Vice Admiral Roger T. Rufe, Jr., assumed command of Atlantic Area, Fifth Coast Guard District and Maritime Defense Zone Atlantic on May 13, 1997. His last assignment was Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, Commander, U.S. Maritime Defense Zone Pacific and Commander, Eleventh Coast Guard District. As Commander, Pacific Area, he was responsible for all Coast Guard operations from the Rocky Mountains to the Far East.
Prior to his assignment in Pacific Area, he was Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District and Commander, Maritime Defense Command Seven in Miami, FL, where he directed all Coast Guard drug and migrant interdiction operations in the Southeast United States and the Caribbean. He was also operational commander for the U.S. response to the Cuban shoot down of two Cuban-American aircraft in February 1996. His first flag assignment was in Juneau, AK, as Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard District and Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Alaska where his primary responsibilities were fishing vessel safety and fisheries conservation in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska and protection of Alaska’s marine environment.
Vice Admiral Rufe has served aboard seven Coast Guard cutters during his career, five as commanding officer. These afloat assignments included duty in the Atlantic and Pacific, and 47 combat patrols while commanding a patrol boat in Vietnam. Ashore, he was operations office of the Greater Antilles Section in San Juan, Puerto Rico; assistant chief of the Environmental Response Division and chief of the Congressional Affairs Staff in Washington, D.C., and chief of staff for the Fifth Coast Guard District in Portsmouth, VA. He has also served as a U.S. representative to the International Maritime Organization in London, and led the U.S. delegation that negotiated the Cartagena Convention, an international environmental agreement for the Wider Caribbean Region.
Vice Admiral Rufe is a 1965 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT, and received a Master of Public Administration degree from New York University. He is a graduate of the Naval War College and the National War College.
His awards include a Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, two Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star with Combat “V”, three Meritorious Service Medals, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, the Combat Action Ribbon and numerous unit and campaign awards.
A native of Islip Terrace, NY, Vice Admiral Rufe and his wife Barbara have two children, Sarah-Ann and Matthew.