My Coast Guard

Deckplate Leader of the Week: Army Sergeant 1st Class Stephen Tyliszczak

By From Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard’s Facebook page

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Our Deckplate leader of the week is Army Sergeant 1st Class Stephen Tyliszczak, our Army National Guard brother currently assigned to the Intel Division at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Long Island.

Tyliszczak was recently designated as an honorary chief for his contributions and leadership within the chief’s mess and the sector.

He embodies the requisite skills, knowledge, compassion, mindset, and leadership acumen of a chief petty officer and continuously carries more than his share of the load. He frequently offers great perspectives, both technical and leadership, and is always eager to learn the ways of the Coast Guard while also sharing insight from his branch viewpoints. 

When asked two questions, he gave the following responses:

 In your opinion, what makes a “good” chief?

I truly believe that there is no greater privilege and honor than being entrusted with America’s sons and daughters. Taking care of them is an enormous responsibility, but it doesn’t just mean giving an early release every Friday. That may make you popular, but it may not make you, them, or your unit effective. Ensuring your people are well trained, technically and tactically proficient so they can do their inherently dangerous jobs with a sense of well-earned confidence. That is taking care of your people. Knowing your people, being there for them when they need it, knowing when they have personal issues that impact their daily lives, and working with them to ensure they bounce back or get the help the need. That is taking care of your people. You can’t do one or the other, you must do both. To me, a good chief is someone who genuinely cares for their people, even when it’s hard, and does right by them.

What advice do you have for junior members?

Be self-aware and learn to see the big picture around you. Learn what’s happening in the world, in your branch, in your units and surrounding units. We don’t live or work in a bubble, or missions are part of a larger effort. In my experience, an E4 is an E4 be it a specialist in the Army or a petty officer third class in the Coast Guard. They want to know why they are doing things, and while it’s easy to give the command of “because I said so,” taking a few extra minutes to explain a more complex problem set may get you a better answe4r or course of action that you had planned. Make them understand where they fall in the bigger picture and more often than not, you’ll get a better result. 

Thank you for your dedication to the people and missions of our services.

Do you know a chief who deserves to be recognized as Chief of the Week? Please contact Crystalyn.a.Kneen@uscg.mil.