Michael Matos

Branch: USCG
Years Served:

  • Active Duty (2013-2019)
  • Reserves (2019-2023)

Rank: E5
Military Occupation: Maritime Enforcement Specialist
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Twitter Handle: @Michael_A_Matos

Tell us a little about you outside of the military: 

  • Michael Matos is a dynamic entrepreneur, dedicated NYC veteran advocate, and the visionary founder behind Personal Protective Concepts, a pioneering personal safety education company. With a distinguished background as a U.S Coast Guardsman and a deep-rooted commitment to community safety, Michael has built a legacy of service that extends from his military career to his transformative work in personal safety education. 
  • Beyond his work in the personal safety industry, Michael’s role as an NYC veteran advocate has allowed him to impact the lives of countless veteran families, ensuring they receive the support needed to reintegrate into civilian life, access essential resources and pursue their own passions successfully.

What do you hope to gain from the fellowship? 

  • Inspired by the effective advocacy work conducted by the IAVA team, Michael is confident that joining the fellowship will be a catalyst for his growth and development as a veteran advocate nationwide. 

What does advocacy mean to you? 

  • Advocacy is service to those who need a voice. Michael is proud to represent and advocate for the NYC veteran community in our nation’s capital.

How did your military experience shape you to be the person you are today?

  • Serving in the U.S Coast Guard was one of the earliest inspirations Michael had in pursuing public service as a lifelong mission. Throughout his 10 years of service, Michael conducted countless search and rescue missions which taught him to always put others before himself and do whatever able to assist them in their time of need.

Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you believe is the most pressing? Why? 

  • Veteran Suicide continues to be an unacceptable normal occurrence within the veteran community and it needs to be eliminated. Contemplating or conducting self harm should not be an expected outcome for serving our country.

Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you have the strongest personal connection to? Why? 

  • Education benefits and support for the student veteran community remain a priority for Michael, who previously served as the President of Student Veterans of America at John Jay College.
  • The transition from active duty service to the civilian world is a vulnerable time for service members. By encouraging and supporting their educational aspirations, we as a society can help ensure their personal success.



More #AllStarAdvocacy videos are available in IAVA’s 2023 All-Star Advocacy Fly-In video showcase.


Our country has an obligation to fulfill its promise to honor and support vets. Make a donation today to help IAVA fulfill its mission to connect, unite, and empower post-9/11 veterans.

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