Master Chief James R. Wood
Reserve Command Master Chief
Eighth Coast Guard District
Master Chief Wood assumed the Reserve Command Master Chief position at the Coast Guard Eighth District June 13, 2018. He represents the District Commander to the Reserve component.
Master Chief Wood began his career with the Coast Guard Reserve in 1998 between his junior and senior year of high school. After attending basic training at TRACEN Cape May, Master Chief Wood was assigned to Marine Safety Detachment Baton Rouge. As a Seaman Apprentice, he worked quickly to advance to Petty Officer 3rd Class and obtain qualifications as foreign vessel boarding officer, facility inspector and pollution investigator. Following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, Master Chief Wood served on recall to active duty for a total of 3 years conducting Ports, Waterways and Coastal Security missions. When Hurricane Katrina made landfall in August 2005, Master Chief Wood was an initial responder to New Orleans leading a rescue team to various parts of metro New Orleans for SAR and humanitarian aid. Post Hurricane Katrina, Master Chief Wood returned to SELRES status and served as the reserve PWCS department head at MSU Baton Rouge. There he worked to qualify SELRES members in PWCS missions as boat crew and coxswains. These efforts greatly contributed to MSU Baton Rouge being selected as the 2009 RADM Bennet “Bud’ Sparks Award recipient. In 2010, Master Chief Wood transferred to Station New Orleans to assume the newly created role of Senior Enlisted Reserve Advisor. As the SERA, Master Chief Wood organized and led the unit’s efforts to organize and better integrate the active duty and reserve members. This culminated with Station New Orleans being recognized as the 2013 RADM Bennet “Bud” Sparks award recipient. Following his tour at Station New Orleans, Master Chief Wood assumed the watch as Command Master Chief at Port Security Unit 308 in Kiln, MS.
Master Chief Wood is a graduate of the Coast Guard Senior Enlisted Leadership Course and Chief Petty Officer’s Academy. He holds a Masters in Emergency and Disaster Management, a Bachelors of Professional Studies in Fire Administration and Fire Prevention Technology and an Associates in Fire Science. Master Chief Wood is a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician, a commissioned law enforcement officer, a certified Louisiana Emergency Management Professional and a graduate of the U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program.
Master Chief Wood’s personal military awards include a Meritorious Service Medal, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, two Commandant’s Letter of Commendations, Marine Safety Professional Insignia, Boat Forces Insignia, Coxswain Insignia and Port Security Unit Insignia.
Master Chief Wood is married to Natalie Miller Wood and has two kids, Wyatt and Lillian. He is a resident of West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana.