Caption Before a crowd of 500 guests and the workforce of the U.S. Coast Guard Yard, Captain George Lesher (left) assumed command of the Coast Guard Yard from Captain Richard Murphy (right) at
11 a.m. on June 7, 2013. Rear Admiral Ronald Rábago (center), Assistant Commandant for Engineering & Logistics, U.S. Coast Guard, presided over the Change of Command ceremony held at the Yard’s Columbus Recreation Center. Guest speakers included U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes of the 3rd District of Maryland. The Old Line Brass Quintet of the 229th Army Band, Maryland National Guard, provided musical support. (Official USCG photo)
Captain George Lesher of the United States Coast Guard recently assumed command of the U.S. Coast Guard Yard. He is the 41st Commanding Officer in the 114-year history of the shipyard, the only shipbuilding and major ship repair facility of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Captain was the Yard’s Industrial Manager from 2011 to 2013.
Captain Lesher took charge of the Coast Guard Yard from Captain Richard Murphy who served as the shipyard’s Commanding Officer from May 2010 to June 2013. Captain Murphy retired from the U.S. Coast Guard with 30 years active duty service.
Captain Lesher came to the Yard from the Coast Guard Cutter (CGC) Dependable (WMEC-626), where he served as Commanding Officer from 2009 to 2011. During this period, CGC DEPENDABLE conducted law enforcement operations from the Canadian border to South America, completing more boardings than any other major Coast Guard cutter.
The Captain’s first shipboard assignment in the Coast Guard was Damage Control Assistant on CGC Gallatin (WHEC-721), then stationed at Governor’s Island, NY. This tour was followed by consecutive assignments as Engineer Officer of CGC Escape (WMEC-6) in Charleston, S.C., and CGC Northland (WMEC-904) in Portsmouth, Va.
In 1997, the Coast Guard assigned Captain Lesher to the 270’ WMEC Type Desk at the Maintenance and Logistics Command in Norfolk, Va. From 2001 to 2003, he served as Executive Officer of CGC Forward (WMEC-911), stationed in Portsmouth, Va. This assignment was followed by a tour as the National Security Cutter Platform Manager in Baltimore, Md. In 2007, Captain Lesher served as Executive Officer of the pre-commissioning crew for CGC Waesche (WMSL-751), stationed in Alameda, Calif.
A native of Schaefferstown, Pa., Captain Lesher is a 1990 graduate of Pennsylvania State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He holds a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa. After his undergraduate education, Captain Lesher entered the Coast Guard as a Direct Commission Engineer, reporting for duty as a port engineer at the Naval Engineering Support Unit, Cleveland, Ohio.
Captain Lesher’s personal decorations include two Meritorious Service Medals, four Coast Guard Commendation Medals (with Operational Distinguishing Device), an Achievement Medal (with Operational Distinguishing Device), and several unit awards.
Captain Lesher takes command of an industrially funded $86 million annual gross revenue business. The current workforce of the Coast Guard Yard is 593 civilian employees and 75 military members. Founded in 1899, the Yard is a full-service shipyard. The Yard is responsible for repair and modernization of a variety of Coast Guard cutters and for the manufacturing of Coast Guard equipment that provides critical service to the Coast Guard fleet.