Rear Admiral Brian K. Penoyer assumed his duties as Commander, Eleventh Coast Guard District in July of 2020. As such, he oversees the Coast Guard’s safety, security, law enforcement and environmental stewardship operations from the California-Oregon border to Peru including Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. He previously served as Commander, Coast Guard Force Readiness since July 2018. The Force Readiness Command directs the activity of 41 subordinate units in 17 states impacting every Coast Guard Mission…every unit…every enlisted rating…and every officer specialty…every day…to deliver mission-ready forces through superior training, doctrine, leader development, readiness assessments, and major exercise support.
Prior to his assignment as the Commander, Force Readiness Command, Rear Admiral Penoyer commanded the Fourteenth Coast Guard District. As the Commander, he directed all Coast Guard missions across the Central and South Pacific, an area spanning over 12.2 million square miles and including the Hawaiian Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, with additional activities in Singapore and Japan. The region encompasses almost half of the U.S. maritime Exclusive Economic Zone and reaches nearly three times the size of the continental United States.
Rear Admiral Penoyer has extensive operational experience with a specialty in coastal operations. During his career, he has served as the Commander of Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston, as the Deputy Commander at Coast Guard Sector Maryland/National Capitol Region, and at Sector Jacksonville, Florida. He was the liaison in the office of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security during the Deepwater Horizon incident, deployed during Hurricane Katrina to Louisiana, and again during the Hurricane Sandy to New York. In other operational assignments, he inspected foreign and U.S. merchant vessels, led oil spill response teams, and conducted investigations in Alaska during a period of multiple cruise ship groundings and significant, fatal commercial fishing vessel accidents. In his first assignment for the Coast Guard, he deployed throughout Europe and the Middle East during the 1991 Gulf War.
Rear Admiral Penoyer’s staff assignments include serving as the Chief of Staff at the Fourteenth Coast Guard District, as deputy Chief of Coast Guard Congressional Affairs, as a military fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and as Department of Homeland Security’s Chief of Contingency Planning. He also served as the Coast Guard’s liaison to the U.S. Department of the Interior and Coast Guard representative on the National Response Team. Rear Admiral Penoyer holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Maryland, a Master of Arts in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. He is a 2015 recipient of the Coast Guard’s Type I Incident Commander qualification.
He has been awarded two Legion of Merits, five Meritorious Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Department of Transportation “9-11” Medal, and several campaign medals including the Southwest Asia Service Medal. Rear Admiral Penoyer is a native of the Chicago area, and a proud University of Chicago graduate. He is married to Hildi Baker of Madison, Wisconsin, a nurse and equally proud University of Chicago graduate. Together they have two daughters, Scotia and Teslin.