Capt. James A. Passarelli

Chief of Staff, Coast Guard 7th District

Capt. Passarelli was born Meriden, Connecticut, and raised in Phoenix, Arizona.  He graduated from the U. S. Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelors of Science degree with Honors in Civil Engineering and was commissioned an Ensign in 1992.  Passarelli served as first lieutenant aboard the cutter Confidence (WMEC 619) in Cocoa Beach, Florida from 1992-1994.  Then, from 1994-1996 he served as the weapons officer aboard cutter Morgenthau (WHEC 722) in Alameda, California.  In 1996, Passarelli reported to the Coast Guard 7th District Command Center in Miami as a command center duty officer.  Passarelli served in the Command Center through 1999, filling the senior controller vacancy in the spring of 1999. 


He assumed command of cutter Ocracoke (WPB 1307) in San Juan, Puerto Rico from July of 1999, through July of 2001.  From 2003 to 2006, Passarelli served as the Transition Division Chief and Force Planning/Modeling and Simulation lead for the Deepwater Sponsors’ Representative, Operations Directorate in Coast Guard Headquarters.  From 2006 to 2008, Passarelli served as the executive officer of the cutter Vigilant (WMEC 617) in Cocoa Beach, Florida. 


He completed another Headquarters assignment as the deputy, Office of Financial Management Transformation and Compliance (CG-85), responsible for the Coast Guard’s audit remediation and internal controls processes where he secured the Coast Guard and DHS’ first favorable financial audit opinion since 2003.  Passarelli assumed command of the cutter Confidence from 2012 to 2014.  From 2014 to 2016, he served as the Chief, Office of Resource Management (CG-83), responsible for the all of the execution, funds control and personnel allowances for the Coast Guard.  He then commanded cutter Waesche, one of the Coast Guard’s newest and most capable national security cutters from July 2016 to April 2018 seizing nearly $1 billion in cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.  He has served as the Chief of Staff in the Coast Guard 7th District since April, 2018. 


Passarelli received a Master of Science degree in Operations Research in December 2002 from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and was selected for the Omega Rho honor society in Operations Research.  In 2008, he was selected as the Coast Guard’s 35th Sloan Fellow and received his Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 


Passarelli’s awards include the Legion of Merit, four Meritorious Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals and various other unit, team, and service awards.