Captain Miller J. Tonkel,
a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, received a Bachelor of Science
Civil Engineering from Purdue University in 1942, and was commissioned
into the Corps of Coast and Geodetic Survey (now the NOAA Corps)
in 1943. Postgraduate education has included special oceanographic
studies at the University of Washington; graduation from the Armed
Forces Staff College, and the Federal Executive Institute at Charlottesville,
Virginia; and participation in the Brookings Institution's Advanced
Study Program Conference for Federal Science Executives.
In the field, Captain Tonkel has served with hydrographic and
oceanographic operations in waters off the North American continent
and in the North Pacific, including the first systematized oceanographic
survey of the north central Pacific and underwater atomic tests
in the Pacific, and has held ship commands in the Gulf of Mexico,
Pacific, and Alaskan areas. More recently he commanded the NOAA
Ship OCEANOGRAPHER, 1970-1971, completing a series of geophysical
and physical oceanographic projects sponsored by NOAA's Pacific
Oceanographic Laboratory at Seattle. He has also been in charge
of geodetic operations in 14 states including Alaska.
Office assignments for Coast and Geodetic Survey, ESSA and now
NOAA include District Officer at Baltimore and New York; Assistant
to the Chief, Geodesy Division, Washington, D.C.; Chief, Continental
Shelf Coordinating Group, Rockville, Maryland; Special Assistant
to the Director, Coast and Geodetic Survey/ESSA, Rockville,
Maryland; and Associate Director, Office of Hydrography and
Oceanography, Coast and Geodetic Survey/ESSA, Rockville, Maryland.
During 1972 Captain Tonkel was assigned as NOAA's first liaison
officer in the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy, serving
as Acting Director, Marine Science Affairs Staff under the Special
Deputy to the Oceanographer for International and Interagency
Affairs, a position designed to assist in providing close working
relations between NOAA and the Navy on matters of mutual concern.
Captain Tonkel's most recent assignment has been the Chief,
Program Planning, Liaison and Training Division and in the absence
of the Director, NOAA Corps, serves as the Acting Director.
In this assignment he supervises and monitors training and education
of NOAA Corps officers. He prepares NOAA Corps budget and finance
plans, and monitors their execution. He also monitors and advises
the Director, NOAA Corps, on activities and program liaison
between NOAA and the military and other federal groups, of NOAA
Corps full-time university education programs, flight training,
and other special training.
Captain Tonkel has served with a number of marine-oriented committees
and workshop panels both officially and professionally, including
membership on the Advisory Committee for Naming Undersea Features,
Board of Directors and Vice President, SAME Washington Post.
In addition to his membership in Marine Technology Society,
Captain Tonkel is a member of the Explorers Club of New York,
American Congress of Surveying and Mapping and the American
Philatelic Society. He is a Registered Professional Civil Engineering
the District of Columbia. Publications include a historical
treatise entitled "Navigation in Ocean Survey" which appeared
in the Journal of the Institute of Navigation.
During World War II, Captain Tonkel served as Regimental Survey
Officer with the 11th Marine Artillery, 1st Marine Division
in Okinawa, Tientsin, China, and Guam, 1945-1947 and received
the Bronze Star Medal during this period. Other awards include
the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal, and the Society of
American Military Engineers KARO Award, and World War II Medals
for Marine Corps Service; the Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific,
Navy Occupation, and China Service.
He retires February 27, 1977, after more than 34 years service.
NOAA CORPS BULLETIN, 2/1/1977