Family, friends, and shipmates at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England wished fair winds and following seas to an exemplary community member Thursday during a retirement ceremony in Woods Hole.
Jack Cowley retired after 30 years of devoted service to his community and country.
Cowley enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at age 17 and served from 1941 to 1947. During that time, he was stationed all over the world, including the Pacific Theatre during World War II and at the Battle of Guadalcanal.
Upon leaving the Marine Corps, Cowley worked for 37 years as a K-9 police officer in Wrentham.
Cowley then joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary in 1986, and conducted patrols for Group Woods Hole/Sector Southeastern New England in his boat, Spindrift, until 2006.
Cowley also served as an instructor for new Auxiliary crew and coxswains, patiently training new members to proficiently perform their duties. In 1992, Cowley took on the additional responsibility of administering patrol orders for Auxiliary facilities throughout Cape Cod, as well as processing subsequent claims for reimbursement.
In addition to his work on Spindrift and administering orders for Auxiliary members, Cowley has led and observed morning colors in Woods Hole for the last 20 years.
In 2016, he was presented the Americanism Award by the Department of Connecticut American Legion for his work in the local community. Some of his work included fostering patriotism among school-aged children who he recited the Pledge of Allegiance with before presenting them their own American Flags.
After the ceremony, Cowley was joined for breakfast by Lance Cpl. Lucas Mariano from the 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, Bravo Company, currently serving at the U.S. Marine Corps recruiting office in Hyannis.