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USMMA Operations Status: Normal

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Chief of Staff

Captain Anthony J. Ceraolo, USMS/USCG (Ret.)
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy


Chief of Staff of the United States Merchant Marine Academy

Captain Ceraolo assumed duties as the Chief of Staff of the United States Merchant Marine Academy on August 27, 2023.

Tony Ceraolo spent 34 years in the U.S. Coast Guard before retiring in July 2023.  He had the honor of commanding multiple Coast Guard (CG) cutters and large ashore units throughout his career. Prior to retiring, he served as the Executive Assistant to the Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Operations (DCO).  In that role, he served as a principal advisor to Vice Admiral Pete Gautier, and as de facto Chief of Staff for a DCO Enterprise comprised of 3.2 thousand personnel and an $800M budget across 5 CG Assistant Commandant and 9 Headquarters directorates in the creation of CG strategy, operations policy, budget formulation, doctrine, capabilities, and requirements.

Earlier in his career, he served as a Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security where he spearheaded and coauthored DHS’s first ever Strategic Approach for Arctic Homeland Security (DHS Arctic Strategy - signed in 2021); as well as Director for Maritime Security and Director for Arctic Region Policy on the National Security Council (NSC) Staff at the White House. While on the NSC, he was instrumental in developing Presidential Policy Directive-18 updating national maritime security policy, and developing the United States’ first-ever National Strategy for the Arctic Region in 2013.  He also served as Military Assistant and Policy Assistant to Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, and was responsible for a portfolio that included the Maritime Administration.

His command experience includes service as Commanding Officer of two Coast Guard cutters – an 82’ patrol boat in California; and a 140’ domestic icebreaking vessel on the Great Lakes; as well as a deployment as Commander of U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia – the Coast Guard’s largest command outside the continental United States; and, as Sector Commander and Captain of the Port for San Francisco and Northern California.

A native of Nesconset, Long Island, New York, Ceraolo graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1993 with honors, and received a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in 2003; and, a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies with Distinction from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island in 2006.  He is also a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College and is a permanent cutterman and Eagle Scout. He is married to the former Lisa M. Tinker, a retired CG Reserve Commander.  They are the proud parents of a daughter, Rosalia.

Captain Anthony J. Ceraolo, USMS

Now Accepting Applications for the Class of 2029