Rear Admiral Mary P. O'Donnell, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is serving in the United States Coast Guard Reserve; she received her commission on April 13, 1973. Her assignments have included both traditional Coast Guard operational missions and six years of experience in the joint service environment of expeditionary warfare.
During her joint service tours, she has held the position of Plans Department Head (N5), Naval Coastal Warfare Group One; Commanding Officer, Harbor Defense Command Unit 111; and Commanding Officer, Composite Naval Coastal Warfare Unit 111. Over the course of her tenure in the Naval Coastal Warfare community, Rear Admiral O'Donnell has participated in numerous overseas deployments in both the Central Command and South East Asia theaters including Korea, Australia, Kenya, and Bahrain. Most notable are: FOAL EAGLE 98, Chinhae, Korea; and Officer in Charge and Senior Liaison Officer in Reception Staging Onward Movement and Integration, ULCHI FOCUS LENS in Pusan and Pohang, Korea respectively. Other assignments have included Commanding Officer, Reserve Unit Yerba Buena Island; Commanding Officer, Reserve Unit Station Fort Point; Deputy Group Commander, Reserve Group San Francisco; Deputy Group Commander, Maritime Defense Zone and Port Operations, Rota Spain. Currently RADM O'Donnell represents the Coast Guard on the Secretary of Defense's Reserve Forces Policy Board.
Rear Admiral O'Donnell is a graduate of Ohio State University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in English Education. Staying with the Big 10 schools, she attended both Michigan State University, graduating with a Master of Arts in Comparative Literature, and the University of Michigan's School of Business, completing a course of study in Strategic Human Resources Planning. She also attended Golden Gate University, completing the course work for a Master of Public Administration and has attended the Naval War College and the National Defense University, and completed the CAPSTONE program for flag officers.
Her military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, the Navy Overseas Service Ribbon, the Commandant's Letter of Commendation, and the Navy Unit Commendation.
In her civilian capacity, Rear Admiral O'Donnell is the Director of Human Resources and Training for Bechtel Corporation at the Yucca Mountain Project, Las Vegas, Nevada. She lives in Danville, California, with her husband, Claes Elfving, and two daughters, Shannon and Shawn.