Slator Blackiston was born on January 25, 1946, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on February 1, 1967, and completed basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in April 1967. Petty Officer Blackiston next completed Quartermaster school before attending Underwater Demolition Team Replacement training with Class 040 (East Coast) at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek Virginia, where he graduated in August 1967. He served with UDT-21 at NAB Little Creek from August 1967 to April 1968, followed by service with SEAL Team TWO at Little Creek from April 1968 until being appointed a Warrant Officer in the U.S. Navy on June 4, 1975. After completing his bachelor's degree at Virginia Wesleyan College, Blackiston was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy in June 1976. He later served with Naval Special Warfare Group TWO at NAB Little Creek before going to France as an Exchange Officer with the French Navy in Toulon, France, in August 1982. LT BLackiston was killed in a parachute training accident in San Rafael, France, on April 12, 1984.
His Letter of Commendation from Vice Admiral Robert E. Adamson, Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, reads:
For outstanding performance of his duties while serving as Petty Officer in Charge of 3rd Platoon, Submersible Operations Department of SEAL Team TWO. Petty Officer Blackiston consistently performed his duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner. Displaying exceptional leadership, skill and resourcefulness, he molded his unit into a cohesive, responsive and highly professional team. Through his most effective ability as an instructor, and his intrinsic ability to share knowledge on a multi-lingual basis, Petty Officer Blackiston was instrumental in training units of the Greek Hellenic Raiding Force, Columbian Navy and Peruvian Navy in all phases of diving tactics. Notwithstanding the demands of his myriad duties, Petty Officer Blackiston vigorously pursued higher education through off-duty study for an Associate Degree. Being an involved citizen, he provided active leadership in various civic activities. His constant good judgement, zealous devotion to duty and personal investment in his unit earned him wide respect and marked him a unanimous choice to represent the Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet as candidate for "Sailor of the Year'. Petty Officer Blackiston's outstanding performance and loyal devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and the Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.