Commander (CDR) Ben Strickland is a retired U.S. Coast Guard senior officer and a native of Issaquah, Washington. He graduated from Maine Maritime Academy in 1995 and holds an active merchant marine credential as a 200 ton Master Mariner and Unlimited tonnage Deck Officer. He attended the U.S. Naval War College in 2009 graduating with a Masters of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. He is a graduate of the Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (MAWS) and is a qualified Joint Operational Planner. Ben Strickland has a distinctive background that includes surface warfare, strategic planning, defense policy, counter-drug operations, fisheries, immigration enforcement, search and rescue, operational readiness, training, maritime security and marine safety. During a career of over 20 years of combined service in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, he served aboard six ships, including Command of his own cutter in one of the Coast Guard's most arduous areas of operation. He has sailed and traveled extensively to Western Europe, Russia, Persian Gulf, Far East, Australia, and Africa as well as Mexico, Central and South America. He retired from active duty in 2015 and accepted a position in the civil service as a National Security Specialist. Now in the private sector, Ben Strickland focuses on bringing the best in naval warfare capabilities to the U.S. Navy and our Allied partners.