Master Chief Petty Officer Thiele enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard 25 November 1958 at Green Bay, Wisconsin and attended basic training at Cape May, NJ. Upon completion of basic training, he was transferred to New Orleans, LA and served at the Captain of the Port and Moorings Pilottown. In December 1959, he was transferred to isolated duty in the Philippines on Catanduanes LORAN. From 1961 to 1969, he served on a number of units in the Great Lakes including Coast Guard Light Station Algoma, Wisconsin; Coast Guard Cutter RARITAN, Coast Guard Station Plum Island; Coast Guard Cutter MESQUITE, and as Officer-In-Charge of Boating Safety Detachment in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. He was advanced to Chief Petty Officer in October 1968.
In mid 1969, he spent 2 years at Kauai LORAN Station in Hawaii as the Executive Petty Officer before being assigned to the High Endurance Cutter OWASCO in New London, CT. After decommissioning of the Cutter OWASCO in mid 1973, he was transferred to Governors Island, NY where he served as Officer-In-Charge of the Coast Guard Cutter TERN. In 1976 he was assigned as Officer-In-Charge of Recruiting Office Milwaukee.
In July of 1979, he was selected to serve as Command Enlisted Advisor of the Fourteenth Coast Guard District in Honolulu, HI. From 1982 to 1986 he again served as Officer-In-Charge, this time on the Coast Guard Cutter WYACONDA in Dubuque, IA.
On 1 May 1986, Master Chief Thiele was appointed as the Fifth Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard by the newly selected Commandant, Admiral Paul A. Yost, USCG.
Master Chief Thiele's decorations include the Legion of Merit. Joint Service Commendation Medal. Coast Guard Commendation Medal with "Operational" device and one gold star. Commandant's Letter of Commendation Ribbon. Coast Guard Unit Commendation with "Operational" device. Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation. Coast Guard Bicentennial Unit Commendation Ribbon. Eight Coast Guard Good Conduct Awards. National Defense Service Medal. Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon with two stars. Coast Guard Restricted Duty Ribbon. Authorized to permanently wear the Officer-In-Charge Afloat and Ashore Device as well as the Coast Guard Cutterman's Device.