Wrestling to his core

Story by: Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Moore
Edited by: Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam Stanton

wres•tling noun: The sport or activity of grappling with an opponent and trying to throw or hold them down on the ground, typically according to a code of rules.

BM3 Roberts

Petty Officer Third Class Jacob Roberts, a boatswain’s mate at Station Golden Gate, volunteers in his spare time to coach the varsity wrestling team at Abraham Lincoln High School. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jacob Roberts, a Station Golden Gate boatswain’s mate, takes the approach he developed from his wrestling background and applies it to how he takes down obstacles, challenges and ambiguities in the Coast Guard.

Roberts was stationed on the Coast Guard Cutter Sherman as a fireman in the Auxiliary division. One day, he was fixing smallboats and fuel systems when his lead petty officer took him out on a boat ride for a power trial to see if the repairs were administered properly. He had so much fun riding on the orange rubber sponson that wraps around the small boat he decided to become a boatswain’s mate so he could get underway with boat crews on a regular basis. Now at Station Golden Gate, Roberts is underway all the time and he loves it.

“Small boat station life is good,” said Roberts.

Since his arrival at Station Golden Gate, Petty Officer Roberts quickly adapted to the fast paced operations of the unit, qualifying as a communications watchstander and boat crewman on both the 29-foot Response Boat Small and the 47-foot Motor Life Boat.

“Roberts exemplifies work ethic,” said Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Moore, commander of Station Golden Gate. “He just gets it done with the highest quality in everything he does and in the quickest manner.”

Roberts grapples with his goals he takes them down in accordance with a “code.”

“I joined the Coast Guard to gain some law enforcement experience and to add adventure to my life; I got some of both, so it’s a good trade,” said Roberts.

He also has another “code” that he lives by- the Coast Guard core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty.

“He is a consummate professional who is an outstanding role model for others to emulate,” said Moore.

Roberts said he works the way he does because of the role models who have made a profound impact on him throughout his career.

“Now that I think about it, my role models all have a strong work ethic and push me to do the same,” said Roberts. “They taught me to always be mindful of my work and attitude, as both influence others; I try to put my best foot forward.”

In addition to the duties and responsibilities Roberts performs at the unit, he still finds time to be an active volunteer as a varsity wrestling coach at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco.

“I didn’t even know Jacob was in the Coast Guard,” said Kevin Gracen, athletic director at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco. “He is always here volunteering his time. How does he do that with a military schedule?”

“I coach at Abraham Lincoln High School, varsity wrestling, we’re a young team, but watch out for us in the coming years,” said Roberts.

“He came in with a strong wrestling resume; he didn’t even mention the Coast Guard on his resume, that’s impressive,” said Gracen. “He has so much enthusiasm and dedication; the kids love him and you came really tell he loves teaching.”

Roberts’ commitment continues as he relentlessly pursues his dream to qualify as a coxswain in the Coast Guard. He also provides multiple training opportunities to impart sound long term financial planning skills with the station’s junior personnel.

“I could not ask for a better billet than I’m filling now. Great view, great pace and the opportunity for honest hard work is plentiful,” said Roberts. “Some people don’t like it, but I love it.”

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