Rear Admiral John S. Welch was promoted to Rear Admiral Upper Half and assumed his duties as Senior Reserve Officer, Coast Guard Atlantic Area in June 2012. He is currently responsible for the training and mobilization of over 4,400 reservist from as far West as Colorado to as far East as Afghanistan.
His 30 year career has included a variety of operational and staff assignments. Prior to this assignment, he served as the Senior Reserve Officer, Coast Guard Pacific Area, responsible for the training and mobilization of over 3,500 reservist including all reservist in the Deployable Specialized Forces. From 2007 to 2010 he held the position as the Reserve Chief of Staff, Coast Guard Atlantic Area, ensuring mobilization readiness for over 4,400 reservist. From 2005 to 2007, he served as both the Commander, US Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) – Joint Reserve Unit (JRU) and the Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard’s JFCOM Reserve Unit, where he had oversight and planning responsibilities for the operation of both units. From 2001-2005, Rear Admiral Welch was Executive Officer of the Coast Guard’s JFCOM Reserve Unit.
Other assignments include Senior Duty Officer at the US Transportation Command at Scott AFB, Illinois; Reserve Command Advisor for the Coast Guard’s Operations System Center in Martinsburg, WV; and Executive Officer and subsequently Commanding Officer of Marine Safety Detachment, Wheeling, WV. His Active Duty assignments include Operations Officer aboard the Buoy Tender CGC BRAMBLE in Port Huron, MI and Program Manager at the Coast Guard Electronics Engineering Center in Wildwood, NJ.
Rear Admiral Welch has been recalled to active duty on five occasions including the 93’ Midwest Floods, Operations Noble Eagle/Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Hurricanes Katrina/Rita, and as the Deputy Commander for the Coast Guard’s Deployable Operations Group.
In 1982, Rear Admiral Welch was Commissioned from the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering. He later earned a Masters Degree in Systems Engineering from Wright State University.
His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2), Meritorious Service Medal (2), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Coast Guard Achievement Medal, and Commandant’s Letter of Commendation.