Vice Adm. James Hull
, U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Commander will present Mark Merchant the Meritorious Public Service Award
on Monday, August 5, 2002. Merchant is recognized for his meritorious contributions to the Coast Guard following the attack on the World Trade Center
and the Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team’s Anthrax response in Boca Raton, Fla.
Merchant volunteered to assist the Coast Guard Information Office on-scene in New York when the Coast Guard’s port security response had piqued the media’s interest, making it the primary news story published and broadcast around the world. Merchant’s “real world” experience as a former newspaper reporter proved invaluable as he was able to inform the world that the Coast Guard had successfully evacuated over two million people from Manhattan and insured the message was relayed to the public that safety and security zones had been established by the Coast Guard.
In Boca Raton, Merchant successfully integrated into the Anthrax response structure as Information Officer and orchestrated numerous media availabilities, while providing written and photographic documentation to the media and Federal On-scene Coordinator.