Notable People

(displayed alphabetically by last name)


LeftSeal RightSeal

Rear Admiral Steve Branham


Rear Admiral Steve Branham is a co-founder of the firm 3ethos, joining founder and CG Academy classmate Don Trone in teaching, inspiring and engaging key decision-makers who serve in critical leadership roles.   Post retirement, he has been employed as a past Vice President and Executive Vice President for Witt O’Brien’s,  managing disaster preparedness and response programs worldwide. He is also an independent consultant specializing in maritime security and safety.

Prior to his retirement on July 1, 2010, Rear Admiral Branham served as Commander Seventh Coast Guard District headquartered in Miami, Florida.  The District responsibilities include leading over 11,000 personnel conducting all Coast Guard operations in the Southeast region of the United States, the Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  In his immediate prior assignment, he served as the Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Resources and Chief Financial Officer.  Rear Admiral Branham was promoted to flag rank in 2005 and received his second star in 2007.

Rear Admiral Branham served in a variety of afloat and administrative assignments on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts as well as the Great Lakes. His most recent shore assignments were Chief of Operations and Chief of Staff, Coast Guard Atlantic Area, and Executive Director of the U.S. Interdiction Coordinator (USIC) Staff, directly assisting the Commandant in his role as USIC.

He served six tours afloat, including 4 tours in command of Cutter CAPE HEDGE (WPB 95311), a 95-foot patrol boat homeported in Morro Bay, California; Cutter NEAH BAY (WTGB 105), a 140-foot icebreaking tug homeported in Cleveland, Ohio; Cutter HARRIET LANE (WMEC 903), a 270-foot cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia.; and Cutter GALLATIN (WHEC 721), a 378-foot cutter homeported in Charleston, South Carolina.

Throughout his 12 years of sea duty, he was involved in a number of high-profile drug, migrant, search and rescue, and fisheries enforcement cases, including the 1980 Mariel Boatlift of Cuban migrants, the 1991 Haitian mass migration, and on-scene commander leading rescue and recovery operations after the TWA 800 airliner crash in 1996.  Rear Admiral Branham also commanded the task force that successfully prototyped the use of armed helicopters to stop suspected drug-laden go-fast vessels, an initiative that continues to produce record annual drug interdiction rates.

Rear Admiral Branham is a 1977 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering.  He was awarded a master’s degree in Business Administration by Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio in 1987 and a master’s degree in National Security Strategy by the National War College, Washington, DC in 1999.

While on active duty, Rear Admiral Branham served on the Board of Trustees, U. S. Coast Guard Academy (5 years) and on the Board of Directors, U.S. Naval Institute (3 years).  He currently serves as Chairman, Longboat Key Combined Employee Pension Fund Board of Trustees; Vice Chairman, Sarasota Yacht Club Charitable Foundation Board of Directors; and Member, Sun Coast Blood Bank Board of Directors.

Rear Admiral Branham holds a USCG Merchant Mariner Credential as Master for vessels up to 200 Tons (Near Coastal) with Auxiliary Sail, Assistance Towing, and STCW endorsements.

Rear Admiral Branham's awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (4), the Meritorious Service Medal (2), the Coast Guard Commendation Medal (3), the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal (3), the Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon (4), and the Coast Guard Cutterman’s Insignia.

Date of commissioning – 25 May 1977

Date of retirement – 1 July 2010

Assignment history

Cadet Aviation Training Program, Program Oversight Cadre – CGAS Mobile

USCGC GALLATIN (WHEC 721) – Deck Watch Officer

USCGC CAPE HEDGE (WPB 95311) – Commanding Officer

CCGD Twelve – RCC Controller and Command Duty Officer

USCGC NEAH BAY (WTGB 105) – Commanding Officer

Case Western Reserve University – Duty Under Instruction – MBA

USCG Headquarters (G-CPA) – Program Reviewer

USCGC TAMPA (WMEC 902) – Executive Officer

USCG Headquarters (G-CBU) – Chief, Budget Execution Division

USCGC HARRIET LANE (WMEC 903) – Commanding Officer

National War College – Duty Under Instruction – Master National Security Strategy

USCGC GALLATIN (WHEC 721) – Commanding Officer

USCG Headquarters (USIC) – Executive Director, US Interdiction Coordinator

Commander Atlantic Area – Chief of Operations

Commander Atlantic Area – Chief of Staff

USCG Headquarters (CG-8) – Assistant Commandant for Resources and CFO

CCGD Seven – District Commander and Director, Homeland Security Task Force – Southeast

Education History

U. S. Coast Guard Academy – Bachelor’s Degree – Marine Engineering

Case Western Reserve University – Master’s Degree – Business Administration

National Defense University – National War College – Master’s Degree, National Security Strategy


Father – Captain Robert C. Branham, USCG (retired) – CGA Class of 1952 – CG Aviator #690 – earned wings 29 Feb 1956, Commanding Officer, CGAS San Francisco.  Last assignment – CCGD Seven – Chief of Staff.

Brother – Captain Bruce D. Branham, USCG (retired) – CGA Class of 1979 – Commanding Officer, MSO Louisville, KY.  Last Assignment – Commanding Officer, Marine Safety Center.

Does your biography need to be corrected, updated, or added?  Please contact us at for assistance.