Sector Charleston Commander
Captain John D. Cole
Commander Coast Guard Sector Charleston & Captain of the Port
Captain Cole assumed command of Sector Charleston in May 2020. He hails from Staten Island, New York and most recently served as Executive Director of The Interdiction Committee (TIC) in Washington, D.C. As Executive Director, he oversaw the execution of TIC’s agenda on behalf of the Chairman, Admiral Karl Schultz, a position designated by the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and other TIC members.
Captain Cole has served aboard seven Coast Guard Cutters, including MUNRO in Alameda, California as Deck Watch, Gunnery, and Combat Systems Officer; ATTU in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the SHERMAN and RUSH in San Diego, California as Executive Officer; and the BARANOF in Miami Beach, Florida and the Kingdom of Bahrain; the TEMPEST in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and the HARRIET LANE in Portsmouth, Virginia as Commanding Officer. During his time on the BARANOF, he led the crew through four months of warfare preparations, the deployment of the cutter to an out-of-hemisphere theatre, and underway missions during Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM in the Persian Gulf, as well as during the initial combat and recovery phases of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, under the operational control of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet.
His other assignments include Law Enforcement and Search and Rescue Duty Officer at the Seventh District Command Center in Miami, Florida; Joint Maritime Planner in the Directorate of Operations (J3), U.S. NORTHERN COMMAND, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Program Analyst in the Coast Guard’s Office of Shore Forces; Budget and Program Reviewer for the Coast Guard’s Capabilities and Requirements, Waterways Management, Emerging Policy, Intelligence & Criminal Investigations, and Command, Control, Communications, Computers & IT; and Coast Guard Military Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, D.C.
He is a 1995 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Science. He also holds a Master in Public Administration degree from The George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, where he was the 2010 Honor Graduate. Captain Cole’s military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Coast Guard Achievement Medal, Iraqi Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and the Commandant’s Staff Identification Badge.