Sector Charleston Deputy Commander


Photo of Commander Heather Mattern


Captain Heather R. Mattern


Captain Mattern assumed the duties of Deputy Commander, Sector Charleston in June 2020. Most recently she served as the Commanding Officer of Marine Safety Unit Morgan City where she was responsible for prevention, response, and security and safe navigation within coastal Louisiana. She oversaw vessel new construction and inspections, the law enforcement and pollution response for 75,000 square mile area of responsibility, and the safe transit of mariners that transported over $125 billion in cargo and conducted 65,000 transits annually through the nation’s third busiest Vessel Traffic Service.

Captain Mattern is from Dillsburg, PA and graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1998. Her first assignment was as an Engineering Officer onboard the multi-mission, 378’ USCGC SHERMAN. Her nearly three year assignment concluded with a six-month patrol during which the ship circumnavigated the world.

She was then assigned to Marine Safety Office Philadelphia in July 2001, as a Marine Inspector. There she was in charge of plans review and new construction oversight for U.S. flag vessels. In the summer of 2005, she was stationed at Activities Europe in Rotterdam, Netherlands as a Senior Marine Inspector. She completed inspections and investigations throughout Africa, Europe and the Middle East assuring the safety of vessels operating internationally and in U.S. waters. Captain Mattern assumed the responsibilities of the Chief of the Inspections Division in Sector New York where she supervised over 40 marine inspectors and was in charge of regulating a commercial fleet responsible for carrying 60 million passengers and $210 billion in port cargo annually.

Captain Mattern attended Naval Postgraduate School from 2009 to 2011, where she received her Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Her thesis work, focused on welding and corrosion in the marine environment, earned her the Surface Navy Association’s Award for Excellence in Warfare Research and the Naval Sea Systems and Naval Mechanical Engineering Award. After graduation she worked in the Office of Design and Engineering Standards at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington D.C, where she worked on novel designs for commercial vessels and various regulation projects. Her work included notable contributions to the current Offshore Supply Vessel regulations and early Arctic environment design standards.