Commander John C. Elkins
Commander Elkins enlisted as a Port Security Specialist in 2003 and his first duty station was Marine Safety Office (MSO) Detroit, Michigan. In January of 2004, he was recalled to Active Duty at MSO Detroit to assist with the implementation and enforcement of the Maritime Transportation Security Act. In 2005, he completed the Selected Reserve Direct Commission (SRDC), Reserve Officer Candidate Indoctrination (ROCI) program and was commissioned as an Ensign and assigned to Marine Safety Unit (MSU) Toledo, Ohio. While at MSU Toledo, he served as a Boarding Officer Ashore, Law Enforcement Instructor and a Pollution Investigator.
In April of 2008, CDR Elkins was recalled to Active Duty at U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Operational Planning Branch in Portsmouth, Virginia and led a team that instructed small boat crews on Use of Force decision making and team coordination. In January of 2009, while still on active duty, CDR Elkins transferred to Coast Guard Headquarters in Washinton, D.C., and served on the stand-up crew for the Office of Specialized Capabilities (CG-721) as the Small Arms Program Branch Chief. In 2010, while still serving at CG-721, CDR Elkins was assigned to Port Security Unit 309 in Port Clinton, OH as the Shoreside Security Division Officer and served both roles while on active duty. CDR Elkins was released from Active Duty in September 2011.
In January of 2013, CDR Elkins was selected to serve at the Engineer Officer at Port Security Unit 309. While serving as Engineer Officer in 2015, CDR Elkins deployed to the Republic of Korea for Exercise Combined/Joint Logistics Over the Shore 2015. In his next assignment, CDR Elkins served as the Reserve Chief of the Incident Management Division at Sector Detroit from 2015 to 2018, deploying to the Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico Incident Command Post in 2017 as the Deputy Logistics Section Chief in support of Hurricane IRMA and MARIA recovery efforts.
CDR Elkins served as Executive Officer for Port Security Unit 307 in Clearwater, Florida, from August 2018 through October 2022. During that time, he deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2022 and served as Deputy Commander, Maritime Security Detachment, Joint Task Force Guantanamo in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
In 2023, CDR Elkins was assigned to Coast Guard Reserve Unit United States Southern Command, in the J7/9 Exercise office.
CDR Elkins holds a Bachelor of Arts in Management and Organizational Development from Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Michigan, and a Master of Science in Law Enforcement Intelligence & Analysis from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Additionally, he earned a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security Studies from Michigan State University and graduated from the Eastern Michigan University Police Staff and Command Executive Leadership Course in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
In his civilian career, he has served in law enforcement for 30 years. In his law enforcement career, CDR Elkins has served in serval specialized assignments. He established and led a Criminal Intelligence Unit that conducted covert and specialized investigations and served as a member of a federal Violent Fugitive Task Force. CDR Elkins is currently serving as a law enforcement executive.
CDR Elkins’ has earned the Port Security Insignia, the Marine Safety Insignia and the Advanced Boat Forces Insignia.
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