Director of Operations
Jesse Kassbaum joined the Argonaut team in August 2021 following a twenty-year career in the U.S. Coast Guard that took him to the furthest corners of the globe, including three consecutive deployments to Antarctica in the Ross Sea region. Growing up in Northern Minnesota, Jesse spent his childhood on the many lakes and rivers during the summer and winter months, which grew his love of being on the water.
Jesse began his career in the U.S. Coast Guard after high school in 2001. His first assignment was serving in the Navigation Division aboard the USCGC Polar Sea, a 400′ heavy ice breaker ship homeported out of Seattle, WA. Following his ice breaker tour, Jesse served at several small boat stations as a Rescue Boat Operator tasked with Search and Rescue, including Station Channel Islands Harbor in southern California, Station Duluth Minnesota, and Surf Rescue Station Tillamook Bay Oregon. Following these assignments, he served aboard the 418′ National Security Cutter USCGC Bertholf, homeported at San Francisco, CA, on the primary Small Vessel Pursuit Team.
In 2021, Jesse completed his final tour of duty at Station Cleveland Harbor and honorably retired from the U.S. Coast Guard. Jesse’s tenure finished with over 51 USCG Certfications, 37 personal and unit awards, and additional accolades including Cutterman, 100T Master, and the following Sailor Rites of Passage: Red Nose, Blue Nose, Golden Shellback, Order of the Ditch and Order of the Spanishmain.
Jesse is married to a fellow U.S. Coast Guard Veteran, Courtney, and is a father to two children. His family loved Ohio so much that they decided to stay in the Cleveland area following his retirement from the USCG. In his free time, Jesse enjoys riding his Harley-Davidson, playing bass guitar, and sharing sea stories.
In his role as Director of Operations, Jesse leverages his lifetime of on-water and operational experience to both train the next generation of mariners and network across agencies in service of the community.