20 episodes

A forum for career stories, leadership and insights.

The views expressed herein are those of the participants and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the views of the Commandant, the U. S. Coast Guard, or any other government agency. The primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and inform.

CG Learning The Ropes CG Learning the Ropes

    • Government

A forum for career stories, leadership and insights.

The views expressed herein are those of the participants and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the views of the Commandant, the U. S. Coast Guard, or any other government agency. The primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and inform.

    "Sector Leadership" - CAPT (Ret.) Mark Ogle

    "Sector Leadership" - CAPT (Ret.) Mark Ogle

    Born in Chapel Hill, NC, CAPT(Ret.) Mark Ogle graduated the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1986 and the Naval War College in 2007. He has commanded 4 units: The Cutter KEY LARGO, Group Eastern Shore, PACTACLET and Sector Hampton Roads, now known as Sector Virginia.  Other field units include service as the first Operations Chief for the Deployable Operations Group, Chief of the Coast Guard’s International Training Team, tours aboard Cutters VALIANT and VASHON, and Port Security Unit 305.  His staff tours include Assistant Chief, Search & Rescue for the Atlantic Area and Executive Assistant for Coast Guard Operations Policy and Capability at Headquarters following 9-11.

    During his career, he traveled to 74 different countries and sailed with the 2nd Fleet training numerous Navy boarding teams in route Desert Storm. He deployed to Operations SNOW CAP, HAWKEYE, DESERT SHILED, Embargo of Bosnia, ABLE VIGIL, ABLE MANNER, UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, SHADOW GAME, BURNT FROST, IRAQI FREEDOM & ENDURING FREEDOM.  Career highlights include leading a White House ordered armed landing party amidst gunfire to rescue 77 tourists barricaded on the Island of St. Croix, the capture of drug cartel leadership on America and Mexico’s Most Wanted list, and the interdiction of nearly 1,000 migrants at sea.  During his command tours and as a boarding officer, he made over 60 narcotics seizures that included the first drug laden semi-submersible, the first liquid cocaine load, and at the time, the largest maritime bust in history.  In just three years, he commanded a San Diego based unit that seized over 130 tons of cocaine worth $3.2 Billion.  In 2008, he also served as the Chief of Operations for the 15 agency response to a de-orbiting U.S. reconnaissance satellite, which would be shot down by the U. S. Navy over the Pacific.  His final active duty assignment was Chief, Future Operations for Atlantic Area where he was responsible for planning, managing resources, and providing oversight of all U.S. Coast Guard operational missions spanning from the Rocky Mountains east to the India/Pakistan Border. Following his retirement from active duty in May 2013, he has served as a civilian training specialist and course administrator for the Sector Commander, Department Head and International courses.



    Also, be sure to pick up a copy of his book titled: "From Eagle to Eagle: When Opportunity Knocks: Kick the Door Down" 

    https://www.amazon.com/Eagle-Mark-Sherwood-Ogle/dp/1736660101"

    • 32 min
    BONUS - Episode 6 - "Perspectives of a Icebreaker Sailor"

    BONUS - Episode 6 - "Perspectives of a Icebreaker Sailor"

    Check out what tools CAPT Woityra has found most helpful for his growth and development as a leader throughout his distinguished career.

    • 8 min
    Episode 6 - "Perspectives of a Icebreaker Sailor"

    Episode 6 - "Perspectives of a Icebreaker Sailor"

    Hailing from Rochester NY, Captain Woityra completed a 2018 Fulbright Scholarship studying icebreakers in Finland. He is a Coast Guard Academy graduate, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Advanced degrees include a Master of Science in Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island, an MBA from Chancellor University, and an Advanced Diploma in Maritime Law from the IMO International Maritime Law Institute. He is a graduate of the Joint Military Attaché School and holds his Joint Professional Military Education certificate from Air University. He was an MIT Seminar XXI National Security Fellow in 2018-2019.

    A career icebreaker sailor, POLAR STAR is CAPT Woityra’s second command, and fourth Polar Icebreaking tour. He has spent more than a decade breaking ice at sea. Prior to assuming command of POLAR STAR in 2020, he served as Executive Officer on board. He also led CGC HEALY on five Arctic research missions, including her historic 2015 expedition to the North Pole, the first time an unaccompanied U.S. surface vessel had reached the top of the world. He served for three years as Commanding Officer of CGC NEAH BAY in Cleveland OH. While commanding NEAH BAY, he established a cooperative program with Bowling Green State University that led to his crew earning more than 60 college credits for participating in a lake sampling partnership. He served as Executive Officer on CGC THUNDER BAY out of Rockland ME and previously on POLAR STAR as Marine Science Officer, where he made one Antarctic and two Arctic deployments. He also served as a research fellow on the Arctic 100 Northwest Passage expedition aboard the Finnish icebreaker NORDICA.

    Captain Woityra’s shore assignments include Program Manager for Coast Guard icebreaking, where he set priorities establishing where, when, and why the Coast Guard breaks ice. He also served at the International Ice Patrol, tracking North Atlantic icebergs over the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and two years as Coast Guard Attaché to Malta, where he advised the U.S. Ambassador and Armed Forces of Malta on maritime concerns and taught Search and Rescue Coordinator classes at the Maritime Safety and Security Training Centre.

    Captain Woityra’s personal awards include the Defense and Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medals, Department of State Meritorious Honor Award, and various other decorations. He is a permanent Cutterman and has also earned the Aviation Mission Specialist and Navy Craftmaster designations. He is a Project Management Professional, LEED Accredited Professional, and American Society for Quality Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence. He holds his USCG Merchant Mariner Master’s license and is certified as a Level II Ice Navigator. He is admitted as a National Fellow of The Explorers Club and an Associate Fellow of The Nautical Institute.

    ******************************************

    Woityra [Why-TIER-uh]

    • 38 min
    TRAILER - Episode 6 - "Perspectives of a Icebreaker Sailor"

    TRAILER - Episode 6 - "Perspectives of a Icebreaker Sailor"

    One of the Coast Guard's foremost experts on arctic operations, policy and what life is really like in the red hull fleet. Captain William Woityra, Commanding Officer of the USCGC POLAR STAR (WAGB 10), shares a little bit about his most memorable deployment in this brief snippet.

    Don't forget to tune in for the full episode on September 1st!

    • 3 min
    BONUS - Episode 5 - "Perspectives of a Coast Guard Strategist"

    BONUS - Episode 5 - "Perspectives of a Coast Guard Strategist"

    Commander Higgins-Bloom shares one of the most significant leadership lessons she learned on her journey to becoming a senior officer.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Fellowship Opportunities

    CNAS NextGen National Security Leaders Fellowship - https://www.cnas.org/next-generation-programs/nextgeneration

    White House Fellowship - https://whff.org/

    SAIS Phillip Merrill National Security Scholars and Practitioners Seminar https://www.merrillcenter.sais-jhu.edu/nsspp

    MIT Seminar XXI - https://semxxi.mit.edu/

    Council on Foreign Relations Term Fellowship - https://www.cfr.org/

    German Marshall Fund Transatlantic Fellowship  - https://www.gmfus.org/transatlantic-leadership-initiatives/marshall-memorial-fellowship

    German Marshall Fund Young Strategists Forum - https://www.gmfus.org/forum/young-strategists-forum

    • 8 min
    Episode 5 - "Perspectives of a Coast Guard Strategist"

    Episode 5 - "Perspectives of a Coast Guard Strategist"

    Commander Kate Higgins-Bloom is currently assigned to the Coast Guard Office of Emerging Policy (CG-DCO-X), where she works as a strategist and the Director of Project Evergreen, the U.S. Coast Guard’s strategic foresight initiative. Kate’s previous staff tours include White House Fellow and Acting Chief of Staff DHS Office of Legislative Affairs. As a White House fellow, Kate worked for First Lady Michelle Obama developing public-private partnerships in support of veteran employment, mental health, and entrepreneurship.

    She has held a variety of operational leadership roles, including Command Center Chief and SAR Mission Coordinator for Sector Hampton Roads, Incident Management Chief for Sector Boston, and Commanding Officer of USCGC BARANOF.  Over the course of those tours, Kate specialized in leading complex security, inter-agency crisis response, and search and rescue operations. She has deployed throughout the Caribbean, Eastern Pacific, NS the Arabian Gulf; and to numerous domestic responses, including Hurricane Katrina.  Kate was also a member of the Atlantic Incident Management Assist Team, and supported events ranging from large scale oil spill response to the 2009 Presidential Inauguration.

    Kate holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She also served as a Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution and is a member of the 2020-2021 cohort of MIT Seminar XXI. Kate lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and their two children.

    *** Correction at minute (07:15) - CDR Higgins-Bloom assisted with the White House's goal of adding 250,000 jobs for veterans, not 250 ***

    --------------------------

    Fellowship Opportunities

    CNAS NextGen National Security Leaders Fellowship - https://www.cnas.org/next-generation-programs/nextgeneration

    White House Fellowship - https://whff.org/

    SAIS Phillip Merrill National Security Scholars and Practitioners Seminar https://www.merrillcenter.sais-jhu.edu/nsspp

    MIT Seminar XXI - https://semxxi.mit.edu/

    Council on Foreign Relations Term Fellowship - https://www.cfr.org/

    German Marshall Fund Transatlantic Fellowship  - https://www.gmfus.org/transatlantic-leadership-initiatives/marshall-memorial-fellowship

    German Marshall Fund Young Strategists Forum - https://www.gmfus.org/forum/young-strategists-forum

    • 29 min

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