Admiral Merlin is a native of Tampa, Florida, where he now resides after completing a thirty-four year career in the U. S. Coast Guard. During Admiral Merlin’s Coast Guard career, he was assigned on Coast Guard Cutters in the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf, and Caribbean, and served in several shore engineering and RDT&E billets, notably the National Data Buoy Project, before serving as the Twelfth District Chief of Operations and Chief of Staff in San Francisco. Assignments at Coast Guard Headquarters as Budget Officer, Comptroller (Chief Finance Officer) and Chief of Command, Communications and Control preceded his final assignment on active duty as Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, with headquarters in New Orleans.
Following active duty, Admiral Merlin established the Gulf Region of Marine Spill Response Corporation, the largest oil spill response organization in the nation. In 1996, Bill developed a course in oil spill response management for the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office, and is now serving as the principle instructor for the classes. He recently completed a 1-year tour as Deputy Director, National Center for Maritime and Port Security.
Admiral Merlin is a graduate of the U. S. Coast Guard Academy; U. S. Naval Postgraduate School; Defense Weapons Systems Management College; and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Bill resides with Alice, his wife of 53 years; his three children and five grandchildren live close by in South Tampa.