Vice Adm. Linda L. Fagan is promoted to the rank of admiral during a ceremony at Coast Guard Headquarters, June 18, 2021. Fagan is the Coast Guard’s first woman to serve as a four-star admiral. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

Admiral Linda Fagan Confirmed as 27th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard

Mike Schuler
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May 12, 2022

The U.S. Senate voted by unanimous consent Wednesday to confirm Admiral Linda Fagan to become the 27th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. The confirmation makes her the first woman to lead a branch of the U.S. Armed Services.

Admiral Fagan became the first female four-star Admiral in Coast Guard history when she was sworn in as Vice Commandant in July 2021, a role she has continued to hold. She will replace current Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Karl L. Schultz, who will be retiring later this month, on June 1, 2022.

As Commandant, Admiral Fagan will lead 55,700 active duty, reserve, and civilian members, and approximately 26,000 auxiliary volunteers.

Before becoming Vice Commandant, Admiral Fagan served as the commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area, a role she has held since June 2018.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said Admiral Fagan an “extraordinary leader” who is “widely admired.” The U.S. Coast Guard falls within the Department of Homeland Security.

“I am immensely proud to congratulate Admiral Linda L. Fagan on her historic confirmation as Commandant of the United States Coast Guard,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “Admiral Fagan is an extraordinary leader, trailblazer, and public servant. Admiral Fagan has served in the Coast Guard for nearly four decades and will be the first woman to serve as its Commandant. She is widely admired as a role model of the utmost integrity. I look forward to working with her as she leads the Coast Guard in its critical mission to protect our nation’s maritime security.”

Admiral Fagan’s professional history also includes commanding Sector New York, in addition to operational assignments including sea duty on board the USCGC Polar Star and more than 15 years as a Marine Inspector. She has also worked with both the International Maritime Organization and International Labor Organization on flag state and port state issues, including the development of the International Ship and Port Security Code (ISPS), and the Consolidated Maritime Labor Convention.

A 1985 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, Adm. Fagan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Science, as well as a Master’s Degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington, and a Master’s Degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Fagan is also the Coast Guard’s first-ever Gold Ancient Trident, as the officer with the longest service record in the Marine Safety Field.

“Now more than ever, we must have a strong tested leader as Commandant. It is clear from her record that Admiral Fagan is the right woman for the job,” said Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee. “I look forward to working with her to ensure that the men and women in the Coast Guard have the tools they need to execute their mission and support their families.”

“I thank Admiral Karl Schultz for his distinguished service to our nation and our Department as the 26thCommandant of the Coast Guard. Admiral Schultz has devoted his life to public service, and he has led the Coast Guard to new heights during his extraordinary tenure as its Commandant,” Secretary Mayorkas added.   

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