Peter C. Mantel
Harkcon Academy Instructor
Pete joined the US Coast Guard after watching the US Coast Guard perform a rescue from his living room window where a helicopter landed in the ocean and pulled 6 people from the water. He immediately knew was his calling was and enlisted in 1986 at the age of 17. He served on 3 High Endurance Cutters where he completed patrols from the Gulf of Alaska to the Caribbean Sea performing Law Enforcement and Search and Rescue missions. As a senior Boatswain Mate, Pete was stationed on an 82 ft Patrol Boat in Bodega Bay, CA where he was involved in a variety of missions including a case that drew national media coverage when the Master of the Fishing Vessel Helja refused to allow a Coast Guard boarding team to board his boat. The crew of Pete’s boat where hailed by Coast Guard leaders for their sharp decision to allow the vessel to continue and then monitored its movements and when the vessel moored in port the Coast Guard boarded the vessel. The vessel’s Master challenged the Coast Guard’s boarding authority in Federal Court, where the Coast Guard was successful in defending their as sea authority. Pete held command twice in his career at Coast Guard Small Boat Stations. Renowned as a superb leader and Boat operator, he and his crew successfully conducted thousands of search and rescue missions and law enforcement boardings.
He rose through the enlisted ranks to Chief Petty Officer and was then selected for a commission as a Chief Warrant Officer. His first assignment as an officer was at the Coast Guard’s premier boat training facility in Yorktown, VA. He served at 2 positions at the Boat Forces Center, first overseeing apprentice, journeyman, and master level Afloat Boat Operating courses. In this position, he oversaw the design and initial execution of the Coast Guard’s Pursuit and Tactics small boat operating courses to address new security measures after the September 11, 2001 attacks. He quickly gained service wide recognition as an expert instructor, course designer, and Small Boat Program Manager. In an unusual assignment change, the Coast Guard moved Pete to Chief of the Boat Forces Standardization Team to assess the Coast Guard’s small boat readiness at more than 200 stations and 60 Cutters. Leading a staff of 60 field inspectors split between an East and West Coast team, Pete's teambuilding skill led to the Coast Guard’s small boat readiness improving by 20%. Pete’s last assignment was as the Senior Instructor at the Coast Guard Chief Warrant’s Officer’s Course, located at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT. In the position, he delivered diverse classroom training to new Chief Warrant Officers, helping them grow as leaders.
Pete's athletic passion was found when he was just 7 years old participating in the Olympic sport of Judo. He has since been heavily involved as an athlete and coach. He gained a reputation as a very talented athlete, building a list of accolades including selection to the National Judo Institute in Colorado Springs, CO where he trained with multiple Olympians. He was sought after to help train Olympic Silver Medalist Lynn Roethke, to help prepare for the 1992 Barcelona Games. Pete has competed and successfully placed in many local, state, regional, and national events to include a Silver Medal at the US Senior National Championships. That same year he competed at the World Masters Judo Championships, where he was awarded a bronze medal. Furthermore, he has coached athletes at the National level, and his unique coaching approach developed a Nationally Recognized Elite Athlete from a Judo novice in 2 short years. Known for his keen ability bringing new Judo athletes together and successfully establishing multiple judo clubs, Pete positively impacted hundreds of men and women. Once he retired from the Coast Guard, Pete once again tapped his team building skill and established the Williamsburg (VA) Judo Club, where he serves as the Owner/Head Coach.