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CDR John M. Caraballo, Commanding Officer

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Assignment to PSU 311

Commander John M. Caraballo assumed the duties as Commanding Officer of Port Security Unit 311 on May 14, 2011. He leads an expeditionary unit responsible for providing port security in support of military or humanitarian operations worldwide, ready to deploy within 96 hours of notification and establishing sustained operations within 24 hours.


CDR Caraballo was commissioned in the United States Coast Guard Reserve in 1994. He holds a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College, MBA from the University of Phoenix, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University, and a commercial pilot’s license.

Previous Assignments

CDR Caraballo’s previous assignments include Chief Staff Officer, Planning Officer (N5), & Force Security Watch Officer for United States Navy Task Group 56.5/Maritime Expeditionary Squadron Nine serving in Kuwait, Coast Guard District 13 Deputy Senior Reserve Officer, intelligence officer at the field & district level, cruise ship security program manager, contingency planning & force readiness, Homeland Security watch captain, foreign freight vessel inspector, Search & Rescue controller, and prior enlisted Coast Guard helicopter search and rescue air crewman. He also serves as a program manager for The Boeing Company currently leading strategy development and business process improvements for executive level teams.


His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Port Security and Advanced Boat Forces Insignia, along with various other team, unit, campaign, and service awards.

Commander's Intent

PSU 311 will be Semper Paratus to successfully provide port security in support of military or humanitarian operations worldwide, ready to deploy within 96 hours of notification and establish sustained operations within 24 hours.

Leadership Philosophy

I am extremely fortunate to be a member of Port Security Unit 311. My leadership philosophy is straight forward; "Take care of your shipmates and they'll take care of the mission." Providing force protection of ports around the world in support of Combatant Commanders is our primary mission. We must be extremely good at it! Everything we do to accomplish this mission; training, communications, planning, coordination and execution, must be focused to that end.

With that in mind, my focus is as follows:

Teamwork and Cohesion

We will work together to leverage our diverse experiences and collective strengths to multiply the force, successfully execute the mission, and promote a culture of continuous improvement. Taking care of and looking out for one another is the foundation of teamwork. Teamwork is a must.

Leadership Development

Leadership is a responsibility shared by every member of our unit. Train others to perform your job to build team expertise and strength. Having a measurable leadership development plan for your team and yourself is essential to building current and future leaders. Encourage servant leadership ("service" before "self"). Lead from where you are and by example!


We fight like we train. Team knowledge, competency, and proficiency equates to team power. Aggressively train to our objectives and develop future instructors. A learning organization is comprised of every member teaching and learning from each other. Sharing knowledge promotes continuous improvement and multiplies the force. Learning never stops.


Is paramount! We are all responsible. Strict adherence and accountability to safety procedures is the primary component of our armor. Be on constant alert for unsafe practices and fix them immediately!

Physical and Mental Fitness

Working in this unit demands a high degree of physical fitness, endurance, and mental toughness. A balanced PT program throughout the month is necessary in becoming physically hardened to deal with any challenges ahead. Take care of your physical and mental fitness so you are better equipped to take care of others.

Taking Care of Your Families

Always strive for a work - life balance. Focus on the well-being of your family and loved ones. When your family is well, you are well.

Coast Guard Core Values

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty. Adherence is expected, on and off duty. Always be mindful of who we ultimately serve, the citizens of the United States, and staying Semper Paratus for them.

The caliber of professionals at PSU 311 is very impressive. I am proud to be a member of this dynamic and formidable team that works hard and takes care of each other. It is truly an honor to be working with you to build upon the great success of PSU 311!

"If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude." General Colin L. Powell, (Ret.)




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Last Modified 6/4/2014