A Mishawaka, Indiana native, Captain Matt Meilstrup graduated from the United Stated Coast Guard Academy in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Science. He holds masters degrees in International Public Policy from The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Business Administration from Regis University, and Strategic Studies from the Marine Corps War College.
Upon commissioning, Captain Meilstrup served as a Deck Watch Officer and the Operations Officer aboard USCGC Gentian, home-ported in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Subsequent afloat assignments include Operations Officer in the U.S. Navy Exchange Program aboard the USS Sirocco, a Cyclone-class patrol boat in Little Creek, Virginia; Navigator of Eagle from 2001 to 2002; and Executive Officer of USCGC Jarvis (WHEC 725) in Honolulu, Hawaii. Additionally, he has commanded four cutters: USCGC Point Huron, also based out of Little Creek; USCGC Sassafras (WLB 401) in Guam; USCGC Sequoia (WLB 215) as a member of the commissioning crew, also in Guam; and USCGC Confidence (WMEC 619), home-ported in Port Canaveral, Florida.
Assignments ashore include Company Officer at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut and Regional Advisor in the Coast Guard Headquarters International Affairs office. He also served as the Chief of the Homeland Defense Division and Coast Guard Liaison in the Joint Chiefs of Staff, J3 Directorate for Operations.
Captain Meilstrup’s commendations include a variety personal, unit, and service awards, as well as the permanent Cutterman Pin. In 2010, he was selected as the Coast Guard’s Captain David H. Jarvis Award winner for Inspirational Leadership by the Navy League of the United States and named an Honorary Chief Petty Officer.