Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: Seaman Slade Comstock, USCGC Mackinaw

After enlisting in the Coast Guard in January 2012, Seaman Slade Comstock, an Elmira, N.Y. native, had a strong desire to return to the Great Lakes region following recruit basic training. This desire was realized when he received orders to report for duty aboard Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, home ported in Cheboygan, Mich. Almost immediately Comstock made a tremendous impact on the deck department, to which he was assigned.  His positive attitude, work ethic, and friendly demeanor made him quickly stand out as a leader among his peers.

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Seaman Comstock, wearing high voltage personal protection equipment, works on Mackinaw’s main drives.

Reporting aboard in the middle of Mackinaw’s busy spring restore aids to navigation (ATON) mission, Comstock demonstrated an eagerness to learn while working alongside seasoned veterans on the buoy deck.

“Reporting to a cutter in the middle of an ATON mission is difficult for anyone, especially for someone right out of boot camp,” said buoy deck supervisor, Petty Officer 2nd Class Zachary Emery, “however, he surprised everyone with his ability to catch onto the evolution and his desire to become a key part of the team.”

Comstock quickly earned all required qualifications onboard, ranging from lookout to basic and advanced damage control. Once qualified, he immediately took it upon himself to mentor the newly reported seamen, clearly displaying his innate leadership abilities.

“Since Comstock first reported onboard, he has been a hard-charger with an amazing work ethic,” Emery commented. “He always approaches new tasks with a positive attitude and a willingness to do what it takes to get the job done. It is impressive to see his leadership develop over such a short time.”

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Seaman Comstock is currently training under the direction of Mackinaw’s electrician’s mates to help him prepare for electrician mate class “A” school.

Most recently, Comstock has set himself apart once again by seeking approval through his command to work alongside the Electrician Mates onboard to help prepare him for his upcoming orders to EM “A” School.

“He has been great to have around and a pleasure to teach,” said Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Nathan Finley, who has been supervising Comstock’s work with the electrical division over the past month. “It’s always great to have an extra hand with projects, and Comstock has been so much more than that. His work ethic and drive will serve him well in future assignments.”

Off duty, Comstock works just as hard to ensure everyone feels at home. He routinely organizes events with newly reported shipmates and opens his home to crewmembers without family in the area for holidays. This past Thanksgiving, he hosted a pot-luck dinner, which was attended by many junior personnel that had recently reported aboard.

“He does what he can to make everyone feel like they are a part of a family up here. It’s unique and a great thing for junior enlisted – especially in this remote area,” commented Chief Boatswain’s Mate Hector Villarreal.

Comstock’s positive attitude, ambition, and work ethic are an inspiration to everyone who is around him. He has an infectious attitude and personality that has benefited the cutter and will continue to benefit the Coast Guard.  

When asked about his performance so far, SN Comstock saidSlade , “Honestly, I owe my success thus far to the crew. It’s easy to do well when you have supervisors who care about you and your future. I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given since reporting aboard. In my next assignment, I hope to share what I’ve learned and the experiences I’ve had onboard Mackinaw.“

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