SAN FRANCISCO — Bessemer native Capt. Jay Jewess retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in May.
He was the deputy sector commander in the USCG's San Francisco sector, which covers more than 2,500 miles of shoreline within the San Francisco Bay and its tributaries. A ceremony celebrating his career was held on Yerba Buena Island on May 24.
Nearly 500 people attended, said Yoko Jewess, Jay Jewess' mother. “I'm very proud,” she said.
Eric Jewess, Jay Jewess' brother, is also retired from the Coast Guard and lives in Mississippi, where he works for the U.S. Navy.
Two of Jay Jewess' friends and former teammates from A.D. Johnston, James Moilanen and James Gustafson, traveled to San Francisco for the ceremony, as well as family from Japan. “It was very touching,” said Jewess.
While in the Coast Guard, he exercised captain of the port, served as federal on-scene coordinator, office of chief, marine inspections, federal maritime security coordinator and had search and rescue mission coordinator authorities throughout northern California.
Previously, he served as the District 11 Chief of Incident Management directing search and rescue and marine environmental response operations for California, Mexico and Central America's coastal waters, out to 1,000 nautical miles offshore.
Jewess graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1986 with a bachelor of science degree in marine engineering and naval architecture.
After graduation, he was assigned as an engineer in training on the Coast Guard's Boutwell, ported in Seattle, qualifying as an engineer watch officer and officer of deck.
He attend flight school and was designated naval aviator in 1989. He was stationed in Houston, where he performed a variety of missions, including law enforcement, search and rescue and marine environmental protection.
In 1994, Jewess was designated as an aeronautical engineer officer and was assigned to air station Kodiak, Alaska, for the HH-65 Alaskan Patrol, completing four deployments on the Bering Sea.
From 1996-’99, he served as an instructor pilot at air station Detroit.
He was selected to attend post-graduate school and received a master of science in industrial administration from the University of Purdue/Krannert School of Management in 2000.
Jewess then served as logistics support branch chief at the Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, N.C. While there, he implemented a program to provide better oversight of the ALC's $250 million budget, and managed the Coast Guard's aviation's $800 million parts inventory.
In 2005, he was assigned deputy group commander and executive officer for air station Astoria, Ore ., directing air and surface operation in the Pacific Northwest.
Jewess's awards include four Meritorious Service Medals and the Coast Guard Commendation Medal.
He is married to Luci (nee Tudor), and they have three children, Tyler, Hannah and Jack.
Post-retirement, Jewess has accepted employment with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Oakland County, Calif.