Rear Admiral North graduated from the State University of New York Maritime College in 1966 with a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Engineering and a license as Third Assistant Engineer, Steam or Motor Vessels, any Horsepower. He was commissioned as an Ensign, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, through the Maritime Academy Graduate (MARGRAD) Direct Commission Program and integrated from the Reserve to a Regular Commission on 1 June 1971.
As Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety and Environmental Protection he directed national and international programs for commercial vessel safety, merchant mariner licensing and documentation, port safety and security and waterways management. In that capacity, he led U. S. Delegations to the International Maritime Organization in London, England. Previously, in Coast Guard Headquarters, he served as Chief of Acquisition.
Earlier assignments included shipboard duty as First Lieutenant and Deck Watch Officer aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Westwind (WAGB 281) during deployments to the Great lakes and Arctic East; and, numerous assignments to marine safety, security and environmental protection field units involving vessel inspection and port safety and security duties. Command assignments included service as Captain of the Port of New York; Commander, Group New York; Commander, Subsector New York, Maritime Defense Zone, Atlantic; Commanding Officer and Executive Officer of Marine Inspection Office New Orleans; and, after selection to flag rank, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District and Commander Second Coast Guard District during which time he consolidated the Second District into the Eighth District.
A native of Baltimore he is a graduate of the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA. He is married to the former Sharon Sells of Corpus Christi, TX.
His decorations include the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with three gold stars, Meritorious Service Medal, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal with one gold star, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal and numerous unit citations and special operations service awards.
Rear Admiral Robert C. North retired from active duty with the U. S. Coast Guard on 1 May 2001. He founded North Star Maritime, Inc., a marine industry consulting firm, specializing in international and domestic maritime safety, security and environmental protection regulatory compliance and is currently serving as President.
Graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College, 7 June 1966 with a Bachelor Degree in Marine Engineering and U.S. Coast Guard License as Third Assistant Engineer, Steam or Motor Vessels, Any Horsepower.
Commissioned as an Ensign, USCGR, 10 June 1966 through the Maritime Academy Graduate (MARGRAD) Direct Commission Program. Integrated from Reserve to a Regular Commission on 1 June 1971.
- 1966-1969: Marine Inspection Office (MIO), Portsmouth, VA. Served as Marine Inspector and Marine Casualty Investigator
- 1969 – 1970: USCGC Westwind (WAGB 281). Served as Deck Watch Officer and First Lieutenant. Deployed to Arctic East 1969 and two deployments to the Great Lakes to assist CGC Mackinaw in Lake Erie.
- 1970-1973: MIO Baltimore, MD. Served as Marine Inspector and Assistant Senior Investigating Officer.
- 1973-1976: Marine Safety Office (MSO) Corpus Christi. Served as Senior Investigating Officer and Marine Inspector. During this assignment, performed TAD on board USCGC Point Baker as Officer in Charge of a fisheries law enforcement patrol resulting in boarding and seizure of the Cuban Trawler E 82 HB for fishing inside U.S. waters. Took the navigation fixes that determined the vessel’s position inside U.S. waters and led the Boarding Team. Testified in the prosecution of the case in Federal Court resulting in conviction of the Master and forfeiture of the vessel to the U.S. Government.
- 1976-1979: MSO Paducah, Kentucky. Served as Executive Officer.
- 1979-1982: RTC Yorktown, VA. Instructor and Assistant School Chief, Marine Safety School. Involved in development of numerous courses of instruction and developed a practical vessel inspection exercise involving a vessel of the U.S. James River Reserve Fleet moored near Yorktown.
- 1982-1985: MIO New Orleans. Served as Chief, Inspection Department, Executive Officer; and, Commanding Officer for several months during change of command process.
- 1985- 1986: Coast Guard student, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA.
- 1986-1987: Coast Guard Headquarters, Marine Safety Directorate Planning Division. Project Officer for the Marine Safety Information System redesign.
- 1987-1990: Commander Coast Guard Group New York and Captain of the Port of New York and New Jersey.
- 1990 – 1992: Coast Guard Headquarters, Chief, Traveling Inspection and Evaluation Staff. Reestablished the “Travelers” Staff which had been suspended several years previously due to budget constraints. Expanded the role of the “Travelers” beyond vessel inspection to include evaluation of field unit operations and management assistance to field unit Commanding Officers.
- 1992 – 1994: Coast Guard Headquarters, Deputy Chief, Office of Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection.
- 1994 – 1996: Commander Eighth Coast Guard District. Also served as Commander, Second Coast Guard District in 1996 as the Second District was merged with the Eighth District to create the current Eighth District.
- 1996 – 1997: Coast Guard Headquarters, Assistant Commandant for Acquisition.
- 1997 – 2001: Coast Guard Headquarters, Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection. During this time I developed the Port State Control initiative “Quality Shipping for the 21st Century” or “Qualship 21” to recognize and reward ships, ship owners and flag administrations that demonstrated safety, security and environmental regulatory compliance above a standard set by Qualship 21 as a quality performance incentive.
- 2001: Retired from active duty on 1 May. Started his own business: North Star Maritime, Inc.