MMI Math Instructor, CAPT Gatlin, presented with Legion of Merit by three-star admiral

Vice Admiral Dean Lee, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander of Atlantic Area & Defense Force East, came to Marion on April 19 "to right a wrong." During a Chapel gathering, he surprised Captain Todd Gatlin, Marion Military Institute math instructor, with an overdue‪ ‎Legion of Merit decoration for his outstanding service as Deputy Director, Directorate of International Affairs and Foreign Policy Advisor (2011-2014) to the Coast Guard.

The citation mentions that the former Coast Guard officer “spearheaded the Department of Homeland Security’s largest foreign military sales case to create a 5,000-person maritime security force in Saudi Arabia to protect coastal facilities vital to the country’s national security and the stability of the Persian Gulf. In Vietnam, he established a training program, educational facilities, and a U.S. Coast Guard billet at Embassy Hanoi, resulting in unprecedented U.S.-Vietnam cooperation promoting maritime domain awareness, fleet capacity, and security in a geostrategic region important to the United States. He creatively leveraged Department of State resources to expand the Technical Assist Field Team and drive sustainable maintenance capabilities across the Caribbean in support of U.S. Southern Command. Captain Gatlin worked tirelessly to institutionalize improvements in the Coast Guard’s international affairs program, creating an International Affairs Officer specialty and the Foreign Affairs Policy Manual, formalizing the selection process for international cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard  Academy and expanding relationships with the diplomatic corps, academia and interagency partners. He initiated and led a Service-wide review of the U.S. Coast Guard’s international relationships resulting in more strategic engagements with foreign partners in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives…”

Captain Gatlin served more than 20 years in the Coast Guard and has been an MMI faculty member since 2014. He holds a BS from Troy (State) University and an MS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 2015, he won MMI’s “Faculty Member of the Year” award.