Captain Pearson reported to Sector San Juan in May 2011. In his role as Sector Commander, he leads approximately 650 active duty, reserve and civilian men and women to conduct all Coast Guard missions in the Eastern Caribbean. He exercises a variety of statutory authorities as Captain of the Port, Officer in Charge – Marine Inspections, Federal Maritime Security Coordinator, Federal On-Scene Coordinator and Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator.
Prior to his assignment to Sector San Juan, Captain Pearson served as the Chief of the Incident Management Branch for the Coast Guard’s Seventh District, headquartered in Miami, Florida. His responsibilities included oversight of all Search and Rescue (SAR), Marine Environmental Protection efforts, and mounting incident response efforts to address all threats, all hazards in the Southeast United States and the Caribbean Basin including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and over 15,000 miles of coastline. He led the Seventh District’s Command Center, home to Rescue Coordination Center Miami, prosecuting SAR and all other Coast Guard missions across the Seventh District which shares borders with 34 Foreign Nations and Territories. In addition, he co-chaired two Regional Response Teams with the Environmental Protection Agency under the National Contingency Plan and represented the Seventh District on two Federal Emergency Management Agency Regional Interagency Steering Committees. In 2010, he served as the Planning Section Chief and Air Operations Branch Director during the Seventh District’s response to the Haiti Earthquake, he was the Federal Coordinator’s Action Officer at Super Bowl XLIV and the Incident Commander for the Florida Peninsula Command Post during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Captain Pearson is a 1984 graduate of the Coast Guard Officer Candidate School. After an assignment as a Duty Officer at Coast Guard Group Galveston, Texas he was selected for Naval Flight Training and earned his wings in 1986. Captain Pearson has served as an HC-130H Flight Examiner, Aircraft Commander, and Air Station Operations Department Head while conducting SAR, Drug Interdiction, Fisheries and Immigration Enforcement, and Defense operations across the Caribbean, Atlantic, Gulf of Alaska, and Bering Sea. In addition he served as the Executive Officer at the Coast Guard’s only Support Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina and on the Coast Guard Headquarters staff in the Office of Aviation Forces where he was the HC-130H and Aviation Sensors Platform Manager. In this role, he developed and implemented operational requirements for modernizing the Coast Guard’s Maritime Patrol Aircraft fleet and sensor systems. During the course of his career he has accumulated over 5600 hours of flight time.
Captain Pearson is a native of Cliffside Park, NJ and a 1983 graduate of Wesley College where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science. He holds a Master of Arts in Emergency and Disaster Management from the American Military University and a Master’s Certificate in Community Preparedness and Disaster Management from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
Captain Pearson was designated a Certified Emergency Manager by the International Association of Emergency Managers in 2006 and holds an Airline Transport Pilot license from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Captain Pearson’s personal awards include; three Meritorious Service Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal, and two Commandant’s Letter of Commendation.
Captain David M. Flaherty reported to Sector
San Juan as the Deputy Commander in July 2012.
Originally from Braintree, Massachusetts, Captain
Flaherty is a 1989 graduate from the Massachusetts Maritime
Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine
Engineering and received a Coast Guard Third Engineers License.
Prior to joining the Coast Guard he sailed as an engineer
on various types of commercial and Federal Government vessels,
accumulating over two years of sea time on his license.
In August 1992 Captain Flaherty became a Coast Guard Officer following the completion of the Direct Officer Commissioning course at Training Center Yorktown. Since then he has served in numerous field and staff positions including assignments to Marine Inspections Office New York, as the Supervisor of the Marine Safety Detachment St. Thomas, USVI, the Chief of Inspections, Investigations and the Port Operations Departments during his assignment to Marine Safety Office Buffalo, Chief of Preventions at Sector New York as well as two staff assignments to Coast Guard Headquarters. Prior to this present tour he served the Chief of the Marine Safety Branch at Training Center Yorktown where he was responsible for training the next generation of Response and Prevention Professionals and preparing future Commanding Officers, Deputy Commanders and Department Head for their Sector assignment.
In addition to these assignments he was also deployed to Bahrain where he served on the COMUSNAVCENT staff as a Maritime Interdiction Operations Watch Officer, deployed to New Orleans where he assisted with the recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina and served as Branch Chief at Plaquemines Parish, LA during the oil pollution response and recovery efforts following the Deepwater Horizon incident.
Captain Flaherty has earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Canisius College of Buffalo New York and he has also earned a Master of Science Degree in Fire Protection Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In addition, Captain Flaherty is certified by the Coast Guard to serve as a Type 2 Incident Commander in accordance with the requirements of the FEMA National Incident Management System.
Master Chief Stuart Slesh
assumed the duties of the Sector San Juan Command Master Chief
in June 2010.
Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Officer in Charge USCGC GREENBRIER in Natchez MS, Officer in Charge ANT Puerto Rico, and Officer in Charge USCGC HAWSER, Bayonne, NJ.
Master Chief Slesh’s other afloat assignments have been USCGC STURGEON BAY in Bayonne, NJ, USCGC OCRACOKE in Roosevelt Roads/San Juan Puerto Rico, USCGC LAUREL in Jacksonville Fl, and USCGC REDWOOD in New London, CT.
Master Chief Slesh is a graduate of Class 134 of the Chief Petty Officer Academy, the Command Senior Enlisted Course, and numerous other service related schools.
Master Chief Slesh’s awards include three CG Commendation Medals, three CG Achievement Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, and numerous other personal and service awards. He has earned a permanent cutterman’s insignia, coxswain insignia, boat forces insignia, and both command afloat and ashore insignia.
Master Chief Slesh is a native of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.