Maui Council Honors Seaman Theodore Kirkbride, National “Enlisted Person of the Year 2021”
The Maui County Council presented Seaman Theodore Kirkbride with a ceremonial resolution at its virtual meeting Friday, for being honored as the United States Coast Guard’s “Enlisted Person of the Year 2021.” He was this year’s recipient of the esteemed national award for his leadership, volunteerism and assistance with more than a dozen search-and-rescue cases, saving at least 22 lives.
Among many other acts of heroism, Seaman Kirkbride administered life-saving oxygen to a snorkeler, and assisted in the towing of a disabled vessel 25 miles to safety with six mariners on board, saving an estimated $50,000 in property value.
Hailing from San Diego, Seaman Kirkbride was first assigned to Station Maui after completing Coast Guard boot camp in 2018. Upon becoming certified as a coxswain, a qualification not normally held by junior members, he created training programs to help certify three other coxswain and four boat crew members. This directly enhanced Station Maui’s ability to respond to emergencies.
Seaman Kirkbride also has contributed to the Maui community through his volunteer work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui, and the “Our Kupuna” program, spending time surfing and skateboarding with both his “little” Aldrej and talking story with home-bound senior Eddie.
“Seaman Kirkbride has brought honor to our entire community through his exemplary service and leadership,” said Councilmember Tasha Kama, who initiated the ceremonial resolution. “His dedication to maritime safety and security, as well as his commitment to both our kupuna and youth, are an inspiration to me and to the councilmembers who represent our constituents. We wish him continued success in his Coast Guard career and his personal aspirations.”