Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: MSSD4 Todd Talasky

 

U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Senior Chief Warrant Officer Retires

 

Chief Todd Talasky on the Coast Guard Cutter Gention being congratulated by his shipmates following his advancement ceremony.

Chief Todd Talasky on the Coast Guard Cutter Gention being congratulated by his shipmates following his advancement ceremony.

 

Written by PA3 Carlos Vega

A lot can change over four decades. If you ask Coast Guard veterans or a senior member like Todd Talasky, they describe a very different Coast Guard, filled with initiations and beards, some as long as ZZ-top. It was a time when medical personnel might prescribe whiskey to boatcrew members to keep the chills at bay on cold winter nights upon returning to a patrol and when Coast Guardsmen were sent out to sea, and not always expected to return safely.

Chief Warrant Officer Todd Talasky currently serves as the organization’s most senior chief warrant officer by four years. Throughout his career he has witnessed the Coast Guard grow and change. After contributing nearly 37 years of dedicated service, Talasky is finally set to retire with his last day of work at Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh on August 28, 2014.

Quartermaster 1st classTodd Talasky on the Coast Guard Cutter Conifer.

Quartermaster 1st class Todd Talasky on the Coast Guard Cutter Conifer.

In 1977 Talasky took an interest in the Coast Guard after catching sight of a Coast Guard commercial on television in his home town of Altoona, Pennsylvania. He began his career in 1978 as a seaman apprentice on Coast Guard Cutter Conifer out of Morehead City, North Carolina, and quickly advanced to quartermaster first class.

“When I was on the Conifer, we were the number one search-and-rescue boat on the east coast, they would send us out any time it was rough,” said Talasky. “Any time the wind blew, you’d start worrying because you would have to go. When I was in, the motto was true ‘you had to go out, but you didn’t have to come back.”

Following his time at the search-and-rescue station he returned to cutter life as a chief aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Gentian. During Talasky’s transition from chief to warrant officer, he was hesitant to leave life out at sea but was convinced to become a warrant officer in the field of marine inspections.

Along the way, Talasky has acquired an incredible amount of knowledge in the marine safety field and has selflessly passed on that knowledge to countless numbers of aspiring junior members.

“Talasky is exceptionally valued and respected for his superb proficiency in the Coast Guard’s marine safety program,” said Cmdr. Lindsay Weaver, Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh commanding officer. “He is an absolute shining example of someone who has mastered their craft, and brought marine safety program execution, training and the qualification process to exceptional levels for the better part of four decades now.”

The biggest thing Talasky feels he has taken away from being in the Coast Guard is the good company he has worked with along the way.

Chief Warrant Officer Todd Talasky (center) at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh, August 28, 2014. Talasky retired after contributing nearly 37 years of dedicated service.

Chief Warrant Officer Todd Talasky (center) at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh, August 28, 2014. Talasky retired after contributing nearly 37 years of dedicated service.

“Everybody here wants to do good. They want to save people,” said Talasky. “The people I have worked with have changed my life, from officers to enlisted. I met a lot of great people, and made a lot of great friends.”

After a career spanning four decades Talasky’s departing advice for the latest generation of Coast Guard members is to appreciate the people you work with, go after your career goals, take advantage of opportunities and live in different places.

When asked if he would change anything during his time spent in the Coast Guard Talasky responded, “I can’t say I would have done anything differently. The Coast Guard was very good to me; my mother and father were divorced when I was young. The Coast Guard took me in and turned me into a man… an old man.”

Do you know someone who embodies the Coast Guard Core Values of Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty? Please submit your nominations using the “Submit Ideas” link on the right.

 

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