Capt. Mary Ellen J. Durley


Chief of Staff, Coast Guard 5th District


Capt. Mary Ellen Durley assumed the duties of chief of staff, Coast Guard 5th District in Portsmouth, Virginia in June 2023.  

As chief of staff, Durley is responsible for the Coast Guard maritime safety and security missions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region from central New Jersey through North Carolina, covering 156,000 square miles of ocean, bays, and rivers, several major Mid-Atlantic ports, the largest naval base in the world, and our Nation’s Capital.

Durley’s previous staff assignments include Leadership and Management School instructor and chief, Nautical Science Section for Officer Candidate School in the Leadership Development Center at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut; deputy division chief of the Coast Guard International Training Division at Training Center Yorktown, Virginia; deputy, Office of Cutter Forces, chief, Office of Aids to Navigations systems, and Executive Assistant to the Assistant Commandant for Capability at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Durley has served more than 14 of her 28-year Coast Guard career at sea and operational tours include Coast Guard Cutters Acacia in Charlevoix, Michigan; Juniper in Newport, Rhode Island); Sassafras in Apra Harbor, Guam—all seagoing buoy tenders; serving as commanding officer aboard three cutters: the 420-foot Coast Guard Cutter Healy in  Seattle, the Coast Guard’s largest cutter and medium icebreaker, the 140-foot icebreaking tug, Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay in Rockland, Maine and the 225-foot Coast Guard Cutter Alder, a seagoing buoy tender in Duluth, Minnesota; and executive officer aboard the 399-foot Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, the service’s sole heavy icebreaker in Seattle.

Capt. Durley is a native of Potosi, Wisconsin, and she holds a Bachelor of Science in Government (U.S. Coast Guard Academy 1995) and a Master of Public and International Affairs (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 2007).


                                                                                      Current as of August 2023