Station Brant Point's Jeff Wecal Leaving Nantucket To Become Provincetown’s Officer In Charge

David Creed •

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Jeff Wecal (left) with Station Brant Point Master Chief Lance Wiser. Photo by David Creed

When Jeff Wecal arrived on Nantucket three years ago to become Coast Guard Station Brant Point’s executive petty officer (XPO), he didn’t know what to expect. It was his family’s fifth move in 11 years – a challenging part of the job that comes with serving the country in the U.S. military.

Another move is on the horizon for Wecal, who will be heading off-island to join Coast Guard Station Provincetown as its new officer in charge. Today is his final day at Station Brant Point. But after three years immersing himself in the island community, Wecal says Nantucket has become a special place in the hearts of himself, his wife, and his two children. It is a place they’ve grown fond of and one they will continue to cherish.

"This is going to be tough for my family because they have built such a close bond here because of the community," Wecal said. "The Boys & Girls Club, they do a great job there. (My family) has just met so many people and through them, I've met so many people. This will probably be the toughest move not only for them, but for us. I feel like I am part of the community, and wife does too.”

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Jeff Wecal with Master Chief Lance Wiser and other members of the Station Brant Point crew. Photo by David Creed

Wecal is currently second in command at Station Brant Point and this next stage of his Coast Guard journey will provide him with his first opportunity to be the leader of a Coast Guard station.

"You really run the unit because when you're the officer in charge, you have that big umbrella. I'm ready for it. I've had back-to-back XPO tours, so I feel extremely privileged that I'm going into that job,” he said. “I'll take on all things. I've learned great things from (Master Chief) Lance Wiser (officer in charge at Station Brant Point) and I have learned great things from all the officers in charge I've had, so take those lessons and just try to do the best job I can. I'm so excited.”

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Jeff Wecal aboard a Coast Guard Station Brant Point vessel. Photo by David Creed

As Station Brant Point’s executive petty officer, Wecal was in charge of many personnel related items. He oversaw day-to-day operations, welfare of the crew, good order and discipline, and a host of other responsibilities at the station. Wecal developed a close bond with his crew over that time and praised their commitment to the mission of Station Brant Point and to the island community.

"Every time you go to a unit, you try and leave it a little bit better than you found,” Wecal said. “I really think we have done that with the heavy weather training that we focused on. Then seeing the guys, and this is back to the community, seeing the dedication they do to the lighthouse (for Daffodil Weekend and Stroll) I mean, that's all in these guys' free time. Some of it is their money. Then the haunted house (around Halloween). Those guys literally for one month, on all their free time, they come in on their days off and they put together that haunted house all for free for the community. Seeing thousands of people come here and be able to do something and us being a part of that? That's super rewarding.”

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Jeff Wecal (left) and master chief Lance Wiser (right). Photo by David Creed

Wecal, 44, has seen his Coast Guard career take him to New London, Connecticut; Gloucester, Massachusetts; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Mobile, Alabama; Annapolis, Maryland; Nantucket; and now Provincetown, Massachusetts. This stint on Nantucket was unlike any other according to Wecal.

“The summers are crazy busy and the past two years, just like everybody else, we've been short-staffed. So the guys are running pretty much the whole time that they're on duty,” Wecal said. “The boating community is pretty steady here where you get that three-month rush and then everything like disappears and then we're really concerned about the fishing fleet because you got all the boats fishing south of the island, east of the island. That's really where our focus turns to in the fall and winter. Then we have all the scallop boats that we're keeping an eye on and making sure they're safe out there. Those guys are crazy, too. They'll be out when it's howling getting their scallops. As far as the station goes, it is another unique thing because we're not on the mainland. We don't have another station or stations around us where we can drive to another station and get something.”

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Jeff Wecal. Photo by David Creed

Wecal penned a letter to the community, which you can read here. He said his kids will finish out the school year on-island, as well as their travel sports seasons. Wecal will move off-island on Tuesday and be sworn in as Provincetown’s officer in charge later in June. His family has bought a home in Falmouth and they plan to settle on the Cape moving forward. He anticipates coming back to the island frequently to visit lifelong friends.

"This is going to be the hardest place for us to leave because one, a lot has to do with the community,” Wecal said. “This is a small community, we're out here on the island together, and you get to know everybody. Then the kids ages (9 and 11) because they're involved in everything, so they get to meet a whole bunch of people. Nantucket is not like anywhere else that I've ever been because we're on an island. This has been a unique tour and to say you lived on Nantucket for three years is something pretty cool.”

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Jeff Wecal aboard a vessel with his crew staring his way during his second to last day at Station Brant Point. Photo by David Creed
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