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NEWS | Oct. 1, 2021

Profile In Professionalism: HMC Michael Coulston and Lt. j.g. Matthew Coulston

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian P. Caracci, Navy Region Southwest Reserve Component Command Public Affairs

On a sunny San Diego day, Chief Hospital Corpsman Michael Coulston, Medical Department Leading Chief Petty Officer at Navy Region Southwest Reserve Component Command, raised his right hand to reenlist.
The re-enlisting officer was none other than Coulston’s twin brother, Lt. j.g. Matthew Coulston, Industrial Hygiene Officer at Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Center Twenty-nine Palms, California.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, The Coulston twins were approached by a Navy recruiter when they were in high school.
“I thought the Navy sounded pretty cool and offered great benefits,” said Michael.
Matthew — older by just three minutes — went with Michael to see the recruiter, but had no intention of actually joining. By the time their visit with the recruiter concluded, however, Matthew had also made up his mind to join the Navy, entering active duty as a dental technician.
Meanwhile, Michael joined as a hospital corpsman under the terms of the National Call to Service Program, which required two years’ service on active duty and a four-year Reserve commitment.
“I loved being a SELRES and the stability it offered,” said Michael, “but I decided to transfer into a Full Time Support (FTS) role in 2012 after spending five years as a Reservist.”
Throughout their time in the Navy, the brothers have shared some of their most profound career milestones together. In September 2018, Michael had his CPO anchors pinned on by his wife, children and twin brother Matthew. Six months later, Michael rendered the ceremonial first salute at Matthew’s commissioning ceremony.
Michael’s recent reenlistment offered the brothers another unique opportunity to celebrate one another’s accomplishments — and it offered Michael a chance to reflect on the part of his job he loves the most.
“I really do enjoy my line of work,” said Michael. “I think I would miss the camaraderie a bunch of Sailors working together to get the job done.”
In November, 2020, Michael was selected to the Medical Service Corps In-Service Procurement Program and, in the Fall, he became a full-time student at Murray State in Kentucky, where he will earn his degree in occupational health and safety.
“The Navy has afforded me opportunities to do things that were simply not possible right out of High School,” said Michael, “like going to college, learning skills and traveling all over the world.”
Although Matthew entered into the world with a three-minute head start, his younger brother Michael is steadily catching up to him. Upon his graduation in the summer of 2023, Michael will commission as an Ensign in the Medical Service Corps as an industrial hygiene officer — the same job as his twin brother.