Wayne Justice Sworn In As Newest Port Commissioner
By Space Coast Daily // January 7, 2015
freshman District 3 Commissioner
ABOVE VIDEO: Wayne Justice talks about his goals and initiatives as Port Canaveral’s newest commissioner.
BREVAD COUNTY • COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA – The Canaveral Port Authority conducted a Swearing-In Ceremony for the CPA commissioners on Monday at the Exploration Tower.
Among those sworn in were veteran Port Commissioners Jerry Allender and Tom Weinberg, along with freshman District 3 Commissioner Wayne Justice. Other commissioners include Hank Evans and Bruce Deardoff.
Justice grew up in Staten Island, New York and attended St. John’s Lutheran Elementary and Curtis High School. During his senior year at the public high school, Wayne received an appointment to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
“As the son of a Public Health Service doctor, I was excited about service to our country ever since I can remember,” said Justice.
Only one day after high school graduation, Justice started eight weeks of “swab summer” at the Coast Guard Academy.
“Military life, arduous academic standards and college football kept me fully engaged,” said Justice.
“Football was actually a relief from the military academy’s challenges.”
He graduated with a degree in management and started his Coast Guard career as an ensign on a destroyer-sized cutter in Boston.
During his second assignment as the commanding officer of a 95-foot patrol boat in West Palm Beach, Justice set a record for the Coast Guard, with 21 drug seizures in two years and his crew also saved hundreds of Cuban refugees during the Mariel Boatlift.
This was the beginning of an exciting Coast Guard career that included 40 seizures of drug laden vessels, the safe interception of thousands of illegal migrants, saving hundreds of lives on search and rescue cases and 12 years at sea on six different cutters, while commanding four of them.
His final ship command was of a 378-foot cutter in San Francisco, where his crew seized a Mexican fishing boat carrying 19,500 pounds of cocaine.
MILITARY AIDE TO PRESIDENTS BUSH AND CLINTON
In Justice’s 37 year career, his family moved 19 times as he was stationed from Boston to Key West to San Francisco. Fifteen of the years were in Florida, completing law enforcement and rescue missions in Key West, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
One particularly challenging assignment was when he was Military Aide to Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, carrying the “football” for the two presidents.
“I had the honor to serve President and Mrs. Bush, who both had the highest integrity and utmost respect for the office, along with the deepest concern for our country.”
As a senior officer, Justice was Chief of Programs for the Coast Guard, building a $6 billion dollar budget. As an admiral, he ran the Coast Guard’s operational policy, then its operational requirements.
His final assignment as a two star admiral was leading the Coast Guard’s Middle Atlantic States from New Jersey to south Carolina.
CONSULTANT AND EXPERT WITNESS
Justice met Virginia, his wife of 30 years during his West Palm Beach assignment. She has raised their family while pursing her nursing career and holding down the fort during her husband’s deployments.
Their daughter Amanda graduated from UF and Mass College of Art, and son Michael is entering business graduate school at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, where he is a scholarship football player.
Upon retiring to the Virginia Beach area, Justice established a maritime consulting and expert witness business.
He also served on the board of directors for the Hampton Roads Navy League, the Old Coast Guard Station museum, the Youth Services Club of Virginia Beach and he coached youth basketball.
The couple made it back to Brevard two years ago, and since then, in addition to their consulting and nursing work, they have embraced volunteer opportunities.
Justice has served on the board of directors of the Propeller Club, a facilitating group at Port Canaveral, the Space Coast Navy League, Crosswinds Youth Services and a Merchant’s Association.
He has moved into the second Vice President position for the Brevard Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), a 1,400 person strong group supporting veterans and active duty military personnel. Virginia supports Georgiana Church and Cambridge elementary school.
Throughout his Coast Guard career, Justice learned and espoused the belief that the heart of attaining exceptional performance is setting high standards, coupled with ensuring people have the training and properly maintained equipment to reach those standards.Justice says that he maintains that philosophy in his leadership positions here in Brevard County.
“I would like to continue my service by applying my uniquely suited experience to supporting the residents and businesses in Brevard County as one of their Port Commissioners,” said Justice.
His ship commands; federal policy, acquisition and capabilities knowledge; extensive law enforcement and security expertise; along with participation in numerous trials and congressional hearings, has provided the broad experience needed to help direct operations at Port Canaveral.
Justice supported thousands of Coast Guard men and women during his military service.
“I would like to continue this service by applying my uniquely suited experience to supporting the residents and businesses in Brevard County as one of their Port Commissioners,” said Justice.