North Charleston, South Carolina

"Brave and Faithful Service"


Captain Todd D. Vance
Commanding Officer

Captain Todd D. Vance

Prior to receiving orders to USCGC JAMES, Captain Vance served as the Chief of Intelligence for the Commander, Atlantic Area; responsible for intelligence production, oversight and resource management for the Atlantic Area Intelligence Enterprise.

Captain Vance previously served as the Executive Assistant to the Assistant Commandant for Intelligence (CG-2) at Coast Guard Headquarters, following his assignment as the Plans and Policy Division Chief for Technical Intelligence (CG-257). Captain Vance’s other previous shore assignments include the Office of Law Enforcement at District Seven, Miami, FL, the Office of Cutter Forces at Coast Guard Headquarters, the Intelligence Coordination Center, Suitland, MD, and as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy for Operations (DCO-D) at Coast Guard Headquarters.

Upon receiving his commission, he served as a Deck Watch Officer and First Lieutenant on USCGC TAMPA (WMEC 902) home ported in Portsmouth, VA.  Subsequent afloat assignments include Executive Officer of USCGC FARALLON (WPB 1301) in Miami, FL; Commanding Officer of USCGC MANITOU (WPB 1302); Commanding Officer of USCGC KEY BISCAYNE (WPB 1339) in Key West, FL; and Executive Officer, then Commanding Officer of USCGC LEGARE (WMEC 912) in Portsmouth, VA.

Captain Vance is a 1996 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management.  He also holds a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College and is currently working on his Masters of Business Administration.

Captain Vance is a permanent Cutterman and is a licensed Merchant Mariner.  Personal awards earned are a tribute to the shipmates he has had the honor to serve with.

CDR Jacob L. Cass
Executive Officer

CDR Jacob L. Cass

Commander Cass reported aboard CGC JAMES as the Executive Officer in June 2019.  Prior to this assignment he served as the Coordinator for the International Port Security Program at Activities Europe in Schinnen, the Netherlands.  In this capacity oversaw the execution of the Coast Guard’s International Port Security bilateral engagements with 58 countries generally bound by Greenland, South Africa and Pakistan.  He supervised at team of 10 International Port Security Liaison Officers tasked with assessing antiterrorism measures implemented at foreign ports by reviewing their security practices, increasing international awareness of maritime security, and championing best practices to improve maritime governance. 

Prior to Activities Europe, Commander Cass completed 9-months of intensive French language training at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia.  His other assignments in the Coast Guard included Operations Officer in Coast Guard Cutter HEALY, Information Officer at the International Ice Patrol, Law Enforcement Staff at the Coast Guard District Fourteen Office, Weapons Officer in Coast Guard Cutter CHASE, and Deck Watch Officer in Coast Guard Cutter RUSH.  Commander Cass received his commission as an Officer from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 2001.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Marine and Environmental Science from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and a Master’s of Science in Physical Oceanography from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

CDR Cass and his wife currently reside on Daniel Island with their daughter.

OSC Michael McCandless
Command Chief


Prior to reporting to CGC JAMES, Chief McCandless served at Sector Guam, Sector Anchorage, Alaska, CGC SHAMAL (WPC-13) Pascagoula, Mississippi, and Sector Jacksonville, Florida. Throughout his career, he has earned Command duty Officer, Operation Unit Control, Situation Unit Controller, Communication Unit Controller, Electronic Key Material System Manager, Combat Information Center watchstander, and boarding team member qualifications.

Chief McCandless received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Trident University International in 2014 and is a Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Academy, Class 238, graduate. His personal decoration include the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, four Coast Guard Achievement Medals and the Commandants Letter of Cemmendation.

Chief McCandless has been married to his wife Gina for 16 years and they have two children, Jordyn (13) and Chase (10).