Charles D. Wurster
is a retired Vice Admiral
In the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, and the United States Maritime Service, vice admiral is a three-star flag officer, with the pay grade of...
in the United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...
who last served as the Commander, Pacific Area and Commander, Defense Force West. He is now retired from the Coast Guard, is the President/CEO of the Port of San Diego
The Port of San Diego is a self-supporting public benefit corporation established in 1962 by an act of the California State Legislature. In 2007, The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics ranked the Port of San Diego as one of America's top 30 U.S. containership ports bringing in nearly of...
(Jan 09), and serves as national commodore of the Sea Scouting division of the BSA.
Education and early career
Wurster is a 1971 honors graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He received a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1976 and is a 1993 graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He is a registered Professional Engineer and is a Fellow of the Society of American Military Engineers.
As a junior officer, he served as a Deck Watch Officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter STEADFAST, St. Petersburg, Florida, and as Commanding Officer of Loran-A Station at Cape Sarichef, Alaska. Wurster has also been assigned to Civil Engineering duties at the Thirteenth Coast Guard District, Seattle, Washington; the Eighth Coast Guard District, New Orleans, Louisiana.; Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C.; and as Facilities Engineer at Training Center Petaluma, California.
Wurster assumed his duties as Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area in May 2006. The Area of Operations for this command encompasses over 73000000 square miles (189,069,132 km²) throughout the Pacific Basin to the Far East. Wurster was responsible for overseeing the operation of units performing missions in maritime safety, maritime mobility, protection of natural resources, maritime security, homeland security, and national defense.
Prior to this assignment, he served as Commander of the Fourteenth Coast Guard District in Honolulu, Hawaii. He also served as Assistant Commandant for Acquisition at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C. Acquisition projects under Wurster’s oversight included Rescue 21, a complete renewal of the National Distress and Response System; replacement of 180 aircraft, cutters, patrol boats, and motor lifeboats; plus acquisition of hundreds of fast response boats.
Wurster’s other recent assignments include Chief of Staff to Commander Coast Guard Pacific Area, Alameda, California; Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Integrated Support Command Kodiak
Base Support Unit Kodiak is the host command for a large shore installation of the United States Coast Guard, located in Kodiak, Alaska. The largest tenant unit on the base is Air Station Kodiak. It is also the home port for several cutters...
, Alaska; Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Facilities Design and Construction Center Pacific, Seattle, Washington; and Chief of the Civil Engineering Division, Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific, Alameda, California.
Awards and personal information
His awards include Legion of Merit
The Legion of Merit is a military decoration of the United States armed forces that is awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements...
(four awards) and the Society of American Military Engineers Sverdrup Medal. He is also the recipient of nine unit and meritorious unit commendations.
His brother Donald C. Wurster
Lieutenant General Donald C. Wurster is a retired Commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, FL. The command is a major command of the U.S. Air Force and the Air Force component of U.S. Special Operations Command. AFSOC provides Air Force Special Operations Forces for...
is a Lieutenant General in the United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...
. The Wurster family has a record of military service dating back to the Revolutionary War. As three-star flag officers, the brothers also hold the highest rank of anyone in their family. Their father, retired USAF Colonel Charles A. Wurster, was a P-51 Mustang
The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and in several other conflicts...
and F-80 (P-80) pilot in the Korean War.
Retirement and later work
Wurster retired on May 29, 2008 and passed command to Vice Admiral David P. Pekoske.
Wurster was a member of the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions...
as a youth and earned Eagle Scout
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America . A Scout who attains this rank is called an Eagle Scout or Eagle. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than 2 million young men...
in 1967. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award is a distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America . It is awarded to an Eagle Scout for distinguished service in his profession and to his community for a period of at least 25 years after attaining the level of Eagle Scout...
and has been involved in Sea Scouting. In October 2008, he was appointed as the new National Sea Scout Commodore.