•Executive Excellence - Military•
CDR. Jose A. Peña, P.E., CFM
Coast Guard Base Los Angeles Long Beach
United States Coast Guard
Education: M.S., civil engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; B.S., civil engineering, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.
As Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard base guarding one of the most strategically and financially important ports in the United States, Commander Jose A. Peña has the responsibility to ensure the impeccable operation of the organization that protects some of the country’s most vital infrastructure and trade.
Overseeing a budget of over $4 million annually and a base of 148 people, he supervises daily logistics support of more than 500 personnel with 10 tenant commands at base, inter-agency elements and 43 benefiting units in area of responsibility.
Commander Peña’s journey to his current position began 23 years ago when he started his basic training as a Coast Guard Seaman Recruit in Cape May, NJ. His outstanding performance led to a rapid rise through the ranks, and he received his Officer Commission in less than two years as part of the Coast Guard Minority Officer Recruiting Effort.
After a tour of duty as senior investigating officer for the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Office in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he earned an M.S. in civil engineering at the University of Illinois. Master’s degree in hand, he joined the Coast Guard civil engineering unit in Providence, Rhode Island. Soon after, he rose to be Chief of the construction branch, where he managed and executed 100 construction projects with a budget of $20 million, and he led a 10-person team in facilities response and repairs in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
After a tour as a project execution team leader for the Coast Guard Facilities Design Construction Center Atlantic, Commander Peña managed one of the largest engineering divisions in the Coast Guard, overseeing $85 million in improvement and repairs across Coast Guard Sector San Juan facilities as engineering support division chief.
His rise continued when he was promoted to Executive Officer of Coast Guard Base Miami Beach where he guided five mission support commands and directed $10 million in critical infrastructure improvement projects. He supervised a staff of over 600 Coast Guard personnel, and oversaw the construction of a new 10,000 sq. ft. cutter support facility to accommodate the arrival of the first six Coast Guard fast response cutters.
Commander Peña is a proud member of the Society of American Military Engineers and the Puerto Rico Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors. He’s received numerous medals, citations and commendations during his career, including multiple National Defense Service medals, Coast Guard Meritorious Team, Unit, and Service Commendation ribbons and medals, a Global War Terror Service medal, and a Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation, among others.
With his broad experience in engineering, management, finance, logistics, and construction, Commander Peña brings an impressive skill set to his current post. Despite expansive responsibilities throughout his career, he’s always found time to actively promote the professional development of junior enlisted and officer corps personnel, and he’s a strong advocate of continuing education and professional registration for engineers and architects.
-By Vinnie Longobardo