Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Bill Kline obtained an appointment to the Coast Guard Academy. Sworn in as a cadet on July 4th, 1969 (six weeks shy of his 18th birthday), he graduated with B.S. in ocean engineering and received commission in June 1973. Kline’s first assignment was CGC Sassafras (WLB-401), an ocean-going buoy tender. He was twice made commanding officer of a buoy tender – CGC Redwood (WLM-685) and CGC Bittersweet (WLB-389). Kline was transferred to St. Louis in 1989 for an assignment as Chief, Aids to Navigation and Waterways Management. During that time, he earned his MBA in management.
After retiring from the Coast Guard, Kline established a small consulting company to assist casino companies in meeting compliance requirements, during which he first worked with The River School to establish a radar training program. That project grew into providing instructors and support for other initiatives. When the opportunity arose, Kline and a group of associates purchased The River School. The River School continues to provide license prep, Coast Guard approved and special training courses.