On Friday, Aug. 26, 2022, the commander of US Coast Guard Atlantic Area temporarily relieved Capt. Marc Brandt as the commanding officer of the cutter James, pending the outcome of an ongoing probe into a mishap on board the Legend-class vessel. Coffee or Die Magazine composite.
The US Coast Guard has relieved the commanding officer of the cutter James.
On Aug. 26, the commander of the sea service’s Atlantic Area, Vice Adm. Kevin Lunday, temporarily removed Capt. Marc Brandt from his duties and reassigned him to the three-star's headquarters in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Brandt, 45, did not respond to Coffee or Die Magazine's messages seeking comment.
According to a prepared statement released a week after his relief, Brandt’s downfall is tied to an unspecified mishap on board the vessel that injured no one. The incident remains under investigation, but it triggered Lunday’s loss of confidence in Brandt’s ability to command the ship.
Lunday named Capt. John Driscoll as the cutter’s temporary commanding officer, pending the results of the investigation.
US Coast Guard Capt. Ted St. Pierre, chief of staff, Atlantic Area, center, oversees the transfer of command between outgoing commanding officer, Cmdr. Marc Brandt, right, and his successor, Cmdr. Charles Banks, left, during Coast Guard Cutter Northland's change-of-command ceremony in Portsmouth, Virginia, June 4, 2018. US Coast Guard Photo by Auxiliarist Andrew Winz.
The James is homeported in Charleston, South Carolina, and carries 148 officers and enlisted personnel.
A native of Exeter, California, Brandt was commissioned after graduating from the US Coast Guard Academy in 1998.
He previously served on board the cutter Sedge in Alaskan waters before joining the cutter Ledet’s counternarcotics missions off Central America.
Brandt commanded the cutters Stingray and Northland. He also served as the executive officer on board the cutters Northland, Legare, Stratton, and Spencer.
Homeported in Charleston, South Carolina, the US Coast Guard cutter James carries 148 officers and crew. US Coast Guard photo.
An exchange officer who qualified as a US Navy surface warfare officer, Brandt has navigated the guided-missile cruiser Antietam.
He also served with the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson’s battle group in the Persian Gulf before and after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Brandt's shore assignments included work on two intelligence projects and a stint in the Coast Guard’s aviation acquisition office.
This is a breaking story and Coffee or Die Magazine will continue to update it.
Carl Prine is a former senior editor at Coffee or Die Magazine. He has worked at Navy Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
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