Cmdr. Caren Damon

Deputy Commander, Sector Maryland-National Capital Region

Cmdr. Caren Damon assumed deputy commander of Sector Maryland-National Capital Region (NCR) in June 2023 and leads more than 500 individuals of the Coast Guard’s total workforce operating eight multi-mission stations, three aids to navigation teams, and a cutter executing all maritime safety, security, and environmental missions in the Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and offshore Atlantic Ocean.  Damon serves as the Alternate Captain of the Port, Federal On-Scene Coordinator, Officer in Charge of Marine Inspections, and Federal Area Maritime Security Coordinator as well as Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator and Active Search Suspension Authority.

Preceding this assignment, Damon served as the executive assistant to Rear Adm. Eric Jones and Rear Adm. Joanna Nunan in their role as the Mission Support Deputy for Personnel Readiness. This assignment forged a unique opportunity for Damon to lead the 27th Commandant’s Continuity Team and Action Plan Execution Team (APEx) in driving the first female Service Chief’s strategic vision for the Coast Guard. Prior to Headquarters, she served as the Chief of Maritime Law Enforcement and Homeland Security at Sector Houston-Galveston, Texas directly supervising over 80 personnel operating four cutters and five level 1 ports, waterways, and coastal security stations. Additionally, Damon chaired the Department of Homeland Security’s Regional Coordinating Mechanism Law Enforcement Sub-Committee, comprised of 54 federal, state, and local agencies exercising a whole-of-government approach to national security.   

Damon graduated from Old Dominion University with an M.S. in Instructional Design Technology and Certificate in Modeling and Simulation and went on to serve as the chief of the design and development branch at the Coast Guard’s Performance Technology Center in Yorktown, Virginia. In this role, Damon managed the analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of new and existing human performance interventions considered for delivery using electronic performance and training technologies in arenas determined to have the most significant return-on-investment and organizational impact. 

Damon’s earlier operational assignments include Coast Guard Sector New York as a command duty officer and assistant chief of incident management, where she directed three multi-mission stations, two aids to navigation teams, seven cutters, and more than 450 other government agencies in planning and responding to events on a national stage and as chief of incident management at Sector Sault Ste. Marie where she oversaw the transition of the once Group/Marine Safety Office (MSO) to an all-hazards, all-threats Sector in 2005 and managed six multi-mission stations in the execution of search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, aids to navigation, and marine environmental response. As a prior marine science technician, Damon served in the port operations department at Sector Delaware Bay (then Group/MSO Philadelphia) and MSO Valdez, Alaska.

She grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland. She’s married to Chief Warrant Officer Nathan “Scott” Damon and they have two children, Carly and Cole.  Prior to enlisting in the Coast Guard, Damon graduated from Coastal Carolina University with a B.S. in Marine Science and Biology.

Damon’s personal awards include two Meritorious Service Medals, five Coast Guard Commendation Medals, four Coast Guard Achievement Medals, the Volunteer Service Medal, and the Response Ashore and Marine Safety Insignias.