CAPT Mark Hiigel
CDR Hans Govertsen
Command Master Chief
MCPO James Murray
Captain Mark E. Hiigel, USCG
CAPTAIN Mark Hiigel graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1995. After graduation he reported to USCGC STEADFAST located in Astoria, OR where he served as the First Lieutenant.
From 1997-1998, CAPT Hiigel reported to Naval Flight Training, Pensacola, FL where he earned his wings and transitioned to flying the HH-65A.
From 1998-2002 he served at Air Station Port Angeles, WA as the Housing Officer, Communications Officer and was designated as Aircraft Commander in the HH-65A.
From 2002-2005, CAPT Hiigel served at Air Station Borinquen in Aguadilla, PR, and worked as the Air Operations Officer and MWR Officer. While there he qualified as an HH-65B Flight Instructor and Flight Examiner.
From 2005-2009, CAPT Hiigel served at Aviation Training Center (ATC) Mobile, AL as the Assistant Branch Chief in the H65 Branch. While there, he played a critical role in the H65 community as the airframe transitioned from HH-65B to HH-65C to MH-65C. He was also one of many pilots who flew during Hurricane Katrina.
From 2009-2012, CAPT Hiigel served as part of Force Readiness Command, located on CG Island in Alameda, CA. While there he helped transition ATC Mobile to a new command structure and served as Operations Training Branch Chief reviewing and approving all CG operations curriculum.
From 2012-2016, CAPT Hiigel served as the Response Officer (OPS) at Air Station North Bend, OR during the transition from Group North Bend to Sector North Bend. In 2015, he fleeted up to the Deputy Sector North Bend (XO) position.
CAPT Hiigel has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the Coast Guard Academy and a Masters of Science in Aviation Operations from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. His military decorations include two Meritorious Service Medals, one Air Medal, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, one Coast Guard Achievement Medal, two National Defense Service Medals and two Humanitarian Service Medals.
Hans C. Govertsen, USCG
COMMANDER Hans Govertsen graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1997. Following graduation, he reported to USCGC Rush home-ported in Honolulu, HI. He spent two years in the Engineering Department in Main Propulsion and as the Damage Control Assistant.
CDR Govertsen got picked up for flight school and earned his wings of gold from Naval Flight Training, Pensacola, FL in 2001. He reported to Air Station Atlantic City, NJ following a transition to the HH-65A. He transitioned up to HH-65C and qualified as Aircraft Commander during the first tour. As one of the original Rotary Wing Air Intercept (RWAI) pilots, he participated in the initial Coast Guard/Secret Service initiatives to guard the National Special Security Events (NSSEs) which became the basis of the Coast Guard’s current mission at the National Capitol Region (NCR). In 2004, CDR Govertsen was selected to join the Aeronautical Engineering program.
In 2005, CDR Govertsen transferred to Air Station Borinquen, PR as the Assistant Engineering Officer. He supported D7 and JIATF South anti-migrant and counter drug operations in the Caribbean Sea. He guided a crew of six through flood recovery operations in the Dominican Republic following Tropical Storm Noel, saving 19 lives and assisting 7100.
In 2008, CDR Govertsen transferred to Air Station New Orleans as the Engineering Officer. He flew in support of response operations following Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. He supported the initial response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig explosion and the subsequent oil spill that doubled the size of the unit through the summer of 2010.
From 2011 to 2013, CDR Govertsen was selected to attend the Aeronautical Engineering Master’s program at Purdue University with a focus in Aviation Structures. Following this opportunity, he transferred to the Coast Guard Academy where he was an instructor in the Mechanical Engineering Section. He taught Mechanical Engineering Design, Private Pilot Ground School, Advanced Engineering Math and led several aviation-related Capstone projects in support of the Aviation Logistics Center. He established the first Coast Guard Academy Flight Team as the Aviation Club Mentor.
CDR Govertsen has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Coast Guard Academy and a Master’s of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, three Commendation Medals, two Achievement Medals and two Commandant Letters of Commendation.
Mrs. Cowan enlisted in the USCG Reserves in 2002 and became stationed at Station Channel Islands. In 2003, she transferred to Station Honolulu and began working at the University of Hawaii in Manoa. Later, upon completing a study abroad program in Puebla, Mexico, she returned to her studies in the states and completed a degree from Cal State Northridge with a Bachelors in Spanish Language and Culture.
Mrs. Cowan married GM2 Jimmy Simpson after a whilwind courtship of five years and together they transferred to Key West, FL. There she began a career at a CPA Firm and drilled with Station Key West.
Their next assignment came three years later and found them again across country in San Diego, CA. Mrs. Cowan found both reserve and civil employment at MCAS Miramar. She began her Graduate degree in 2013 and finished up in 2015 with a Masters in Public Administration focusing on Government and Policy. During that time she became pregnant with their first child and PCS'd to Port Angeles, WA. A mere 2 weeks later the Simpson family welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Mia, and Mrs. Cowan transitioned to a life as a stay at home mom.
She now works on a home based business and tutors. Mrs. Cowan is active in volunteering at her church, attends local play dates, and loves getting her workout in at the local YMCA. She is an avid crafter and sport enthuiast with a love of sewing, organizing, scrapbooking, rollerblading, soccer, and hiking. She cites one of her families great accomplishments in completing the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a religious pilgrimage of 720 km and a life changing experience.
Mrs. Cowan hopes as an Ombudsman, to provide spouses and CG families with an avenue to get to know their local command. She sees the Ombudsman program as a way to volunteer her knowledge and experience to further educate and share the information she has and continues to learn about the CG.
Mrs. Lacey Marks is originally from Deer Park, WA. Lacey and her husband met in 2009 while he was stationed in Port Angeles prior to OCS, serving as an AMT. After OCS, Lacey traveled to Astoria, OR with her husband to be, ENS Jacob Marks. In their short 1 ½ year stay in Astoria, the two were married and Lacey began her journey as a USCG spouse. During their time at this unit, Lacey worked at Columbia Memorial Hospital gaining experience in various healthcare clinics including Chiropractic, Pediatrics, Oncology, Orthopedics, Urology, General Surgery, and Women's Heath. It was also at this time that ENS Marks became selected for flight school in Pensacola, Fl.
Lacey and Jake moved to Pace, FL where they spent two years in flight training. While her husband’s time was capitalized with flight school she elected to complete a Bachelor of Science and Healthcare Management from Southern Illinois University while balancing a career at an orthopedic clinic. Upon the completion of flight school, the Marks family was elated to transfer back to Air Station/SFO Port Angeles, WA with their first baby on the way.
During the Marks’ stay in Port Angeles, they have welcomed 2 daughters into their family; Mckinley (3yr) and Rylie (4 mo). Lacey is a stay at home mother and serves on the Board of Directors at Volunteers in Medicine of the Olympics (VIMO), a local non-profit. Lacey is passionate about VIMO's mission and improving the overall health of the Port Angeles Community.
Lacey, realizing the importance of spousal communication with the command and forging a strong Coast Guard family, decided to fulfill the role of Ombudsman. Lacey’s father, two brothers and brother in law have all served in the military. Witnessing this service impressed on her that military life is incredibly rewarding but is not without challenges. Lacey strives to alleviate those challenges whenever possible. Please contact Lacey with any questions and concerns via her cell at (850) 712-4427 or the ombudsman email at firstname.lastname@example.org