Cedar Key native awarded prestigious honor in Coast Guard

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By Sean Arnold

Cedar Key native Chelsea Colson was awarded Enlisted Person of the Year this month for the Eighth Coast Guard District in New Orleans.


Colson, a Petty Officer Third Class, works as a storekeeper at Coast Guard Marine Safety and Security Team.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard Heartland Facebook page, the award goes to “personnel who reflect the Coast Guard’s core values of ‘honor, respect and devotion to duty, and only those enlisted personnel who demonstrate sustained exceptional standards of proficiency and conduct, and whose military appearance and bearing are consistently impeccable are considered for this honor.”

Colson’s Eighth District, one of nine in the U.S. Coast Guard, covers bases in New Orleans, Louisville, Mobile, Memphis, St. Louis, Houston, Corpus Christi, Gulf Coast and Mississippi River System.

Colson was presented the award by Rear Adm. Dave Callahan, commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District.

Colson grew up in Cedar Key and has served in the Coast Guard in New Orleans for five years.

She’s the granddaughter of Cedar Key commissioner Sue Colson.

In fact, Colson was the inspiration behind the recent installation of the new disc golf course at Cemetery Point Park, which Sue Colson oversaw after her granddaughter made the recommendation to put in a course, the first in the Tri-State area.

“I’m most proud for Cedar Key,” Sue Colson said of her granddauther’s honor. “It shows you can be from Levy County and be something, when people see her name and know a 100-pound girl made it.

“She’s a very crack shot, a very sharp shooter,” Colson added. “She’s does all the things the men do. She’s always been athletic. But when you’re 100 pounds, it’s a little bit much.”