Senior Reserve Officer
US Coast Guard Atlantic Area
Stash Pelkowski was promoted to Rear Admiral Lower Half and assumed his duties as Senior Reserve Officer, Coast Guard Atlantic Area in June 2014. He currently facilitates the training and mobilization readiness of over 4,400 reservists from as far west as Colorado to as far East as Afghanistan. Prior to his assignment to Atlantic Area, he served as the Senior Reserve Officer for the Deputy Commandant of Operations (DCO) and the Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer (EPLO) Coordinator at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters.
Rear Admiral Pelkowski enlisted in the Coast Guard and began his career as a coxswain operating the 44’ Motor Life Boat and the 41’ Utility Boat performing Law Enforcement and Search & Rescue missions. Upon receiving his commission, he was assigned to various USCG Cutters for the first 7 years of his Officer career and served as a qualified Deck Watch Officer. Later he served tours as a Group Operations Center Controller and as the Operations Officer for the U.S. Navy’s Naval Coastal Warfare Harbor Defense Command. Rear Admiral Pelkowski also served as the Chief of Prevention and later as the Senior Reserve Officer at Sector NY, one of the largest field Commands in the Coast Guard. He then served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the 5th Coast Guard District in Portsmouth, VA where he qualified and filled in for the Active Duty Chief of Staff. In 2010, Rear Admiral Pelkowski assumed Command of the Coast Guard Joint Staff Unit in Suffolk, Virginia and supported the Joint Staff by providing Coast Guard expertise to the DoD Joint Chiefs. During that Command tour, he simultaneously held a second Command by starting NATO’s first Joint Reserve Unit directing U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Army, and Coast Guard reservists to advance numerous NATO priorities such as Counter-IED and Maritime Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Enhanced Conventional Weapons detection initiatives. This was the first time that a Coast Guard reservist had assumed a NATO leadership position.
Rear Admiral Pelkowski’s civilian experience compliments his Coast Guard work. This includes sailing as a “hawse pipe” Deck Officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine and ultimately rising to the rank of “Master Mariner.” Additionally, he earned a 3rd Assistant Engineer’s license and sailed as an engineer. Later in his career he held several positions ashore including Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for several commercial vessel operators. The highlight of his career was working as the President of a small Towing Vessel company which grew into a significant industry player. In 2009, he accepted a full time appointment as a Professor at New York Maritime College where he utilizes his maritime expertise to help develop the next generation of marine operators and maritime industry leaders.
Rear Admiral Pelkowski earned a Juris Doctor Degree from N.Y. Law School, an MBA from the N.Y. Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Engineering degree from N.Y. Maritime College at Fort Schuyler. He has studied at the National Defense University, Naval War College, Army War College, and the Joint Forces Staff College. He has earned a U.S. Merchant Marine Third Assistant Engineers license in addition to his Master’s license, and he earned licenses to practice law in the States of New York & New Jersey.
Rear Admiral Pelkowski’s military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Basic Training Honor Graduate Ribbon. He qualified as a U.S. Navy Expeditionary Battle Watch Commander and has earned the USCG Coxswain, Permanent Cutterman, & Advanced Boat Force Operations Insignias as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge.