NEWPORT, R.I.—The U.S. Coast Guard is marking the retirement of its commander at Coast Guard Station Castle Hill and honoring him as he steps down as the service's so-called "ancient keeper," a title bestowed on the guard's most experienced member in the boat forces.

Chief Warrant Officer Thomas J. Guthlein (GUHTH'-lyn) retires Thursday at a ceremony in Newport. He joined the guard reserves in 1978 and has been on active duty since 1982. He was named ancient keeper in 2009.

The Coast Guard bestows "ancient" titles on its most experienced members. For example, the "ancient albatross" honors the most experienced pilot.

Guthlein will be succeeded as ancient keeper by Master Chief Petty Officer James M. Clemens, stationed in Winchester Bay, Oregon. Clemens will be in Newport to receive the honor.


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