Commanding Officer's Biography
Commanding Officer, Leadership Development Center
Captain Tom Morkan assumed command of the Leadership Development Center in June 2017. Captain Morkan enlisted into the Coast Guard in 1991 and after basic training at Cape May, New Jersey attended Electronics Technician training at Training Center Petaluma, California. After serving as a technician at Electronics Maintenance Detachment Boston and aboard the CGC Campbell, home-ported in New Bedford, Massachusetts, he was selected to attend Officer Candidate School in Yorktown, Virginia and received his commission in July of 1993.
Most recently, Captain Morkan served as Deputy Commander of Coast Guard Sector New York where he led more than 700 active duty personnel, 75 civilian employees, 300 reservists and 2,000 Auxiliary members. Sector New York is charged with ensuring the safety, security and stewardship of the Port of New York and New Jersey as well as the Hudson River.
Prior tours include Assistant Chief, Reserve Training Section at the First District Office, Boston; First Lieutenant of CGC Escanaba, home-ported in Boston; Executive Officer of CGC Cushing, home-ported in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Maritime Law Enforcement School Instructor at Training Center Yorktown, Virginia; Commanding Officer of CGC Key Biscayne, home-ported in St. Petersburg, Florida; Doctrine, Acquisition and Evaluation Branch Chief at the Coast Guard Performance Technology Center, Yorktown, Virginia; and Chief of Response, Sector Boston. Captain Morkan served as Training Officer of the Special Missions Training Center, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina where he was responsible for High Risk Tactical Boat training supporting the Ports, Waterways and Coastal Security mission, Tactical Operator Training supporting Coast Guard Deployable Specialized Forces as well as managed all Pre-Deployment Training for Coast Guard Forces deploying OCONUS to Afghanistan, Bahrain or Saudi Arabia.
Captain Morkan is a native of Simsbury, Connecticut and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Economics from Saint Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire and a Master of Science in Instructional Systems Design from Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
Executive Officer's Biography
Executive Officer, Leadership Development Center
Commander David O’Connell entered the Coast Guard as a Direct Commission Officer in 1998 and currently serves as the Executive Officer of the Leadership Development Center.
Previously, Commander O’Connell served as Chief of Prevention, Sector Boston from 2014 to 2017. In addition to being a Prevention Officer, Commander O’Connell is also a Coast JAG Officer. Prior to Sector Boston, he was assigned to the U.S. Naval War College’s International Law Department instructing in the areas of maritime law enforcement, maritime security operations, and international law. From 2010-2012, Commander O’Connell was on a two year detail to the Department of Justice, Environmental Crimes Section, where he prosecuted numerous vessel pollution cases against vessel owners and operators for violations of international and domestic pollution regulations. Previous to the Department of Justice, he was assigned to the Coast Guard’s Office of Maritime and International Law’s Prevention Law Group, where he worked on international law, ocean policy, marine safety and security, and environmental protection issues. As a junior officer, Commander O’Connell was assigned to Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach from 2002-2006, where he worked as a Coast Guard Marine Inspector and Marine Casualty Investigator. His first assingment was as a staff attorney at Maintenance and Logistic Command Pacific.
Commander O’Connell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Florida, and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.
Command Master Chief's Biography
Jason D. Griffin
Master Chief, USCG
Command Master Chief, Leadership Development Center
Master Chief Jason Griffin assumed the duties as School Chief, Senior Enlisted Leadership Course and Command Master Chief at the Leadership Development Center, New London, CT in July 2018. Most recently, Master Chief Griffin served as the Gold Badge Command Master Chief for the First Coast Guard District headquartered in Boston, MA and the Seventh Coast Guard District, headquartered in Miami, FL.
Master Chief Griffin’s previous assignments include a prior tour of duty at the Leadership Development Center serving as Senior Enlisted Instructor in the Command and Operations Branch; Officer in Charge, CGC SAWFISH, Key West, FL; Officer in Charge, CGC SHEARWATER, Portsmouth, VA; Officer in Charge, Aids to Navigation Team, Key West, FL; Officer in Charge, CGC PENDANT, Boston, MA; CGC VIGILANT, Port Canaveral, FL; Executive Petty Officer, CGC POINT BONITA, Little Creek, VA; CGC MIDGETT, Seattle, WA; and Coast Guard Station Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Master Chief Griffin holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership (Summa Cum Laude) and is a distinguished graduate of the Chief Petty Officer’s Academy where he was awarded the “Spirit of the Chief” award. He is also a graduate of various service schools including the Coast Guard Senior Enlisted Leadership Course, the National Defense University Keystone Command Senior Enlisted Leader Course, and is certified as a Master Training Specialist.
Originally from Lindenhurst, New York, Master Chief Griffin enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in October 1992. His personal awards include the Navy League’s Douglas A. Munro Award for Inspirational Leadership for 1997, two Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medals, five Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, and two Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbons, all with the operational distinguishing device. In addition to various other personal and unit level awards, he wears the Officer in Charge Afloat and Ashore device for both Multi-Mission and Aids to Navigation specialties, the Permanent Cutterman and Coxswain Insignia, and the Command Master Chief (Gold and Silver Badge) insignia.