Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: MK2 Chad Bush, Sector Field Office Grand Haven, Michigan


Petty Officer 2nd Class Chad Bush takes a moment to pose for a holiday photo with shipmates in front of a 25-foot Response Boat-Small.

Grand Haven, Mich., otherwise known as Coast Guard City, USA, has a long rich history of Coast Guard pride. The pride Grand Haven has in its Coast Guard can be traced as far back as 1937 when the first Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival was held honoring the sacrifice, service and devotion to duty of America’s Coast Guardsmen.

Bush extends his devotion to duty to his liberty activities as well, often volunteering to assist with morale and local community functions.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Chad Bush exemplifies the notions of sacrifice and devotion to duty.  A native of Columbus, Ind., Bush reported for duty to Coast Guard Sector Field Office Grand Haven in June 2011. A machinery technician by trade, Bush demonstrates technical expertise well beyond his paygrade and is routinely sought out for advice on engine repair.

 In his first year of duty at SFO Grand Haven, Bush was able to assist the crew of Coast Guard Station Manistee, Mich., in quickly and efficiently replacing two head gaskets, fluid changes and performing proper valve adjustment on one of their 47-foot Motor Life Boats. This asset is essential to search-and-rescue response during heavy weather – when wave heights can reach up to 22 feet.

It was this technical expertise that led to Bush being contacted to diagnose an ignition problem on a 25-foot Response Boat-Small at Coast Guard Station Frankfort, Mich. Bush was able to quickly and expertly narrow the problem down to a faulty ignition coil, putting the RB-S quickly back into service.

“Chad is an outstanding Coast Guardsman,” said Chief Warrant Officer Brad Wise, SFO Grand Haven’s engineering officer. “His day-to-day work ethic is second to none. He usually has work accomplished before his supervisor can even task him with doing it.”

Bush ensures that the unit’s recreational vehicle meets DOT standards for safety. Here, he checks the condition of safety chains.

Bush applies his commitment and devotion to duty while off duty as well, often volunteering for additional duties that extend his work week well beyond 50 hours. He maintains the units morale travel trailer, ensuring that it is safe and functional for fellow shipmates to use on liberty.

During the 2012 Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival, he served as on-call engineer ensuring that the Uniformed Services Office, the Coast Guard Exchange and various other organizations were able to seamlessly set up their exhibits. Once complete, Bush again volunteered, this time to tow a RB-S in the parade at the festival.

“Bush is my go-to guy,” said Lt. Kevin McDonald, executive officer of SFO Grand Haven, “During the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival, when there is over 200,000 people in this city and I have to be in a dozen places at once, I can always count on him to remain level-headed and take care of any tasks and the occasional emergency.”

Bush truly leads by example. His ambition and volunteerism are infectious and there were many times where his actions have encouraged others to step up and volunteer as well.

A true shipmate in every sense of the word, Wise summed up Bush’s character by saying,  “He’s known throughout the unit as someone you can count on and who will always help you even at the cost of his own time or liberty.”

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