Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: BM2 Greg Mattson, STA Grand Haven, Grand Haven, Mich.

Located on the west coast of Lower Michigan is the city of Grand Haven, also known as Coast Guard City, USA. The City of Grand Haven and the U.S. Coast Guard have a strong, long standing relationship dating back to the early 1900’s. Today the city continues to honor the men and women of the Coast Guard by hosting the annual Coast Guard Festival. Helping to preserve this strong relationship and ensure the safety of those who venture out on Lake Michigan, are the dedicated men and women of Coast Guard Station Grand Haven. The station consists of 50 active duty and reserve personnel, assigned among 3 departments; deck, engineering, and logistics.

Matteson 1

BM2 Mattson calls out directions during an ice rescue exercise held in Grand Haven, Mich.

One Coast Guard member assigned to Station Grand Haven who distinguishes himself among his peers is Petty Officer 2nd Class Mattson, a boatswain’s mate. Mattson is originally from Midlothian, a suburb of Richmond, Va. He joined the Coast Guard in 2005 and received orders to Boatswain Mate “A” School directly after completion of recruit basic training. After graduating “A” School, Mattson was assigned to Coast Guard Cutter Cushing home ported in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As a third class petty officer he attained his underway officer of the day certification, boarding team member qualification, and was the assistant operations petty officer. 

After completing his tour aboard the Cushing he received orders to Station Fort Myers Beach in Fort Myers Beach, Fla. There, his ambitiousness and dedication led to him attaining certifications as boarding officer/ashore boarding officer, OOD, pursuit coxswain on the special purpose craft – law enforcement (SPC-LE), coxswain on the 41’ utility boat (UTB) and response boat small (RBS).  He advanced to 2nd class petty officer in 2010 and subsequently took on the duties as the rescue and survival petty officer.

Mattson reported to Station Grand Haven in July of 2012 and quickly became an integral part of the crew, taking on the responsibility of deck department supervisor. Shortly after assuming this position, the station underwent its biannual standardization team inspection placing additional pressure on Mattson to ensure that the deck department was conducting operations in accordance with Coast Guard policy. Station Grand Haven passed the inspection with flying colors, showcasing Mattson’s leadership skills and dedication. Always striving to help others and increase his proficiency as a boatswain’s mate, Mattson is currently in the process of leading the rescue and survival program and is preparing for training as the Command Intelligence Officer. He is also a qualified boarding officer at the station, conducting many recreational boating safety boardings. In recognition of his achievements and dedication, Mattson was named the Sailor of the Quarter for the first quarter of FY13.

Matteson 2

Successfully conducting ice rescue requires specific techniques and tools. Here BM2 Mattson directs the deployment of an inflatable rescue float while a mock ‘victim’ calls for help in the background.

Mattson’s efforts go well beyond the minimum expected of him; he is also an integral part of the station’s morale program, participating in community sports leagues as well as station morale meetings. Even though this is his first assignment in a cold weather area, he was able to construct and complete winter work lists to ensure that when the station’s boats are placed back into the water in the spring, they will immediately be mission ready. 

Additionally, he quickly mastered the unique operations and techniques involved with ice rescue missions. Demonstrating the Coast Guard’s proficiency in ice rescue to the public, Mattson was selected as the primary rescuer in an interagency exercise conducted with the local fire department and public safety office. This event was open to the public, and many local citizens came to watch and learn how ice rescue operations are conducted. Mattson’s unwavering dedication and motivation serve as inspiration to his peers and have earned him the title of this week’s Shipmate of the Week.

Tags: , , ,