Our special guest speaker this year is Rear Admiral James E. Rendon.
Rear Admiral Rendon assumed the duties of the 41st Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, June 1, 2015. He reported to the Academy after serving as Director, Joint Interagency Task Force West (JIATF West), the U.S. Pacific Command's executive agent for planning and conducting counter-drug strategy in an area of operations covering more than 105 million square miles.
Rear Admiral Rendon is a surface operations specialist with a diverse list of assignments over his 33 year Coast Guard officer career. He served as Commander, Sector Northern New England in Portland Maine, as well as, Chief Response, Fifth Coast Guard District in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Rear Admiral Rendon is a cutterman with afloat tours as Deck Watch Officer aboard Durable, a 210-foot cutter home-ported in Brownsville, Texas; Executive Officer aboard the Patrol Boat Ocracoke in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, and Commanding Officer of the Surface Effect Ship Petrel in Key West, Florida. Other operational ashore assignments consist of staff advisor, Seventh Coast Guard District Intelligence and Law Enforcement Branch in Miami, Florida, Operations Officer for Group Key West, Florida, as well as Commander, Coast Guard Group Mayport in Northeast Florida.
Rear Admiral Rendon served as Aide de Camp to the 20th Commandant of the Coast Guard. He also completed a Congressional Fellowship in our nation’s Capital, where he worked for the House of Representatives, Government Reform Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources, followed by a two-year assignment as Drug Policy Advisor to the Speaker of the House.
Rear Admiral Rendon’s personal awards include a Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (6), Coast Guard Commendation Medal (3), Coast Guard Achievement Medal, and a variety of other unit awards and service ribbons. He is authorized to wear the Cutterman’s Insignia and the Boat Forces Operations Insignia.
A 1983 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, Rear Admiral Rendon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science degree from the University of Illinois. He also completed study at the National War College, Class of 2005, where he earned a Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy.