PHILADELPHIA PA--Reverend Joseph L. Coffey, a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who is a United States Navy Chaplain with the rank of Commander, was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding meritorious service while serving as Battle Force Command Chaplain on board the USS George Washington and USS Ronald Reagan August 2014-September 2016.
In a November 2016 memo on behalf of then-President Barack Obama, Father Coffey was praised for his depth-of-knowledge, insight into the lives of crew members and sage advice which enhanced mission readiness, quality of life and well-being for approximately naval personnel and their families.
Under Father Coffey’s leadership, the Command Religious Ministries Department delivered over 1,000 worship services and scripture study programs as well as life skills and deployment preparedness training classes with attendance exceeding 25,000 personnel.
Commander Coffey supervised 11 chaplains and 37 sailors during four Western Pacific deployments. Additionally, he instituted a robust community relations program that engaged over 1,200 Sailors providing 5,600 hours of volunteer service valued at $120,000 across 55 sites in five countries, earning the 2015 Nippon Zenkokai Association Good Conduct award.