About Me

Captain Mark Ogle (Retired)

After retiring, I became an instructor for the Coast Guard in Yorktown, Virginia. My primary job is teaching the command course for senior officers, but I also help in many other classes. My students vary in ages from 18-year-old seaman to Captains with decades of experience. The students are primarily members of the U.S Coast Guard, but also local, state, and federal officials that include Fire, Police, NOAA, Navy and the Army. We also have senior leaders in industry representing oil companies, pipelines, environmental response organizations, SpaceX, and even a U.S. Senate Candidate. I also help develop and deliver an International Maritime Officers course presented in Yorktown and overseas.

  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 Shield, 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 1000 illegal aliens 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 3 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 Navy over the Pacific.  Several of these missions are featured in books:  Mayday! Mayday! The Most Exciting Missions of Rescue, Interdiction, and Combat in the 200 Year Annals of the U.S. Coast GuardRescue Warriors; and Not Your Father’s Coast Guard; Untold Stories of Coast Guard Special Forces


     His most recent assignments included service as Commander, Sector Hampton Roads where he managed all Coast Guard operations in Virginia and Coastal Maryland.  In this capacity, he served as the Captain of the Port, Federal on Scene Coordinator, Federal Maritime Security Coordinator, Officer in Charge of Marine Inspections and Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator. His last 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 which span from the Rocky Mountains east to the India/Pakistan Border. This included recent high-profile responses to Hurricanes Isaac & Sandy. Following his retirement from active duty in May 2013, he serves as a civilian training specialist and course administrator for the Sector Commander, Department Head and International courses.
     His personal awards include the 1986 Coast Guard Academy Superintendent’s Award, being named the 2012 Virginia Maritime Association Port Champion, 7 Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, 3 Coast Guard Commendation Medals, 2 Achievement Medals, Commandant’s Letter of Commendation, and several unit awards.

Why Write a Book?

     I was encouraged to write this book since I had a unique front row seat in some of these historic events. The best way I found to do this is to put you, the reader, in my shoes. I will chronicle both the highs and lows, victories and mistakes and highlight the role of leaders and shipmates along the way.  I believe there are many lessons learned, especially for a young person embarking on a career. At a minimum, you will get a little geography, military rank and international relations insights along the way.    

     The other reason is my father died from cancer at my current age.  He, like his father and many men I know, have trouble communicating with their family members.  Because of what I did for a living, it was difficult and perhaps unwise to share details with my family. This is an opportunity for them to know what I was actually doing. It will span from high school to commanding a patrol boat with 16 people to overseeing 3000 special forces personnel conducting global missions. The later does not happen overnight.

     This is dedicated to all my great shipmates, partners, mentors, students, family, and friends who made this career one to remember.


“Mark Ogle is known by many names and many accomplishments which are insightfully detailed in his Coast Guard journey.  I proudly take credit for several nicknames, none of which adequately capture the immense contribution Mark has made to this Nation.  An accomplished expert in all Coast Guard missions and an extraordinary leader, “Opie” has made Mayberry and this very grateful former Commandant very proud.  Read this book and enjoy.”


                                                                                  Admiral Thad Allen


An immensely enjoyable read depicting the incredible journey of a true patriot who served his Nation with distinction.  I was privileged to serve with him, laugh with him — and more importantly, learn from him.   This officer ran at wide-open-throttle for his entire career, leaving in his wake a litany of folks who’s lives were positively impacted by his "down-home” leadership style.   Get a cup of coffee, crack open the book, and take the journey with him — you will be better off for it.”  

                                                                        Wm. Dean Lee, Vice Admiral USCG (ret) 


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