Coast Guard Captain Retires After 36 Years Service

STURGEON BAY, Wisc. – Capt. Robert L. Desh will retire, today, at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club, here, at 10 a.m.

The Palmyra, Neb. native will retire after 36 years of Coast Guard service to the United States. His last position was Chief of the Ninth District Planning and Force Readiness Division, responsible for the leadership, administration and management of strategic, operational and contingency planning for the Coast Guard operations on the Great Lakes; and the Ninth District Civil Rights Officer.

Capt. Desh began his Coast Guard enlistment in Omaha, Neb. in October 1971; and completed Coast Guard basic training in Alameda, Calif. Rising through the enlisted ranks, as a damage controlman, to the grade of chief petty officer, he received a direct commission to Chief Warrant Officer in 1981. Capt. Desh was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade after completing Coast Guard Officer Indoctrination School in 1984. He was promoted to his present rank in July 2004.

Capt. Desh earned a Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science from the University of New York State, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from the University of West Florida. He also completed post-graduate study in Management at Florida Institute of Technology and Central Michigan University; and is a graduate of the Command and Staff Program at the United States Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

Capt. Desh’s awards include three Meritorious Service Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, three Coast Guard Achievement Medals, three Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbons, the Armed Forces Service Medal, two Humanitarian Service Medals, two Coast Guard Good Conduct Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Medals, three National Defense Service Medals, the Expert Pistol Medal, the Expert Riffle Medal, and numerous other personal, unit, and service awards. He is also entitled to permanently wear the Command Chief Petty Officer, Cutterman, and Aviation Mission Specialist (Ice Observer) devices.

Capt. Desh is married to the former Barbara Schlise of Forestville, Wisc. They have two children: Mrs. Kerry Lathrop of Auburn, Maine, and Christopher who resides in Marblehead, Ohio. Christopher is a petty officer in the Coast Guard reserve, assigned to Coast Guard Port Security Unit (PSU) 309 based at Camp Perry, Ohio.

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