Rear Admiral Donna L. Cottrell assumed her current duties as Director, Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF West) on 31 March 2017. A standing Joint Task Force, JIATF West is the U.S. Pacific Command’s executive agent for executing Department of Defense counterdrug activities in order to shape the theater and disrupt transnational criminal organizations that threaten U.S. interests in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility.
Rear Admiral Cottrell previously served as the Deputy to the Assistant Commandant for Capability. She was responsible for identifying and sourcing new and extended capabilities, competencies and capacity to meet U. S. Coast Guard Mission Requirements. She also assisted in the development of servicewide policy for Coast Guard staffing, training and equipping.
From 2014 to 2016, Rear Admiral Cottrell served as the USCG District Thirteen Chief of Staff where she directed Coast Guard field and staff activities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana in support of the District Commander’s vision and strategy. From 2011 to 2014, Rear Admiral Cottrell commanded Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) in Jacksonville, FL.
Other past assignments include Commanding Officer of Air Station Savannah, Executive Officer at Air Station Detroit, Air Operations Officer at Group-Air Station Atlantic City, and Administration Officer at Air Station Chicago. Rear Admiral Cottrell was also assigned to the Navy Helicopter Training Squadron Eight at NAS Whiting Field, FL where she served as a TH-57 helicopter flight instructor. Rear Admiral Cottrell acquired over 3500 flight hours in four different models of the HH-65 and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.
In 2004, Rear Admiral 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 Information Technology (IT) support for Coast Guard Aviation. Working closely with the Logistics Transformation Project Integration Office (LTPIO), Rear Admiral Cottrell served as the information systems expert tasked with combining the applications used in naval, aeronautical, civil and C4IT programs into one common platform to manage the Coast Guard’s logistics program.
In 2006, Rear Admiral Cottrell served as project manager of the Coast Guard Academy Task Force and was a key player in evaluating the governance, leadership training, and character development at the Academy.
Prior to Officer Candidate School in 1987, Rear Admiral Cottrell served as a Boatswain’s Mate and Aviation Electronics Technician. After her commission, Rear Admiral Cottrell served as a Deck Watch Officer aboard the USCGC STEADFAST.
A native of Wellington, Ohio, Rear Admiral Cottrell (nee Perry) graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in 1982; from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1997 with a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Science; from The Air Force Institute of Technology in 2004 with a Master of Science degree in Information Resource Management; and from the U. S. Naval War College in 2011 with a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.
Rear Admiral Cottrell’s personal awards include two Legion of Merits, two Meritorious Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.