Vice Admiral Brian M. Salerno served on active duty for thirty six years, retiring from the position of Deputy Commandant for Operations in 2012. In that position, he oversaw strategic integration of operational missions, set performance standards to achieve the Service’s national priorities, and established capability requirements for future assets.
His previous Flag assignments include: Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship. He also served as Assistant Commandant for Policy and Planning, and as Director of Inspections and Compliance at Coast Guard Headquarters.
In his roles as Assistant Commandant, Vice Admiral Salerno was responsible for developing national marine safety, security and environmental protection doctrine, policy and regulations, and for ensuring policy alignment throughout the Coast Guard and among federal and international partners. In addition, he led and oversaw the important work of numerous federal advisory committees, industry partnerships and led the U.S. delegation to the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization.
Vice Admiral Salerno was commissioned an Ensign in December 1976 after attending Coast Guard Officer Candidate School. His assignments were predominantly within the Coast Guard’s marine safety missions, including commercial vessel safety, port safety and security, and emergency response. He commanded units in Boston, MA, and San Juan, PR, in which he served simultaneously as Captain of the Port; Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection; Federal On-Scene Coordinator for oil and hazardous materials releases in the coastal zone, and following the passage of the Maritime Transportation Security Act, as Federal Maritime Security Coordinator.
While in Boston, he managed the port security challenges originating from the 9/11 attacks, including the highly controversial resumption of Liquefied Natural Gas tanker shipments into the port. In San Juan, he responded to multiple environmental and port safety emergencies, including those stemming from Hurricane Georges, the most devastating storm to strike the island in over 50 years.
Other field assignments include duty at units in Baltimore MD, Port Arthur TX, Portland ME, and as Marine Safety Advisor to the Panama Canal Authority. He also performed extended temporary duty in the Far East on multiple occasions, inspecting U.S. flag vessels operating in the region. He earned Deck Watch Officer qualifications in USCGC Cape Horn and USCGC Vashon.
Vice Admiral Salerno is a 2000 graduate of the U.S. Army War College with a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College, non-resident program, and holds a Master’s degree in Management from the Johns Hopkins University. He is a licensed Master of small passenger vessels.
His personal decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal; two Legion of Merit medals; two meritorious service medals; two Coast Guard Commendation Medals; the Coast Guard Achievement medal; and the Humanitarian Service Medal, among others. He was also awarded the 2011 Halert Shepheard Award by the Chamber of Shipping of America for his contributions toward commercial maritime safety
Following retirement from the Coast Guard, VADM Salerno served as the U.S. Liaison for BIMCO, an international ship owners association headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. He also served on the Navigation Safety Advisory Committee for the Panama Canal Authority. In August of 2013, He was appointed Director, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, at the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he oversees offshore drilling and production safety.