John C. Dettleff

Military Fellow, International Security
Associated Programs: International Security Program

CAPT(s) John Dettleff is a native of Shoreham, New York. Prior to reporting to CSIS as the International Security Program’s Coast Guard Fellow, he was assigned to the Counter Narcotics/Counter Illicit Trafficking (J36) branch at U.S. Southern Command. He is a permanent Coast Guard cutterman with 10-plus years of sea time, including two command afloat tours (USCGC POINT BRIDGE and USCGC VALIANT). He also earned his surface warfare officer (SWO) insignia during an exchange tour with the U.S. Navy aboard USS RUSSELL (DDG 59). While onboard RUSSELL, he served as navigator and senior boarding officer. As senior boarding officer he led boarding teams enforcing UN Security Council Resolution 661, the post–Gulf War embargo against Iraq. Additionally, CAPT(s) Dettleff was officer of the deck (OOD) during RUSSELL’s firing of eight Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles into Iraq in support of OPERATION DESERT STRIKE on September 4, 1996. His staff tours include assignment to the Coast Guard Academy, where he served as an assistant professor in the Department of Humanities, as well as the associate director of the Institute for Leadership. During this tour he received the Naval Order Award as the Outstanding Junior Military Faculty member at the academy, while also being named a National Finalist for the White House Fellows program. Immediately preceding his major afloat command tour onboard VALIANT, he was detailed to the committee staff of Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. CAPT(s) Dettleff holds an M.P.P. from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, as well as a B.S. in government from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, and the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation.