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FIRST ON 3: Diligence commander gets job back

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WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -- Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker, commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area, reinstated Cmdr. Harry Schmidt as commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence Friday.

Schmidt was temporarily relieved of his command of the Diligence June 8, following a grounding of the cutter in May near Silver Bank in the Dominican Republic.

Based upon a review of all of the facts surrounding the grounding, Schmidt's outstanding record, and the excellent operational results and work environment fostered by Schmidt aboard the Diligence, Parker decided to reinstate Schmidt as Diligence's commanding officer.

"Commanding a Coast Guard cutter is one of the most demanding and crucial jobs we have," said Parker. "I take the responsibility of command very seriously, and demand the same of those we entrust. As such, it is vital that I have complete confidence in the commanding officer's ability to properly lead his or her crew. After careful review of the results of the investigation into this incident, and the opportunity to question several witnesses, it is with complete confidence that I return Cmdr. Schmidt to command Coast Guard Cutter Diligence."

Schmidt is scheduled to turn over command of the Diligence in a previously scheduled ceremony on Aug. 4 as part of his normal assignment rotation.

The Diligence is a 210-foot, medium endurance cutter homeported in Wilmington.

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