Members and Friends, I can t cover all of her biography at the luncheon, so here it is from three sources. Phelps _________________________________ ViceMessage 1 of 1 , Dec 20 10:37 PMView Source
Members and Friends,I can't cover all of her biography at the luncheon, so here it is from three sources.Phelps_________________________________
Vice Admiral Jody A. Breckenridge, USCG
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Vice Admiral Jody A. Breckenridge assumed duties as Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area in July 2009. The Area of Operations for this command encompasses over 73 million square miles throughout the Pacific Basin to the Far East. Vice Admiral Breckenridge oversees the operation of units performing missions in maritime safety, maritime mobility, protection of natural resources, maritime security, homeland security, and national defense. In addition, she oversees two service level commands - the Deployable Operations Group and the Coast Guard Force Readiness Command.
Early life and education
Breckenridge grew up in Potomac, Maryland and joined the Coast Guard in 1976. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, earned a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland and a Masters Degree of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. While attending the University of Maryland, she was elected to the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi and was presented an Excellence in Scholarship award, graduating with honors. In 2007 she was honored with the University of Maryland Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Prior to this assignment, she served as the Director, Strategic Transformation Team where she was responsible for aligning and synchronizing the efforts to transform and modernize the Coast Guard. Simultaneously, she served as Assistant Commandant for Human Resources where she had oversight of the Coast Guards HR professionals. From 2005-2006 VADM Breckenridge served as Commander of the Eleventh Coast Guard District in Alameda, CA overseeing Coast Guard operations in the SW and the Eastern Pacific. During her tenure, the Eleventh District stepped up its interagency collaboration leading to record drug seizures including the M/V GATUN, the largest maritime interdiction in US history, and the arrest of Francisco Javier Arellano Felix, head of the Arellano Felix Drug Cartel. Her initial flag assignment was as Commander, Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific with responsibility for all mission support in the Pacific Theater.
Breckenridge graduated from Officer Candidate School in June 1976. Her first tour of duty was in the National Response Center, eventually as Senior Watchstander. Afterwards, she was assigned to the Pollution Response Branch of the Marine Environmental Protection Division at the Coast Guard Headquarters. During that time, she served as a White House Social Aide. For a short time, she worked in the Coast Guard Academy for summer training programs.
In September 1979, Vice Admiral Breckenridge reported to Group Seattle, where she served as the Assistant Port Safety Officer and was then selected as the first Group Operations Officer. Subsequent duty assignments have included the Coast Guard Pay and Personnel Center, Coast Guard Headquarters, postgraduate school at the University of Maryland, Chief of Officer Candidate School at Training Center Yorktown, VA, Executive Officer of Integrated Support Center Seattle, Coast Guard Personnel Command (Chief, Officer Assignments), Industrial College of the Armed Services, the Coast Guard Personnel Command (Assistant Chief and Chief, Officer Personnel Management Division), and Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Recruiting Command. While assigned to the Personnel Command, Vice Admiral Breckenridge represented the Coast Guard on a five-month Department of Defense study entitled "The Officer Personnel Structure for the 21st Century". Vice Admiral Breckenridge also served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Coast Guard Headquarters.
Vice Admiral Breckenridge's awards include two Legion of Merits, the Meritorious Service Medal, four Coast Guard Commendation Medals, two Achievement Medals, the Commandant's Letter of Commendation, and four Meritorious Team Commendations.
- Legion of Merit with one Gold Star
- Meritorious Service Medal
- Coast Guard Commendation Medal with three Gold Stars
- Coast Guard Achievement Medal with Gold Star
- Commandant's Letter of Commendation
- Meritorious Team Commendation with three gold Stars
U.S. Coast Guard Adm. runs a tight ship
Monday, January 1, 2007
Jody Breckenridge is a slender woman with brown hair and a soft voice. In civilian clothes, it would be difficult to pick her out in a crowd.
But Breckenridge, who is 53, married and the mother of four children, is anything but ordinary. She is a rear Admiral in the U.S. Coast Guard and commanding officer of Coast Guard District 11, based on an island just off the shore in Alameda.
She carries a lot of responsibility on her shoulders -- the coastline of California, inland waterways in California, Arizona (like Lake Powell), Nevada and Utah, plus operational jurisdiction in offshore waters out 1,000 miles and waters off the coasts of Central America, where the Coast Guard performs rescues and stalks vessels carrying drugs.
More than 2,600 active duty, reserve and civilian employees work for her. She also has 16 Coast Guard cutters, enough small boats to fill a harbor, five air stations, a number of shore installations and even a Coast Guard station on Lake Tahoe.
Among the Coast Guard's responsibilities is security of the country's ports. Breckenridge's district includes the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach -- the busiest ports in the country. She is also responsible for the Port of Oakland, the seventh-busiest port in the United States. There is also San Diego, San Francisco, and smaller seaports like Eureka, Sacramento, Stockton and Port Hueneme.
Though ports may seem like anachronisms to modern Californians, the state's big ports are booming, setting records for cargo almost every month. They handle the lion's share of American foreign trade, especially from China and other Asian countries. More than 8,000 ships called at Long Beach and Los Angeles last year, carrying everything from Christmas toys to cars and electronic gear.
Many of the ships are huge and getting bigger. It is routine now for cargo ships carrying freight in containers to be larger than the famous ocean liner Titanic. And nearly all of these ships do not fly the American flag.
The Port of Los Angeles handled $189 billion worth of cargo in 2005; Oakland had just under half that volume of cargo, but Oakland is also growing; cargo is up 10 percent this year over last.
"I don't think there is any public understanding of what economic impact there would be if these ports were disrupted,'' Breckenridge said.
The main threat, of course, is terrorism. Before the Sept. 11 attacks, port security took up only 2 percent of the Coast Guard's time. Now it is a big deal.
To deal with port security, Breckenridge has a fleet of small, fast boats, armed with machine guns; she has a special SWAT team to take care of really bad customers; she oversees constant patrols. The Coast Guard also has an intelligence center that monitors ship movements all over the Pacific. There are constant inspections of ships and cargo.
"I think we are much safer than we were,'' Breckenridge says evenly. "We are working to reduce the risk. There is no exact way to quantify how safe is safe."
Breckenridge also has tactical responsibility for the country's anti-drug patrols at sea. Though the big 378-foot cutters used on ocean patrols are under the control of Breckenridge's boss, Vice Adm. Charles Wurster, commander of the whole Pacific Area, when it comes to action, "the ship shifts to me,'' Breckenridge said.
Two of the big cutters have had spectacular success -- the cutter Boutwell seized 11.5 tons of cocaine in four separate boarding incidents off the coast of Central America this fall.
In mid-November, the cutter Steadfast, based in Oregon, boarded and seized what it described as "a semi-submersible craft" -- evidently some kind of drug-running submarine -- off the coast of Costa Rica. It had 3.5 tons of cocaine aboard. Breckenridge had the ultimate tactical responsibility for that raid.
"She understands the process, not only tactically doing it but how to support the people and the assets to get the job done,'' said Capt. Rob Lorigan, the 11th district's chief of staff.
The Coast Guard's most familiar role is one of its oldest -- coming to the aid of mariners in distress. The 11th District's men and women mounted 4,056 search-and-rescue missions and conducted 2,300 vessel inspections in 2005.
But this is not your grandfather's Coast Guard. Breckenridge was among the first women commissioned as regular officers in the Coast Guard. The service was much smaller when women were first admitted to the Coast Guard Academy in 1973.
Breckenridge herself was a student at the Virginia Tech, majoring in biology. She was interested in oceanography and environmental studies. "The Coast Guard was expanding its role in environmental areas,'' she said. "If you look at what we do -- in inspections and in other areas -- there is a lot of technical skill involved.''
Breckenridge did not attend the Coast Guard Academy, the source of most of the service's officers. Instead, she went to Officer Candidate School and got a commission in the summer of 1976.
She has had a number of increasingly complicated assignments in port safety, operations, personnel and officer training. She has two master's degrees -- one in public policy and the other in resource strategy. She is a technical and operations officer; she has never had sea duty.
In 1980, when she was stationed in Seattle, she married Paul Breckenridge, then an officer assigned to a Coast Guard buoy tender. Paul Breckenridge left the Coast Guard -- "I got tired of sailing a desk,'' he said. She also considered leaving, Paul Breckenridge says, but changed her mind.
He was always interested in veterinary medicine -- at first working with large animals, like horses and cattle. Since his wife moved around in the typical pattern of military service, Paul Breckenridge never set up a regular practice. And then, he specialized in small animals, like dogs and cats. They split the parenting duties; now he works part time as an emergency vet in Novato, where the couple live.
They have four children, three boys and a girl -- the oldest, Ian, 25, is a first lieutenant in the Army and recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq.
The youngest, Cira, who is 17, is a senior at Novato High School and a guard on the girl's basketball team. "In my in-box and on my calendar are all my daughter's games,'' Jody Breckenridge says. She tries to go to all the games.
How does she balance being an Adm. and the mother of a high school basketball player? "Well,'' she says, "we have always been into sports. You become very good at forming carpools.
Jody Breckenridge was one of the female pioneer Coast Guard officers. She doesn't talk about it much, but it wasn't easy to rise. "Women have to work twice as hard as men,'' Paul Breckenridge says. "Women coming into the Coast Guard now have a bright future. They don't have the fight senior women did.''
"She is really bright,'' said Rear Adm. Manson Brown, who runs the Coast Guard's Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific. "She's very focused and has the magic touch with people. I look on her as a mentor.''
Being an officer in a service as small as the Coast Guard is like a game of musical chairs. If an officer is not selected for advancement, that officer is out of the service, usually by early retirement.
Officers in a higher rank, like captain, may get a second chance at being selected for promotion. One night in 2002, Breckenridge's daughter answered the phone at the family's Novato home.
"Mom,'' Cira said, "it's Adm. Costello.'' He was then commandant of the Coast Guard.
Breckenridge, then a captain, felt a chill. "I thought I had not been selected to continue and the Adm. was calling so late to offer condolences,'' she said. "Instead, he told me I'd been selected for flag rank.''
With Congress' approval, Jody Breckenridge is now a rear Adm.. There are four female Adm.s of the 43 officers with flag rank in the Coast Guard.
At that time, she was given command of another unit in Alameda. At the end of March, she was given the 11th district.
Breckenridge, said Vice Adm. Wurster, her boss, is "one of the finest officers I've known in my Coast Guard career.''
It may not be the Coast Guard of long ago, but the sea traditions are still carefully observed. The change of command ceremony was right out of a Patrick O'Brian sea novel. When Breckenridge approached, wearing a ceremonial sword, the band played two ruffles flourishes, and cannons boomed a 13-gun salute. She relieved Rear Adm. Kevin Eldridge, who was retiring, read her orders and gave her first command: "Raise my flag.''
How does she like her job? "I'm loving it,'' she said. "Every day when I get up, I think how much I love going to work. I put in long hours, but I'm here because I want to be here.''
Vice Admiral Jody A. Breckenridge
Commander Coast Guard Pacific Area
Commander Coast Guard Defense Forces West
United States Coast Guard
Vice Admiral Jody A. Breckenridge assumed duties as Commander,
Coast Guard Pacific Area in July 2009. The Area of Operations for
this command encompasses over 73 million square miles throughout
the Pacific Basin to the Far East. Vice Admiral Breckenridge
oversees the operation of units performing missions in maritime
safety, maritime mobility, protection of natural resources, maritime
security, homeland security, and national defense.
Prior to this assignment, she served as the Director, Strategic
Transformation Team where she was responsible for aligning and
synchronizing the efforts to transform and modernize the Coast
Guard. Simultaneously, she served as Assistant Commandant for
Human Resources where she had oversight of the Coast Guards HR professionals. From 2005-
2006 VADM Breckenridge served as Commander of the Eleventh Coast Guard District in
Alameda, CA overseeing Coast Guard operations in the SW and the Eastern Pacific. During her
tenure, the Eleventh District stepped up its interagency collaboration leading to record drug
seizures including the M/V GATUN, the largest maritime interdiction in US history, and the
arrest of Francisco Javier Arellano Felix, head of the Arellano Felix Drug Cartel. Her initial
flag assignment was as Commander, Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific with
responsibility for all mission support in the Pacific Theater.
Vice Admiral Breckenridges other career assignments include Coast Guard Deputy Chief of
Staff, Commanding Officer of the Recruiting Command, Personnel Command (Officer
Personnel Assistant and Division Chief, Officer Assignments Chief), Executive Officer
Integrated Support Command Seattle, Executive Officer Base Seattle, Chief, Officer Candidate
School, Coast Guard Pay and Personnel Center, Group Seattle Operations Officer, Group/COTP
Seattle Assistant Port Safety Officer, Headquarters Marine Environmental Protection Division
and National Response Center.
Vice Admiral Breckenridge was commissioned upon completion of Officer Candidate School in
June, 1976. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Virginia Tech, a Masters
in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, and a Masters of Science in National
Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. While attending the
University of Maryland, she was elected to the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi and was
presented an Excellence in Scholarship Award, graduating with honors.
Vice Admiral Breckenridge's personal awards include three Legion of Merits, three Meritorious
Service Medals, four Coast Guard Commendation Medals, Achievement Medal, and the
Commandant's Letter of Commendation.