Lt. Spencer Roach, an officer with the U.S. Coast Guard, is one of six officers nationwide recently selected for the Judge Advocate General program. Selection is extremely competitive, and is reserved only for the "best of the best," according to the U. S. Coast Guard. The program offers Roach the opportunity to attend a law school of his choice - fully funded by the U.S. Coast Guard - while continuing to draw his salary. Selection is based on military performance and academic acumen. Since enlisting in the Coast Guard in 1996, his accomplishments have included:
- 1997: Roach was decorated by Admiral Terry Cross for his efforts in rescuing 15 of 17 crewmembers from the Japanese freighter Kuroshima, which grounded during a torrential storm of the coast of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Roach, along with his crew, were forced to enter the water and hand-pull the rescue craft to the shore and were subsequently treated for severe hypothermia
- 1998: Roach was nominated as the Coast Guard's Student of the Year.
- 1999: Roach was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for distinguished service during a six-month combat deployment to the Persian Gulf enforcing United Nations' sanctions against Iraq.
- 2003: While serving as 3rd in command of Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach, Roach was selected as one of only four service members for Pre-Commissioning Program for Enlisted Personnel. The program enabled him to complete his undergraduate degree fully funded by the U.S. Coast Guard.
- 2005: Roach graduated Florida Gulf Coast University Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Political Science. He was recognized as the university's Outstanding Political Science Graduate, Class of 2005.
- 2005: Roach was awarded an internship in the Capitol Hill office of Congressman Connie Mack, who represents the 14th Congressional District in Florida.
- 2006: Roach was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and returned to active duty.
In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Roach was assigned to Coast Guard Sector New Orleans, where he was responsible for overseeing the force-readiness of 17 Coast Guard units along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi .He resides in Cape Coral and has elected to attend the University of Miami's School of Law, where he plans to specialize in international law.