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A native of Washington, DC, Captain Wood attended Amherst College where he graduated cum laude in 1960 with a major in English. He was commissioned in the Coast Guard in 1962, and served thirty-seven years on active duty in various assignments, retiring in 1992 with the rank of Captain. He served on six different cutters during his career, for a combined total of more than 15 years’ sea duty, commanding three of them, including the training barque EAGLE from 1988-1992. He taught English at the USCG Academy (1969-73), and obtained a Master of Education degree from Boston University through an off-duty education program; he also successfully sat for a USCG merchant marine license as Master, Auxiliary Sail Vessels, Any Gross Tons, Oceans. Captain Wood is a distinguished graduate of the Naval War College (1982), where he subsequently served as Coast Guard Advisor to the President from 1985-88.
During the more than twenty years since his retirement from active duty, Captain Wood has sailed commercially, taught ship handling to naval officers at Marine Safety International’s simulator facility in Middletown, RI, taught various USCG-approved courses at Northeast Maritime Institute, served as Chairman and Executive Director of the American Sail Training Association (now Tall Ships America), and worked as an independent maritime consultant. He is also the author of articles on sea education and sail training, and served on the board of the UK-based Sail Training International, where he chaired the Class A Tall Ships Forum.
Captain Wood has been married since 1961 to the former Paula Whitney of Belmont, Massachusetts; they have three grown sons and seven grandchildren, and reside in Newport, Rhode Island.
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