Michael C. Petta, J.D.

Deputy Chair & Military Professor Stockton Center for International Law
Cmdr., U.S. Coast Guard
Michael C. Petta faculty photo


Cmdr. Petta is the associate director for maritime operations and a military professor. He has been a prosecutor, defense counsel, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and legal advisor to many operational commands, specializing in maritime pollution response, law enforcement, investigations and the maritime transportation system. Of note, he defended a U.S. Navy chief petty officer wrongly accused of maritime pollution and obtained a half-million-dollar restitution for the U.S. and Canada from a person who fraudulently caused an international search and rescue. He has 29 years of enlisted and commissioned service in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, both at sea and ashore.

Contact Information

Areas of Expertise

  • Maritime Strategy

Professional Highlights


U.S. Coast Guard Commander (O-5)

Led USCG national effort to conduct a stewardship transfer of Boston Light, upholding statutory obligation to preserve historical character of nation's first and oldest light station.

U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant (O-3)

As a Judge Advocate General with the USCG, served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Ohio and successfully argued in federal court to obtain $500k in restitution for the U.S. and Canadian governments.

Sonar Technician, Submarines

Separated from the USN as a first class petty officer after 10 years of active service at Naval Recruiting Command, Naval Submarine School, and on the USS Maryland (SSBN738).


J.D., Northeastern University School of Law

Material and external links contained herein are made available for the purpose of peer review and discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval War College, Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.