Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: OS1 Michael Day, Sector Lake Michigan


Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Day sits at his work station in Sector Lake Michigan’s Command Center, in Milwaukee, Dec. 6, 2012. Day is one of Sector Lake Michigan’s command duty officers.
Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Brian Dykens


Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Day, an Indiana native, reported to Sector Lake Michigan Command Center from Patrol Forces Southwest Asia in July 2011. As an operations specialist, he quickly qualified as an operations unit controller just as he had during his previous assignment to Sector Lake Michigan prior to departing for the Coast Guard Cutter Wrangell, homeported in Bahrain.

As one of Sector Lake Michigan’s top performers, Day was selected as one of four operations unit controllers to stand up the newly created position of Sector Lake Michigan command duty officer. Day played a vital role in the establishment of the new position and embraced the opportunity by quickly completing his qualification, a position typically held by chief petty officers and junior officers.

“Mike’s ability to simultaneously manage multiple cases is nothing short of phenomenal,” said Senior Chief Bud Holden, Sector Lake Michigan Command Center Supervisor.

“Even during the most stressful situations his presence has a calming effect on those involved,”

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Day poses for a picture in his offic at Sector Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, Dec. 6, 2012. Day is an operations specialist for the Coast Guard.
Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Brian Dykens

Since reporting on board, Day has been responsible for the successful prosecution of several high profile cases, including the sinking of the motor vessel Gambler and safe recovery of its two crewmembers and the rescue of two crew members from the sailing vessel Matchmaker, which became disabled in 10-foot seas in the middle of Lake Michigan. His extensive knowledge of resource capability, search-and-rescue policy, and area of responsibility, have contributed to his ability to provide accurate mission briefings, resulting in consistent mission success.

“Day is a skilled search-and-rescue professional and a tenacious investigator,” said Lt. Ann Sparks, Sector Lake Michigan Command Center chief.“As command duty officer, he has meticulously prosecuted more than 300 response cases during the past year saving more than 25 lives.”

Day’s actions have displayed the true meaning of the term “shipmate,” consistently taking additional shifts to allow his shipmates to attend to family emergencies and illnesses.
Through effective communications with the boating public, industry, state and local agencies, and within the Coast Guard, he strives to find more effective ways to accomplish the missions of the Coast Guard on Lake Michigan.

“Day has the instinctive investigative abilities to uncover facts that are important to prompt mission execution, and ensuring the right assets are deployed to the correct locations in the most expedited time,” said Cmdr. Jerry Davenport, Sector Lake Michigan deputy commander.

“You can count on him to go the extra mile to turn good work into extraordinary results.”

Day currently lives in Racine, Wis., with his wife Wanda and two children, Brendan and Kenzie. His interests include spending time with his family, playing softball, and coaching Brendan’s Little League Baseball team.

Day’s unwavering dedication and performance of duty is a positive reflection on him and serves as an inspiration to others. He has a positive impact on those around him and has contributed to the overall success of the Sector Lake Michigan Command Center’s ability to coordinate safe and effective responses.

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