Chief Naval Special Warfare Operator Michael T. Ernst Memorial Game
In a special hockey game at 2 pm on 20 January 2024 at the Warrior Ice Arena, the Boston 401s(k)aters will honor the memory of Chief Naval Special Warfare Operator Michael “Mike” T. Ernst (SEAL), a Cohasset, MA native who died in a parachuting training accident on February 19, 2023. Please join us in remembering and honoring Mike as his brothers take to the ice, and his loving wife and beautiful children participate in the ceremonial puck drop.
Mike was a highly decorated Navy SEAL who received many commendations, including a Silver Star for valor in combat. He had a lifelong love for hockey, playing for Thayer Academy in Braintree, MA, and skating for many years in the Warrior for Life Fund hockey program in Virginia Beach, VA. “Mike faced challenges head-on, never shying away from difficulty; in fact, he gravitated towards it,” shared Callie Ernst Brignolo, Mike’s sister. U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, a former White House physician and retired Navy rear admiral, described Navy SEAL Mike Ernst as a courageous warrior, loving husband, devoted father, and unwavering teammate. Ernst enlisted in the Navy in 2009, joining his first operational Naval Special Warfare unit three years later.
Rear Adm. Keith Davids, commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, spoke of Mike’s exceptional teamwork, dedication as a NSW Sailor, and commitment to tackling the nation’s toughest challenges while mentoring his fellow SEALs. Davids emphasized that Mike and his family would always be part of the NSW family, ensuring he would never be forgotten. Ernst’s valor in combat earned him the Silver Star, the military’s third-highest award, and several other honors. In a social media post, Gina Leckie expressed, “You were a protector, a safe space, and a real-life superhero. You were taken too soon and will be missed beyond measure.”
The memorial game will benefit the Warrior for Life Fund, and a portion of the funds raised will be donated to the Ernst Family Scholarship. The Warrior For Life Fund remains steadfast in its dedication to making a difference in the lives of those who have served and continue to serve our nation. Together, we forge bonds, create opportunities, and build a community that lasts a lifetime.