Class: 1984Inducted: 2018
Captain McPherson is the Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard Thirteenth District headquartered in Seattle, where he directs more than 2,000 Coast Guard men and women responsible for executing Coast Guard missions throughout the Pacific Northwest, including the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
Captain McPherson has 29 years of service including nearly 12 years cumulative sea time aboard six cutters, including Commanding Officer of cutters MIDGETT, VIGOROUS and BARANOF. Staff assignments included Chief of the Response Division (DR) and Chief of the Enforcement Branch (DRE) for the Coast Guard Seventh District in Miami, Press Assistant to the Commandant of the Coast Guard in Washington, D.C., Chief of Strategic Communications in the Headquarters Office of Governmental and Public Affairs, Public Affairs Officer for the Atlantic Area/Fifth District in Portsmouth, Virginia, and an assignment to the Seventh District Tactical Law Enforcement Team (D7 TACLET) in Miami, Florida.
In addition to his regular duties, Captain McPherson was assigned to several joint and interagency unified commands in response to national contingency operations. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he was responsible for leading public affairs efforts for all Coast Guard forces within the Atlantic Area and U.S. Maritime Defense Zone Atlantic. In 2002, Captain McPherson deployed to Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (JTF GTMO) Joint Information Center in support of Global War on Terror (GWOT) detention operations. Captain McPherson also served as Press Secretary to the Principal Federal Official for disaster response and recovery operations in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita along the Gulf Coast in 2005.
A native of Bradley Beach, New Jersey, Captain McPherson graduated with Honors from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management. Captain McPherson earned a Master of Arts degree in Public Relations from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication and holds a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. His personal awards include six Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medals (with “O” device), two Coast Guard Commendation Medals (with “O” device), one Navy Commendation Medal, and two Coast Guard Achievement Medals.