Commander John D. Cole
Officer, USCGC HARRIET LANE (WMEC 903)
Commander Cole hails from Staten Island, New York and reported to HARRIET LANE as Commanding Officer after serving as Executive Officer of the cutters SHERMAN and RUSH in San Diego, California.
CDR Cole previously served aboard four other Coast Guard Cutters, including MUNRO in Alameda, California as Deck Watch, Gunnery, and Combat Systems Officer; ATTU as Executive Officer in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and BARANOF in Miami Beach, Florida and TEMPEST in Pascagoula, Mississippi as Commanding Officer. During his time in BARANOF, he led the crew through four months of warfare preparations, the deployment of the cutter into an out-of-hemisphere combat zone, the operation of the cutter in Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM in the Persian Gulf, and during the initial combat and recovery phases of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, under the operational control of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet.
His assignments ashore included Law Enforcement and Search and Rescue Duty Officer at the Seventh District Command Center in Miami, Florida; Maritime Planner in the Directorate of Operations (J3), U.S. NORTHERN COMMAND, Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Program Analyst in the Coast Guard’s Office of Shore Forces, Washington, D.C.
From 2010 to 2013, Commander Cole served as the Coast Guard’s Budget and Program Reviewer for the Coast Guard’s Deepwater Capabilities and Requirements, Waterways Management, Emerging Policy, Intelligence & Criminal Investigations, and Command, Control, Communications, Computers & IT. He analyzed and made recommendations on the Coast Guard’s program policies, resource requests, and cross-programmatic correspondence for the Assistant Commandant for Resources, the Vice Commandant, and the Commandant. He reviewed, prepared, and defended budget requests to the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of Management and Budget and Congress, and prepared senior Coast Guard leadership to brief and provide testimony before the Department of Homeland Security, the White House, and Congress.
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.
Commander Cole’s military decorations include the Bronze Star, two Meritorious Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the Iraqi Service Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon.