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Chief's passion for collecting leads to art

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jennie Chamberlin
  • 624th RSG Public Affairs
Chief Master Sgt. Dan Cogar is a collector of things, and of hobbies. A part-time artist and a Reservist with the 44th Aerial Port Squadron based out of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Chief Cogar said he's collected things on the beach as a way to relieve stress for over 20 years.

"If I see something on the beach that's not normal and it's not going to hurt to pick it up, I collect it," said Chief Cogar. "I've always been a raccoon-type of person."
His collections include petrified crabs, rocks and beach glass that have washed up on the shores of the beach.

He'd amassed a collection of three five-gallon buckets of colored beach glass before he decided just what he wanted to do with it all. Chief Cogar began creating sculptures with the bits of smooth broken glass, beginning with a green glass turtle. Soon other nautical creatures came to life, including a dolphin, a shark, a mermaid and a crab made from petrified crabs.

"They're fun things, something you can share and move around," he said. "They're one-of-a-kind pieces; you won't find another just like it."

In addition to sculpting with beach glass, Chief Cogar also carves wood, builds models and takes photographs.

He said that variety of hobbies prevents him from getting bored.

"If you get too bored with one hobby, you do another one," he said. "You don't want an industrialized assembly line for your hobby."

This passion for his craft reflects in his service with the 44th APS.

"His attention to detail and pride in his workmanship with his artwork and sculptures manifests itself in the unit through his pride and in the high standards with his military work ethics, results-oriented expectations and professionalism," said Senior Master Sgt. Carlos Shoda, 44th APS Air Transportation Manager.

"As much as he goes out of his way to 'think green' using 100 percent recyclable materials at no cost to create his works of art, he also subscribes to the concept that we do what we can with the limited resources we have to get the job done," Sergeant Shoda said.

For Chief Cogar it is more basic than this.

"I do it because I enjoy it, not for world popularity," he said.

Chief Cogar said he shows the sculptures and other works on occasion at different venues throughout Guam, such as art shows or charity fund raisers, but does not sell his work. He said he enjoys creating things and prefers to keep his art as a hobby and a way of relaxing.