Chukchi Borderland Project

Daily Updates from

our Teacher at Sea


September  19

Executive Officer (XO) - Bruce Toney

  What is an Executive Officer?  What does he do?

  An Executive Officer is one step below the Captain.  His main job is to be ready to succeed to a command position in case the Captain needs a replacement.  The XO organizes daily routines and organizes interactions of departments (Aviation, Operations, Engineering, Supply, and Deck). 

  Also, Bruce has the wonderful job of being the disciplinarian on the ship.  After him, you go to the Captain.  YIKES! 

  The XO is responsible to the Captain.  If something goes wrong, in Engineering for example, not only does the Engineering Officer get in trouble but it goes up the chain of command. 

  Next would be the Executive Officer (Bruce), the Captain (Dave Mackenzie), and then to the Admiral.  Bruce also does a lot of paper work for evaluations, pay, and medical records.

Bruce's job never ends!

Captain Mackenzie and XO Toney


Bruce on watch.

After Bruce graduated from high school, he was admitted to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.  (About ½ the officers go through the USCG Academy.)  The academy is a 4-year college to enter into which you have to test high on the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), pass strong physical requirements, and show that you demonstrate leadership skills.

  Usually about 300 students are enrolled at any one time and about ½ graduate.  In 1983, Bruce earned a B.S degree in Management and Economics.  During these four years in the Academy, you are considered a cadet and after graduation you are a Commissioned Officer (Ensign).

  After graduation, you begin a two year ship tour.  This is followed by another ship tour in which you specialize in a specific area, i.e. Civil Engineering, Flight School, or Afloat.  Bruce chose Afloat:

2 years   USCGC Woodrush (Buoytender) in Sitka, Alaska (OPS Officer)

2 years   Executive Officer- USCGC Neah Bay in Cleveland, Ohio (small icebreaker)

3 years   Search and Rescue Coordinator for the Great Lakes in Cleveland, Ohio

2 years   Executive Officer, USCGC Gentian (Buoytender) in Atlantic Beach,  North Carolina 

2 years   University of Chicago, MBA in Financing, Chicago, Illinois

2 years   District Budget Officer in St. Louis, Missouri

3 years   Commanding Officer, USCGC Ironwood (Buoytender) in Kodiak, Alaska

3 years   Controller, Integrated Support Command (Base) in Kodiak, Alaska


Thanks Bruce!