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<p>Former Portland resident Michelle Watson talks with her U.S. Coast Guard Reserve security team for President Obama’s second inauguration last January. One of the first African American women to graduate from the Coast Guard Academy, she just finished a year in which she also met the President and First Lady, and was promoted as the first African-American woman to take command of a Coast Guard security unit in Ft. Eustis, Va.</p>

Former Portland resident Michelle Watson talks with her U.S. Coast Guard Reserve security team for President Obama’s second inauguration last January. One of the first African American women to graduate from the Coast Guard Academy, she just finished a year in which she also met the President and First Lady, and was promoted as the first African-American woman to take command of a Coast Guard security unit in Ft. Eustis, Va.

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Decorated Veteran

Michelle Watson excels as career military leader

It’s been a long and rewarding journey from Harriet Tubman School in Portland to a distinguished career in the U.S. Coast Guard for Michelle Watson. The former Portland and Vancouver area resident has just finished a year in which she met President Obama and the First Lady; was promoted as the first African-American woman commander of a Coast Guard security unit in Virginia; and served as a deputy commander in security for the president’s second inauguration in Washington, D.C., last January.