Notable People

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Rear Admiral Theodore J. Wojnar

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Rear Admiral Theodore J. Wojnar is a native of Holyoke, Massachusetts.  He attended the University of Massachusetts for a year while earning an appointment to the Coast Guard Academy as a cadet.

After graduation in 1953, he was commissioned in the U.S. Coast Guard and began his career on Arctic operations.  His first tour of duty was board the Boston based icebreaker, Eastwind.  From there he went to Argentia, Newfoundland and served with the International Ice Patrol as aerial ice observer and ice patrol duty officer.  In 1957 he was the Engineering Officer aboard the cutter Chincoteague out of Norfolk, Virginia serving on ocean station patrols.

After his Arctic tours, he moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to serve as Deputy Group Commander and Industrial Manager of Coast Guard Base Milwaukee.  His responsibilities included aids to navigation and search and rescue operations on Lake Michigan.  He earned his post graduate degree in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.  He was then assigned to Honolulu, Hawaii as Industrial Manager of Coast Guard Base Sand Island.  Next he was named as Assistant Chief of the Civil Engineering Branch for the Fourteenth Coast Guard District as well as LORAN-C Site Survey Officer.  He was based in Yokosuka, Japan for eighteen months heading up a Project Team for the design and construction of the Northwest Pacific LORAN-C chain.

He returned to the U.S. mainland in September 1964 to Coast Guard Training Center Groton, Connecticut where he served as Public Works Officer and Special Projects Officer.  August 1967 saw then Commander Wojnar assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Activities Europe in London, England as Chief of the Engineering Division.  During this assignment he worked closely with engineers from Iceland, Canada, Denmark, Germany and Norway on improvements to the European LORAN-C facilities.

In addition to his European and Far Eastern assignments, Rear Admiral Wojnar served in the Indian Ocean where he concluded site surveys for the OMEGA Radionavigational Station at La Reunion Island.

In August 1970, he took over management of the Civil and Ocean Engineering support programs for the Third Coast Guard District in New York.  In July 1973, he became Assistant Chief of the Civil Engineering Division at Coast Guard Headquarters and was promoted to Chief of the Division in April 1975.  During his tour in Washington, D.C., he was project officer for the development of the Coast Guard’s Shore Facilities Plan and Boat Plan.

Rear Admiral Wojnar returned to field operations as the Eleventh District Chief of Operations.  In August 1980, then Captain Wojnar took the post of Chief of Staff in the Fifth Coast Guard District in Portsmouth, Virginia.  He served there until July 1983 when he was awarded his third Meritorious Service Medal and was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral.  After heading the Office of Navigation at Coast Guard Headquarters for three years he became Commander of the Thirteenth Coast Guard District in 1986.

Along with his Legion of Merit and three Meritorious Service Medals, RADM Wojnar has been awarded the Coast Guard Commendation Medal with two gold stars in lieu of second and third awards, the Coast Guard Achievement medal, the Arctic Service Medal and the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation.

Rear Admiral Wojnar is past president of the Washington, D.C. Chapter, American Society of Military Engineers and was a National Director for them from 1973 through 1978.  He is active in the Alumni Associations of the Coast Guard Academy and Rensselaer Institute.  He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Honorary Engineering Society and was selected to appear in “Who’s Who in Engineering” in 1978 and 1979 as well as “Who’s Who in Government” in 1978.

Rear Admiral Wojnar is married to the former Colette V. M. of Westfield, New Jersey.  They have four children; Mary-Gayle, Theodore Jr., Pamela and Stephen.

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