Ann Marie Reigrut is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University at Galveston, but she has also achieved a whole lot more. She is a loving wife, dedicated mother of two, has earned two Master's degrees, proudly serves as a reserve officer in the United States Coast Guard, volunteers with the USO, the Junior League of The Woodlands, and is currently forming her own organization to educate others about emotional abuse. On top of all that, on Mother’s Day she was crowned Mrs. Texas United States 2017.
Reigrut graduated in 2004 from the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, where she learned how to operate and maintain an ocean-going vessel. In addition to classroom training, “Texas A&M Galveston gave me the practical experience in seamanship and navigation sailing aboard the training ship Texas Clipper II,” said Reigrut. “Sailing every summer aboard the school ship was one of the best educational experiences I could have asked for.” Reigrut earned a Bachelor of Marine Science degree as well becoming a licensed U.S. Merchant Marine Officer – Unlimited Tonnage Third Mate in 2004.
While Reigrut worked towards a Master’s degree in Marine Resource Management from Texas A&M Galveston in 2006, she worked at one of the shipyards in Galveston. “I crawled tanks and monitored the safety and pollution prevention aspects of the shipyard operations,” she said. Later, she pursued a second Master’s Degree in Quality Management from the National Graduate School. While attending school, Reigrut met her future husband, Travis, a master mariner.
“Being a ‘Mom’ is my most rewarding job, but I also proudly trade in my stiletto shoes and crown for steel toe boots and a hard hat serving as a lieutenant in the United States Coast Guard Reserve,” said Reigrut. She has served as a reservist for the last 12 years. Besides maintaining her Unlimited Tonnage Third Mates License, she is qualified as a pollution investigator for the Coast Guard. Called up for Coast Guard duty during the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, Reigrut served as the branch director in Cocodrie, Louisiana, where she actively led and provided tactical/operational oversight of over 800 personnel and more than 150 vessels. Reigrut has also held positions at American Bureau of Shipping Americas, Deep Marine Technology, and Gulf Copper Dry Dock and Rig Repair.
“The role of Mrs. Texas United States is to represent the married women of our great state and to encourage each one in her pursuit of personal excellence, career achievement and community service,” says Reigrut. “The journey of becoming Mrs. Texas United States has encouraged me to become the best version of myself that I could be, gaining self-awareness, self-confidence, individual pride and greater social awareness.” Her passion is to help others to recognize and stand up to domestic violence, with specific focus on the prevalence and impact of emotional abuse as part of the relationship/domestic abuse cycle. Reugrut says, “as a career woman, full-time mom, dedicated community volunteer and now as Mrs. Texas United States 2017, I wish my legacy to be one of impact, and to touch as many lives for the better with the class and dignity that has been instilled in me and to showcase that from steel-toes boots to stilettos it is not the shoes that define you, but the strong woman wearing them.”