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Lieutenant Commander Matthew Tolliver

Coast Guard Fellow, Polar Institute

Professional affiliation

Deputy, Polar Coordination Office, United States Coast Guard

Full Biography

Lieutenant Commander Tolliver graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Government. Upon graduation, he served as a Deck Watch Officer onboard USCGC MACKINAW (WLBB-30), an Icebreaking Buoy Tender homeported in Cheboygan, MI. Aboard MACKINAW Tolliver served as a Deck Watch Officer, Asst. Operations Officer, Law Enforcement Officer and Communications Officer. During his tour he awarded the District Nine McCune Award for Law Enforcement Excellence standing up a LE program, in coordination with District and Sector Sault Ste Marie, to execute joint boardings on foreign high interest vessels entering the Lakes.

In 2013, Tolliver reported as Operations Officer to USCGC MONOMOY, a forward deployed to Manama, Bahrain, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While serving in Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, Tolliver participated in international exercises, escort & defense operations, and counter-piracy operations.   

In 2014, Tolliver was selected to serve as Commanding Officer of USCGC MANOWAR homeported in Galveston, TX. MANOWAR was responsible for safeguarding the port of Houston-Galveston, Search and Rescue and counter drug operations off the Texas-Mexico Border. During this time, MANOWAR was credited with the successful capture of seven ‘Launchas” and numerous illegal fishing operations.  

From 2016-2020, LCDR Tolliver served as the Domestic and Polar Icebreaking Platform Manager in the Office of Cutter Forces, CG-751. Tolliver acted as the Sponsor’s Representative for the Polar Security Cutter acquisition, developing the operational requirements and advocating for capabilities.

In his last tour, LCDR Tolliver served as the Commanding Officer of USCGC KATHERINE WALKER, a 175 foot coastal buoy tender responsible for New York City Harbor. Responsible for over 400 floating aids to navigation in the country’s busiest harbor, safely kept the watch facilitating over $186 Billion of commerce safely flowing into the USA during the COVID-19 National pandemic. Served as patrol commander during the nation’s largest security operation United Nations General Assembly and provided Mass Evacuation platform to dignitaries of 96 nations during 76th annual UNGA.

LCDR Tolliver currently serves in USCG HQ as Deputy in the office of Arctic Policy constructing the future Polar Coordination Office. He was selected as the first Polar Institute Coast Guard Fellow at the Wilson Center, advancing the connection between the Wilson Center and its nation’s longest sea going service.

He is a native of Richardson, TX and son of Bob and Catherine Tolliver. His Coast Guard awards include: CG Commendation Medals, Global War on Terror and Expeditionary Medals; Navy Commendations, letter of Commendation and several other service, team and personal awards.