Panhandle Coast Guard center's new 'Old Man' is 'First Lady'

June 16, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE |
  • Capt. Michael P. Ryan, former commanding officer of the Coast Guard's Information Technology Service Center in Kearneysville, W.Va., congratulates Capt. Janet E. Stevens Thursday after she took over command.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

KEARNEYSVILLE, W.Va. — The new “Old Man” at the U.S. Coast Guard Operations Systems Center in Jefferson County is a woman.

In a change-of-command ceremony Thursday, Capt. Janet E. Stevens replaced Capt. Michael P. Ryan as commanding officer of the Coast Guard’s Information Technology Service Center on Coast Guard Drive off W.Va. 9.

The center has more than 500 employees, 86 percent of whom are contract workers.

Ryan, the center’s eighth commander since 1991 when it opened, took over in November 2008. He moves to a position as assistant division chief at the Personnel Service Center in Arlington, Va.

Ryan, his wife, Lu, and their three daughters will move to Sterling, Va.

Stevens and Ryan were 1988 graduates of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

Stevens most recently was executive assistant for the assistant commandant for acquisition at the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. She has a degree from and taught electrical engineering at the Coast Guard Academy, where she developed a virtual reality shipboard simulator.

Stevens said three generations of Coast Guard service are in her family. Her daughter, Marina, enters her first year at the academy this year.

She and her husband, Jim, are moving from Carroll County to Martinsburg, W.Va., where they are building a home on Mermaid Way, she said.

Stevens said some of her colleagues kidded her about being the new “Old Man” when she assumed command of the OSC.  

“I’ll be the ‘First Lady,’” she said.

Its massive banks of computers serve as the Coast Guard’s software-development operation, support more than 60 Coast Guard operations around the world, operate the National Vessel Movement Center and the International Maritime Organization’s Long Range Identification and Tracking System.

The center’s annual budget is about $80 million a year, Ryan said in his exit speech. The facility operates on the highest level of efficiency that the government can afford, he said.

“This is a special place.”

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