Lieutenant Alma Pinelo 1st Belizean Woman to Receive Honor Graduate Award

The Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard is proud to acknowledge Lieutenant Alma Pinelo for receiving the Honor Graduate award after successfully completing the International Maritime Officer Course at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center in Yorktown, Virginia, U.S.A.

A PineloLieutenant Pinelo is the first Belizean and the first female to receive this prestigious award. Her name and country will be enshrined into the Honor Graduates Hall of Fame.

The International Maritime Officers School (IMOS) resides within the International Resident Training Branch at Training Center Yorktown. The Schoolhouse provides an in-depth overview of U.S. Coast Guard organization, planning and management of its missions to mid-grade coast guard, navy, maritime police and civilian equivalent personnel from around the world. The school is staffed by a dedicated team which schedules and coordinates with over 80 instructors, each an expert within their field, to actively participate in the school instruction.

Lieutenant Pinelo was part of IMOS class 61 where a total of 39 officers from 28 countries attended. The course started on March 11, 2019 and the class graduated on Thursday, June 20, 2019. The course is ideal for different coast guards and navy’s of the world to come together and learn best practices from the US Coast Guard and how they conduct their missions.

“The course is useful for us in Belize since we work a lot with the US armed forces. It helps open doors in networking where now I have friends in 27 different countries that I can count on if I need any assistance or collaboration,” stated Lieutenant Pinelo to Ambergris Today.

“This group from IMOC-61 was truly a special group. We bonded very well and I can honestly say that these friends became family. The staff at TRACEN Yorktown was exceptional. I would like to especially thank the School Chief, LCDR Michelle Schopp, my advisors LT Daniel Wimberly and LT Matthew Collard, and the international student officer Mr. Tim Clements for everything they did for us.” – Lieutenant Pinelo.