Leadership Spotlight: CWO Anthony Slowik Coast Guard Reserve CWO of the Year

Chief Warrant Officer Anthony Slowik (second from left), assistant engineering officer at Coast Guard Port Security Unit 313 in Everett, Wash., poses for a photo with other members of PSU 313 during a PSU basic skills course at Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 2015. Slowik served on active duty in the Coast Guard for six years before transitioning to the Coast Guard Reserve. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Chief Warrant Officer Anthony Slowik.

Chief Warrant Officer Anthony Slowik (second from left), assistant engineering officer at Coast Guard Port Security Unit 313 in Everett, Wash., poses for a photo with other members of PSU 313 during a PSU basic skills course at Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 2015. Slowik served on active duty in the Coast Guard for six years before transitioning to the Coast Guard Reserve. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Chief Warrant Officer Anthony Slowik.

Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Katelyn Shearer

When people think of the Coast Guard, the first thing that comes to mind most likely isn’t building roads and establishing infrastructure half a world away.

But that’s just one of the many skill sets possessed by personnel at Coast Guard port security units. At Port Security Unit 313 in Everett, Washington, one leader has put that expertise to good use to serve his community in more than one uniform.

“I enjoy the creativity of figuring out how we’re going to complete our mission,” said Chief Warrant Officer Anthony Slowik, assistant engineering officer at PSU 313. “If you view your job, your attitude, and your perspective through your core values, you can accomplish great things.”

Slowik was selected as the 2014 Coast Guard Reserve Chief Warrant Officer of the Year and is in the running for the Chief Warrant Officer Michael J. Novosel Award, an annual award presented by the Reserve Officers Association to a high-performing military reserve chief warrant officer.

“I am very honored to receive this prestigious award,” said the 19-year veteran. “It is a culmination of the teamwork of the unit and strong support of my family and my faith.”

When Slowik was 20-years-old, he decided he wanted to serve his country. The Oak Harbor, Washington, native chose the Coast Guard because he liked the idea that everyone started at the ground level and was able to learn about the service before choosing a rating.

Slowik was stationed at Station Neah Bay, Washington, as a seaman before attending electrician’s mate “A” school. He served in Alaska and Seattle, and completed work on cutters Alex Haley, Polar Sea, Polar Star and Healy.

“I love the mission of the Coast Guard,” said Slowik. “It’s all about helping people in your community.”

It was that love of community that inspired him to apply for a position at his hometown police department when he completed his active duty service.

“I love serving the community, especially the community I grew up in,” said Slowik. “As any emergency service provider or first responder, you have the ability to make a difference. I feel very blessed.”

Two years later, the newly minted police officer joined the Coast Guard Reserve. He served at the Naval Engineering Support Unit in Seattle before transferring to PSU 313 as a first class petty officer in 2012. He quickly advanced to chief petty officer and earned his commission as a chief warrant officer.

The Slowik Family

The Slowik Family

“Chief Warrant Officer Slowik has been the calm in the storm and the voice of reason when planning major operational evolutions,” said Lt. Cmdr. Monica Hernandez, force readiness officer at PSU 313. “He has definitely become a subject matter expert on all things engineering related and takes initiative to become knowledgeable in everything he possibly can.”

Slowik has been on active duty orders to the PSU since October. In the months since, he has taken on major responsibilities as the assistant engineering officer, due in large part to the unit’s engineering officer also being a reservist who is only in the office a few days each month.

“I’ve been a part of some great teams that accomplished a lot in the last year,” said Slowik. “If it wasn’t for the people I work alongside with, it wouldn’t be possible.”

The devoted husband and father of two will travel to Washington, D.C., in July to meet other nominees and participate in a series of interviews to compete for the national award.

“This award could not have gone to a more deserving person,” said Hernandez. “He has been a rock to me and has stood up to become a real leader to my staff.”

Whether he’s wearing Coast Guard insignia or a police officer’s badge, Slowik is always dedicated to the mission at hand. His unwavering commitment to serving his shipmates and community members is recognized and appreciated by all.

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