(PASADENA, Texas) — Over the course of 22 years in the U.S. Army, Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Stauffer has sailed on every U.S. Army ship and assisted in the reopening of Port-au-Prince following Haiti’s disastrous 2010 earthquake. His next mission will be to move more military veterans into a maritime career as the new associate vice chancellor and superintendent of maritime at San Jacinto College.
Stauffer will begin his position on Sept. 12. He will oversee both the credit and non credit maritime programs and head the San Jacinto College Maritime Technology and Training Center on the Maritime Campus.
“I’m an advocate for the mariner,” said Stauffer, who currently serves as director of the Maritime Operations Branch with the U.S. Army Transportation School at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia. “The maritime industry is already at the point of a shortage; the perfect storm is brewing. The United States Maritime Administration estimates that 70,000 seafarers will be needed by 2022, and universities will not be able to produce this amount by that time. This is why the San Jacinto College maritime program is so important.”
Stauffer plans to help more military veterans transition into maritime careers by earning maritime transportation associate degrees. He also plans to grow the maritime pipeline from high school to college.
“There’s a necessity for more education when it comes to the maritime workforce,” said Stauffer. “You have to be able to communicate when entering foreign ports. You’ve got to have an understanding of math, know the basics of geometry, and as you progress, know basic trigonometry.”
Stauffer enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1994 and soon experienced his first maritime voyage as a deck hand. Over the next five years, he became a captain and was deployed three times to the Persian Gulf from 2001-2012, serving as commander of the U.S. Army's largest ship from 2011-2012. Following the Haiti earthquake in 2010, Stauffer assisted in humanitarian efforts and the reopening of Port-au-Prince as commander of the U.S. Army’s Harbor Master Team. He served as director of the U.S. Army’s Europe Sea Section in Germany from 2012-2015 before transitioning into his current position with the Maritime Operations Branch in Virginia, where he oversees 32 U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)-approved courses.
Stauffer’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, a Navy Commendation Medal and four Army Achievement Medals. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Saint Leo University and a master’s degree in business administration from Liberty University. His licenses and certifications include a master 200 GRT upon oceans, apprentice mate (steersman) of towing vessels upon oceans, USCG qualified assessor and Lean Six Sigma green belt.
“Chief Stauffer brings a host of sterling leadership qualities to the San Jacinto College maritime program,” said Dr. Allatia Harris, San Jacinto College vice chancellor for strategic initiatives. “He gets to the heart of matters and can form those types of partnerships that are vital to the growth and success of our program, our graduates and our region’s maritime industry. He understands that while maritime companies look for more mariners, they want those who meet the increasing educational demands of the U.S. Coast Guard. While he’s passionate about meeting this industry need, he also aims to recruit and train so that more people can gain the benefit of having lucrative and rewarding maritime careers and bring home great wages for themselves and their families.”
Stauffer and his wife, Melissa, will move to the Houston region in early September. They have two daughters, 2nd Lt. Alli Stauffer, 22, a graduate of Slippery Rock University with a bachelor’s degree in safety management; and Ashley Stauffer, 19, a student at Coastal Carolina University pursuing her bachelor’s degree in biology.
For more information about the San Jacinto College maritime program, visit www.sanjac.edu/maritime.