Captain William S. Cheever recently assumed command of the U.S. Coast Guard Yard
in Baltimore, Md. He becomes the 36th Commanding Officer in the 102-year history of the Yard, the only shipbuilding and ship repair facility of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Captain Cheever took command of the Yard from Captain Alan S. Gracewski who had served as the shipyard's Commanding Officer since June, 1998.
Captain Gracewki retired from the Coast Guard with 30 years service.
In addition to being commanding officer of the Coast Guard's , maritime industrial facility, Captain Cheever holds the title of distinction as the U.S. Coast Guard's Gold Ancient Mariner. The honor is bestowed on the Commissioned Officer of the USCG who has the earliest date of service time at sea. The Coast Guard Gold Ancient Mariner personifies the dedication and professionalism of a Coast Guard seaman or cutterman.
Coast Guard Cuttermen are called upon to go forth in all weather, to challenge the dangers of the sea, and return safely ashore. As the coast Guard's Gold Ancient Mariner, Captain Cheever is authorized to wear the Gold Ancient Mariner's traditional garb which consists of a fore and aft style hat and large, gold braided shoulder epaulets with accompanying nautical long glass and Revenue Cutter Log Book.
Captain Cheever is the officer with the longest active duty service in the USCG. He enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1962. While advancing the enlisted ranks through chief petty officer, he served on the Cutters, Cactus, McCulloch, Sherman, Steadfast, and Decisive. While stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Sherman, the Captain completed one year deployment to Vietnam as part of Coast Guard Squadron Three.
Captain Cheever was appointed to Chief Warrant Officer in 1973 and served on the Coast Guard cutter Mellon and at the Engineering School at the Reserve Training Center Yorktown, Va.
Upon graduation from Officer Candidate School in 1978, his first duty assignment was as Engineering Officer on the Coast Guard Cutter Dependable. Following a tour in the Office of Naval Engineering in the Seventh Coast Guard District, Miami, Fla., Captain Cheever served as Engineer Officer on the Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau.
The Captain served two tours at the Vessel Support Division of the Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific, separated by a tour at the Coast Guard Yard as the 210 ft. Cutter Major Maintenance Availability Project Officer and a tour as Commanding Officer of the Naval Engineering Support Unit, Alameda, Calif. Captain Cheever has been stationed at the Coast Guard Yard since 1998, serving as the shipyard's Industrial Manager.
His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, five Coast Guard commendation Medals with the Operation Distinguished Service, two Humanitarian Service Medals, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon. Alongside of his military awards, captain Cheever holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Florida State University. A native of Milford, N.H., Captain Cheever is married to the former Darlene Krauss of Napoleon, Ohio. They reside in Severna Park, Md.
Captain Cheever takes command of the Coast Guard Yard, an industrially funded $60 million annual gross revenue business which employs 577 civilian employees and 90 military members.
The Coast Guard Yard is an essential part of the U.S. Coast Guard's core logistics/industrial base and fleet support operations.
The shipyard is responsible for construction, repair, and renovation of vessels and various aids to navigation, and for the manufacturing of a variety of Coast Guard equipment.