Wayne 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,” Wayne said.
Only one day after high school graduation, Wayne started eight weeks of “swab summer” at the Coast Guard Academy. “Military life, arduous academic standards, and college football kept me fully engaged,” Wayne recalls. “Football was actually a relief from the military academy’s challenges.” Wayne 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, Wayne set a record for the Coast Guard, with 21 drug seizures in two years. 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 twelve 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 lbs of cocaine.
In Wayne’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 Wayne 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, Wayne 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 NJ to SC.
Wayne’s daughter Amanda graduated from UF and Mass College of Art, and his son Michael is a graduate of Old Dominion University in Norfolk.
Upon retiring to the Virginia Beach area, Wayne 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.
Wayne is on the board of directors of the Space Coast Navy League, Crosswinds Youth Services, and a Merchant’s Association. He also volunteers for the Brevard Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), a 1400 person strong group supporting veterans and active duty military personnel.
Throughout his Coast Guard career, Wayne 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. He maintains that philosophy in leadership positions here in Brevard County. 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.
In November 2014, Wayne was elected to the Canaveral Port Authority, District 5. He is currently the Chair of the Port Commission.