PO1 Connor Kline Earns CCOQ Award
by U.S. Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Timothy Tamargo
April 9, 2022
At Training Center Cape May, the mission is to deliver dynamic training that sets the foundation for the Coast Guard’s professional culture and develops job-ready skills in recruits to build our workforce for generations to come. That training is carefully overseen by a more than 50-person corps of highly trained company commanders that develop recruits into Coast Guard men and women.
Petty Officer 1st Class Connor Kline (left) is one of these individuals.
Kline became a recruit company commander as part of the training division at Training Center Cape May on July 31, 2020, but recently earned the honor of being the Company Commander of the Quarter in early January.
Kline was recognized for his role as lead company commander (LCC) for the recruit motivational program. He identified 15 standard operating procedure discrepancies, provided numerous safety recommendations, streamlined key processes, and significantly contributed to the overall execution of the program and the qualification of more than 18 assigned staff members.
Furthermore, Kline completed his own LCC performance qualification standard during the period while managing and overseeing the entire recruit motivation program.
In addition, Kline attended every off-base company run during the period, often times in an off-duty status, to assist with road guard responsibilities and the singing of cadence to recruit companies. He also volunteered to conduct a flag folding demonstration and history lesson for a local American Heritage Girls Troop, presenting to over 30 children in attendance.
Earning the honor of being the CCOQ isn’t a walk in the park. In fact, company commanders are competing against the best people the service has to offer, and their peers are the ones that nominate them for that title.
Chief Petty Officer Kevin Frazier, a section commander on the regiment at Training Center Cape May, worked with Kline for the past few years and nominated him after seeing his positive attitude and professional skill firsthand.
“I nominated Petty Officer Kline due to his work ethic and his devotion to being a company commander,” said Frazier. “He is always willing to assist anywhere needed, gives his all in whatever role his is assigned, and is an excellent role model for his fellow company commanders and the recruits he leads.”
It takes a high level of dedication and strength of character to be successful as a company commander. They train nearly 4,000 of America's finest young men and women who arrive each year for the first chapter of their Coast Guard career - boot camp. Training Center Cape May is the home of the Coast Guard's enlisted corps - the only enlisted accession point and recruit training center.
The standards at the Coast Guard’s singular recruit entry point are high, and the training is difficult. While graduating from recruit training is one of the most rewarding accomplishments of a lifetime, the program will certainly challenge recruits both mentally and physically. To be successful at Cape May, recruits must prepare their body and mind through fitness training and dedicated study. Company commanders like Kline ensure they get there.
“I learned and gained a lot of life experiences from my time in the Coast Guard,” said Kline. “My company commanders were the first people I saw wearing the uniform the right way and doing the right thing. I was an 18-year-old kid and they impressed upon me the importance of working hard and really giving maximum effort at all times.”
Kline, a native of Kingston, New York, wasn’t always a company commander. Before he was drawn to Cape May, he was stationed around the country at diverse units. He started his career in the Coast Guard in January 2011. Since then, he served aboard Coast Guard Cutters Ridley, Alex Haley, and Hammerhead, and also served at Station Woods Hole as a machinery technician.
He said he chose the Coast Guard to take advantage of unique opportunities the service offered and to make a difference in the communities where he lived.
“Kline is the type of person you would want on your team because you know he will give you 100% effort in everything at all times, and he will always strive to be the hardest worker in the room,” said Frazier.
While serving at his duty stations, Kline earned two Achievement Medals, multiple Letters of Commendation, and other personal and service awards.
Petty Officer Kline spends his free time with his wife, newborn son, and friends. He enjoys exercising with CrossFit, reading books, learning, coaching and playing lacrosse.
Coast Guard Gifts | Coast Guard | U.S. Department of Homeland Security