Branch: Coast Guard
Duty Station: Coast Guard District 13
Number of Deployments: 4
Number of PCS's: 3
Share your military spouse story:
My name is Nicole Crowley I have been a Coast Guard Spouse for 6 years. My husband and I have 2 children. We have a 2-year-old daughter and a 10-month-old son. Life can be very crazy in our home, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Before I met my husband, my only connection to the military was through my grandfather who served in the Korean War. When I met my husband, he had been honorably discharged from the Navy. I would hear his stories but never experienced Military life firsthand. We married in 2016 and shortly after my husband decided he wanted to return to military life. I supported his decision of enlisting in the United States Coast Guard and promised I would follow him to the ends of the earth with nothing but love and support. Although I had no idea what I was getting myself into. in 2017 I packed up our house and moved to Charleston, South Carolina. This was my first experience living away from my family and friends. Since that first PCS we have also lived in Coos Bay Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. While stationed in Coos Bay, Oregon my husband was accepted to Officer Candidate School, upon graduation we were then transferred to the Marine Safety Unit Portland Oregon. I genuinely enjoy my life as a military spouse and the opportunities I have been given to support other military Spouses and families.
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
Upon our arrival to Coos Bay, I became a member of the Coos Bay Oregon Coast Guard Spouse Club. It was there I realized that connection and support was vital to the success of military families. At that point myself and other military spouses began collaborating and facilitating functions in the area to ensure that no one felt isolated or alone. When arriving to our current unit in 2021, I immediately began serving as the Ombudsman for Marine Safety Unit of Portland. As the Ombudsman I am the Liaison between the families and the Command at the unit. This would also include provide resources to families when needed. I have a passion for helping military spouses and families. As the Ombudsman, I can be a part of the Military community where I can make a direct impact to those in need.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
As a USCG spouse I have a strong desire to be involved in the military community. While in South Carolina I took part in coordinating an evacuation plan with other military spouses due to a hurricane. During the Government Shutdown of 2019 I coordinated the donation of hundreds of Hockey tickets for USCG members and families to provide moral and support. As part of the spouse club in Coos Bay OR, I helped organize meal trains for families. I currently serve as the Ombudsman for MSU Portland. I also help plan activities for the spouse group, such as park days, spouse dinners, and a Christmas party for spouses. I was also involved in facilitating hundreds of dollars of grocery cards for the unit families from the Columbia River Military Officers Association of America. With each PCS I have found a way to be involved whether with an official spouse association, as Ombudsman, or in a capacity to which I am able to help support and connect with other military spouses in my area.
Describe how you support your community:
While supporting the Coast Guard community when and where I can since 2017, I have also volunteered in my home state as the director of a statewide service project for the International Order of Rainbow for Girls, which is part of the Masonic Family. I coordinate and facilitate 100 girls between the ages of 12 to 21 to pack “Blessing Boxes” for the elderly. We have also made hygiene bags for girls in Africa as well as packed over 1700 backpacks for homeless youth in Southwest Missouri.
What do you advocate for? Why?
In my role as the Ombudsman, I advocate for the families in our unit by acting as the liaison between the command and the families. I am passionate about ensuring that no one feels alone or isolated and that they have someone to reach out to if and when they need help. I have been in situations where I did not know where to turn for support and that is why it is so important to me to advocate for others in this way.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
To spread my message of support for others I have made it a priority to attend our unit's family events, and I am always present and available to the spouses. I am active on our unit's social media page, as well as correspond via email regularly with families in our unit. Whenever possible I attend the spouse group events and make sure the Coast Guard spouses know who I am and who they can reach out to for help.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
As Military Spouse of the year, I believe I can help to empower other military spouses to have an impact of their communities. I also feel that with this title I will also be able to connect and support other military spouses on a much larger level.
Nicole is an amazing woman who has dedicated her life to serving others and continues this through her support and dedication to her family and husband, Rodney Crowley. While her husband serves our country, Nicole holds down the fort at home while she raises their two children, Harper and Hunter. She is a strong and loving woman who is always there to advocate for others. When her husband expressed his wish to return to serving his country in the military, Niki supported him whole heartedly knowing the sacrifices that would be made. When it comes to loving and caring for others, Niki does not hesitate to lend a helping hand. She has dedicated years of service and volunteering through her work and membership with a nonprofit service organization for young girls 11-21. For many years, she worked in the behavioral health field helping children and teens with mental and behavioral health needs. The list of her love, loyalty, and service to others is endless.
- by Kenzie Krieger
Niki is dedicated and strongly believes in uniting the spouses of service members. She desires to help them feel comfortable and navigate when they move to a new areas.
- by dorleta Lodholz
Niki is a very energetic woman that embraces life. She is a very loving person and supports the military lifestyle. She has volunteered to help with many activities in the past but currently holds the position of Ombudsman MSU Portland Oregon. Niki also contributes and volunteers time to The International Order of Rainbow for Girls, a Masonic Organization. She is currently organizing and running the year long service project for the State of Missouri Grand Assembly. Niki does all this and holds the fort down at home with her two children (1 and 2 year olds) and her supportive husband.
- by Mike Lodholz
Niki is passionate and proud of her husband’s service in the Coast Guard.
- by Theresa Lyn Sepe
Nicole Crowley is the MSU Portland Oregon Ombudsman. She regularly provides updates to USCG families regarding educational opportunities, scholarships, financial resources, and basic needs. Nicole reaches out to spouses to build connections between families to create a supportive and inclusive community. She is passionate about helping others and volunteers within her local community & friend groups. A few examples of her volunteerism: Masconic youth outreach in Missouri, MOPS, organizing meal trains for CG families, and organized the donation of hundreds of hockey tickets to be given to CG members/familes in South Carolina during the government shutdown. She loves to support her husband and those he serves with. Nicole is a go-getter, joyful, compassionate, and always makes time to check in with others. Nicole Crowley is an admirable spouse who should be considered for this nomination.
- by Amanda Smith
She is super supportive of her husband and the Coast Guard. She takes care of her family and husband no matter where the Coast Guard sends him. She works with other spouses to help them adjust to military spouse life and she has a kind and beautiful spirit and attitude!! 🥰
- by Joan Hedrick
Nikki is one of the most genuinely helpful, supportive and caring humans I’ve ever met.
Over the years I have seen her take on the personal responsibility of making sure that others feel welcomed, supported and loved, while also continuing to be the foundation to others (like her work with International Order of Rainbow for Girls back in her home state, MO) even as her own life would became uprooted.
Regardless of what a military wife would result in for her own career, she has never questioned the decision, and always ensured her husband felt supported in doing what he felt he was called to do. She has always maintained the desire to be the support behind his calling, so that he could do what he loved.
While so many others can feel the burnout of what military life can mean, she’s never complained and always taken each move as an opportunity to connect with her new community and finding way to contribute. She is the representation of what a military spouse should be.
- by Kayla Williams
Nicole deserves to be nominated for spouse of the year for her unparalleled dedication to the military as a whole. She has come from a non-military background to volunteering as the Marine Safety Unit Portland's Ombudsman. She participates in spouse events and spreading the word about how kilitary can get help and all of contact information they could possibly need. She takes time out of her days to work with the units command on how they can implement more and more opportunities for spouses and family members.
- by rodney crowley
Nicole is always helping anyone anyway she can. And if she isn't able to help then she will talk to someone to find out how she can help.
When our husband's were stationed together she was involved in the spouses association at the station and she was always taking on extra tasks within the association and recruiting new people to join the association.
She is an amazing wife, mom and friend!! And she is always willing to go above and beyond!
- by JESSICA CORCORAN
Nicole has only been at her current base a year and has already taken on the role of base liaison and has organized and participated in more Coast Guard family events than I can keep up with. This is all while having 2 children under the age of 3 years old and keeping up with volunteer organizations she is involved with in her hometown. Nicole is always ready and willing to help whether it be with an organized event or a fellow Coast Guard family needing help.
- by Ruth Thomas