October 27, 2022

A Loss for the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry

By Christine
Courtesy of National Drug Screening, Inc.

We are saddened to report the passing of Robert Schoening, a former drug and alcohol program manager for the US Coast Guard and a pioneer in federal workplace drug and alcohol testing. He was 80 years old.

Over his long career, Bob Schoening was instrumental in developing many of the federal policies and regulations that are in place today.

Bob’s drug testing career began in the Navy Medical Department in the early 80s, according to a profile posted by NDASA member National Drug Screening, Inc. “He received the Navy Achievement Medal for developing the Navy drug-testing program, the first major workplace drug-testing program in the country.”

After leaving the Navy in 1985, Bob started Maritime Drug Testing, to assist companies with establishing drug-free workplaces and drug testing programs. “His knowledge of regulations and policy helped build his company to be one of the premier providers of drug testing services for the marine industry,” according to the NDS profile.

Bob served on the Board of Directors of the Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association (SAPAA) and was one of the first individuals to receive designation as a Certified Substance Abuse Program Administrator (1996). 

Later, Bob was sought out by the Coast Guard because of his expertise and eventually sold his business to manage USCG’s testing program. “During his years with the Coast Guard (December 2001- March 2013), Bob developed and managed a successful drug testing program for the marine industry nationwide and internationally. He created and implemented a new compliance audit checklist and authored the Marine Employers Guidebook for Drug Testing. He also created the federal regulation commonly known as the two-hour alcohol testing requirement for maritime incidents,” the profile said.

Bob actively served the communities where he lived including as a city council member in Fairfax, VA, and as a member of the Island County WA State Ferry Commission. He was passionate about the sea and marine biology and an avid collector of seashells. At one time, he had more than 22,000 specimens.  

Bob passed away on October 22 in Texas. Military services will be held at Fort Sam Houston, TX November 18, 2022, at 11:15 AM. Read his obituary here for details.

Our condolences go out to Bob’s family and loved ones.

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