Ancient Albatross Award
The Ancient Albatross Officer Award (Aviator) was instituted in ’66 to honor the Coast Guard Aviator on active duty holding the earliest designation in recognition of clear defiance of the private realm of the albatross and all it seabird kin while in pursuit of the time-honored Coast Guard duties.
The Ancient Albatross Officer award is sponsored by Airbus Group and Sikorsky Aircraft
Current Ancient Albatross
Vice Admiral Charles W. Ray
United States Coast Guard
Deputy COMDT for Operations, CGHQ
Vice Admiral Charles W. Ray assumed the duties of the Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Operations in August 2016. In this capacity, he is responsible for the development of operational strategy, policy, guidance, and resources that address national priorities. This oversight of Coast Guard missions, programs, and services includes: intelligence; international affairs; cyber; the maritime transportation system; commercial regulations and inspections; search and rescue; maritime security; law enforcement; defense operations; environmental response; contingency planning; and the operational capabilities of cutter, boat, aviation, shore, and deployable specialized forces.
Vice Admiral Ray’s previous Flag Assignment was as the Pacific Area Commander. Prior to that he held Flag Assignments as the Deputy Pacific Area Commander, the Fourteenth Coast Guard District Commander, service with U.S. Forces Iraq as Director of the Iraq Training and Advisory Mission for the Ministry of Interior, and as the Military Advisor to the Secretary of the Department Homeland Security.
Vice Admiral Ray is from Newport, Arkansas, and is a 1981 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy. After an assignment as a deck watch officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter ACUSHNET (WMEC- 167), he was selected for Naval Flight Training and earned his wings in 1984.
Vice Admiral Ray has served at six Coast Guard Air Stations from Alaska to the Caribbean. He was designated an Aeronautical Engineer in 1988 and has served as Engineering Officer at three stations and at the Aviation Logistics Center as the Program Manager for the development of the Coast Guard’s Aviation Logistics Management System. He commanded Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico from 2002 through 2005. During the course of his career he accumulated over 5,000 hours of helicopter flight time.
Vice Admiral Ray’s staff assignments include a tour as Chief of the Office of Performance Management at Coast Guard Headquarters followed by a tour as the Chief of Staff of the Fourteenth Coast Guard District. Vice Admiral Ray earned a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Administration from Purdue University and a Master of Science Degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C.
Vice Admiral Ray’s personal awards include the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, five Legion of Merit Medals, one Bronze Star Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, one Coast Guard Air Medal, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.
Enlisted Ancient Albatross Award
In ’88, the Enlisted Ancient Albatross Award was established to honor the Coast Guard enlisted aircrew member on active duty with the earliest graduation date from an aviation technical school.
The Ancient Albatross Enlisted Trophy is sponsored by Airbus Group and Sikorsky Aircraft
Current Enlisted Ancient Albatross
Aviation Survival Technician Master Chief Clay Hill
AST Rating Force Master Chief
Coast Guard Headquarters
Master Chief Petty Officer Clay Hill assumed the duties of the AST Rating Force Master Chief at Coast Guard Headquarters in July 2013. As the senior AST his primary responsibility is insuring that properly trained members are stationed at the appropriate unit and are capable of executing or supporting Coast Guard missions.
Master Chief Hill hails from Alma, Georgia. He enlisted into the Coast Guard in 1983. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Unit Command Master Chief at Air Station Barbers Point, HI and the Aviation Training Center in Mobile, AL. Other assignments include tours as the Aviation Training Division Leading Chief, Branch Chief for the Rescue Swimmer Standardization Team and Survival Shop Chief for Air Stations Miami, FL and Savannah, GA. As a qualified Rescue Swimmer in the HH-3F, HH-60, HH-65 and flight Mechanic in the HH-65, he completed tours at CGAS Barbers Point, ATC Mobile and CGAS Humboldt Bay. Prior to his graduation from ASM A School in 1988, he served as a non-rate at CG Station Pascagoula, CGC Acushnet in Gulfport, MS and ATC Mobile, Alabama.
Master Chief Hill is a graduate of several specialized training courses including Air Force Senior Non-Commissioned Officer’s Academy Class 04C, Coast Guard Senior Enlisted Leadership Course Class 02-11, Critical Incident Stress Management Provider Course and Command Drug and Alcohol Representative Course. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle University.
His personal awards include the two Coast Guard Commendation Medals with operational distinguishing device, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals and the Commandants Letter of Commendation.
Master Chief Hill is married to the former Fayth Hersey of Alma, Ga. They have five sons, Justin, Nathaniel, Cameron, Logan and Tristin.