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Commanding Officer

Photo Commander Mark A. McDonnell

Commander Mark A. McDonnell

Commander Mark A. McDonnell Commander McDonnell started his career in 2000 as a Deck Watch Officer aboard USCGC DALLAS (WHEC 716) in Charleston, South Carolina. In 2002, he served as Executive Officer aboard USCGC SAPELO  (WPB 1314) and USCGC NANTUCKET (WPB 1316) in Key West, Florida. During this tour he was deployed to Manama, Bahrain as Operations Officer with Patrol Forces Southwest Asia in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Following this assignment, Commander McDonnell served in Washington, DC as Aide to the Vice Commandant of the United States Coast Guard. He returned to Key West in 2006 as Commanding Officer aboard USCGC ATTU (WPB 1317), USCGC SITKINAK (WPB 1329), and USCGC NANTUCKET (WPB 1316) during patrol boat dual-crewing operations in the Seventh Coast Guard District. Commander McDonnell then served as the Coast Guard's Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Coordinator in the Office of Budget and Programs at Coast Guard Headquarters. Following his headquarters assignment, Commander McDonnell completed a detached duty tour as a Program Examiner in the Veterans Affairs and Defense Health Branch at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, DC. Commander McDonnell’s most recent operational assignment was as the Executive Officer aboard USCGC TAHOMA (WMEC 908) in Kittery, Maine. He reported as Chief, Cutter Management Section at the First Coast Guard District in June 2015.  

Commander McDonnell graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine and Environmental Sciences. He earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2009. Personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, and the Commandant's Letter of Commendation.