minn. The last time that I had the privilege to speak to this fine Coastie was in Sault Ste. Marie, years ago.
Semper Paratus my friend and fellow Coastie Shipmate. May your name live on.
Ed Tilghman, BM1, USCG, Veteran
I knew Bo'sun Hobaugh as our Drill Instructor while in basic training at Cape May, in the fall of 1963. As a member of the Honour Guard, we performed during company graduations, twirling our Springfields with shiny bayonettes and concluding with a Queen Ann salute. As a reserve, we'd attend a 2-week duty, each summer. I shall always remember running into, now Lt. Hobaugh, at Yorktown Va., at leadership school - this after having left Cape May two yrs earlier, and reuniting as if it were yesterday that he was forming us us into an elite CG unit. It was also one Friday, graduation day, that he announced to us that Liberty had been cancelled, and those of us who'd been on the drill team for 5 weeks or longer were to pack and fall out in 5 minutes. I'd only been in 4 weeks. Those 5 weeks and longer were bussed to DC to assist as needed in President Kennedy's funeral!