CDR Gregory J. Knoll

Prevention Department Head

CDR Knoll serves as the Prevention Department Head at Sector North Carolina.  In this position, he oversees all vessel, facility and container inspections; marine casualty investigations; and waterways management missions in North Carolina waters and offshore.  He also leads three Aids to Navigation Teams, one 65-foot inland buoy tender, one Marine Safety Detachment, one detached duty unit and five Auxiliary Divisions in a dynamic area of responsibility that includes the nation’s largest Department of Defense munitions supply depot and second largest state run ferry system. Prior to this assignment, CDR Knoll served as Chief, Inspections Division at Sector Northern New England in Portland, Maine, where he oversaw all commercial vessel, waterfront facility and container inspections across a four state area covering 5,200 miles to the Canadian border.      

CDR Knoll is also an accomplished Coast Guard lawyer, having served, among other assignments, as the Senior Staff Attorney at the Fourteenth District in Honolulu, Hawaii.  In this capacity, he provided legal counsel and advice to the District and Sector Prevention staffs and all units throughout Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and CG Far East Activities.  He was also designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii and partnered with local, state and federal agencies to coordinate enforcement operations and criminal proceedings, including the successful prosecution of several high profile environmental crimes cases.  Following the collision of the USS JOHN S. MCCAIN with a tanker off the coast of Singapore resulting in the deaths of ten U.S. Navy sailors in August 2017, he served as the on-site legal advisor to the ensuing investigation. 

CDR Knoll also completed tours at Sector Hampton Roads in Norfolk, Virginia, where he served as a marine inspector, a marine casualty investigator and Waterways Management Division Chief; and at the Legal Service Command in Alameda, California, where he was assigned as counsel for the military justice, claims and operational law divisions. 

CDR Knoll graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.  He received his Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts.  He is also a member of the Connecticut and Hawaii Bars as well as the Bars of the United States Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.  Prior to joining the Coast Guard, CDR Knoll served as the law clerk for the Honorable Joel B. Rosenthal of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts and worked as an associate practicing commercial litigation in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Individual military awards include three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, three Coast Guard Achievement Medals and numerous service, unit and team awards.  He is also authorized to wear the Marine Safety Insignia.  A native of Orange, Connecticut, CDR Knoll is an avid sports fan whose hobbies include weight lifting, hiking and skiing.  He and his wife, Cindy, reside in Wilmington, North Carolina with their son Chase, 10, and daughter Sophia, 6.



The Sector North Carolina Prevention Department is responsible for overseeing maritime safety, security, and environmental protection within North Carolina’s navigable waterways.  Comprised of three primary divisions, Inspections, Investigations, and Waterways Management, we execute various missions such as vessel examinations, aids to navigation, waterfront facility inspections, and marine casualty investigations. 

For questions, please feel free to contact us at (910) 512-5831 or