CAPT Donna L. Cottrell
Captain Cottrell enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserve in 1983 after
graduating from Ohio University in 1982. After serving as a Boatswain’s Mate
and Aviation Electronics Technician she was selected for Officer Candidate
School in 1987. After her commission Captain Cottrell served as a Deck Watch
Officer aboard the USCGC STEADFAST.
Captain Cottrell attended Flight Training and was winged Coast Guard Aviator number 2961 in 1991. Her first aviation assignment was Air Station Chicago, IL where she flew the HH-65A in support of search and rescue operations on the Great Lakes and flood relief in the Midwest. In 1995.
Captain Cottrell transferred to Navy Helicopter Training Squadron Eight at NAS Whiting Field, FL where she served as a TH-57 helicopter flight instructor. In 1998, Captain Cottrell became a Plankowner of Group-Air Station Atlantic City where she served as Administration Officer, Air Operations Officer and Flight Instructor on both the A and B model of the HH-65. In 2002 Captain Cottrell was selected for Post Graduate School and attended the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. Graduating with distinction in 2004 with a Master of Science degree in Information Resource Management.
Captain Cottrell was assigned to the Aircraft Repair and Supply Center in Elizabeth City, NC where she was Chief of the Information Systems Division and directly responsible for all IT support for Coast Guard Aviation. Working closely with the Logistics Transformation Project Integration Office (LTPIO) Captain Cottrell served as the IT expert tasked with combining the systems used in naval, aeronautical, civil and C4IT programs into one common platform to the control the Coast Guard’s logistics program. In 2006 Captain Cottrell transferred to Air Station Detroit where she served as Executive Officer and HH-65C Flight Instructor. Also in 2006, Captain Cottrell served as project manger of the Coast Guard Academy Task Force and was a key player in evaluating the governance, leadership training, and character development at the Academy.
Captain Cottrell served as Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Air Station Savannah from 2008 through 2010. She graduated from the Naval War College in June of 2011 with a Master’s Degree in Strategy and Policy. Captain Cottrell’s awards include two Meritorious Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.