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

President Biden Nominates Admiral Linda Fagan to Lead Coast Guard

Mike Schuler
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April 5, 2022

With confirmation, Admiral Fagan will become the first woman to lead a branch of the U.S. Armed Services.

President Joe Biden has nominated Admiral Linda Fagan, the current Coast Guard Vice Commandant, to become the 27th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Adm. Fagan became the first female four-star Admiral in Coast Guard history when she was sworn in as Vice Commandant in July 2021 following her nomination by President Biden a few months prior.

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

Adm. 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.

“From her career beginnings as a deck watch officer on the Seattle-based icebreaker Polar Star, Admiral Fagan has shown strong leadership and a commitment to service that make her an outstanding choice as the Caost Guard’s 27th Commandant,” said Senator Maria Cantwell, Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee. “Upon confirmation, she will become the first woman and mother to lead any branch of the Armed Forces. This nominations proves the value of enacting laws that provide family leave, childcare, and health care access to support talented women in the Coast Guard who have dual roles as service members and parents. Admiral Fagan’s nomination will inspire generations of American women to strive to serve at the highest levels in the Armed Forces.”

Once confirmed, Adm. Fagan will replace current Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl L. Schultz.

Admiral Schultz applauded the nomination in a series of tweets.

“Admiral Fagan is an exceptional senior Coast Guard officer and nominee, possessing the keen intellect, the depth of operational experience, and the well-honed leadership and managerial acumen to serve with distinction as our Service’s 27th Commandant,” the Adm. Schultz said.

Adm. Steven Poulin, current Atlantic Area Commander, has also been nominated as the Coast Guard’s 33rd Vice Commandant.

“Upon confirmation, Admirals Fagan and Poulin will lead our incredible Coast Guard Team into the future, protecting our Homeland and advancing our prosperity and National Security interests,” Adm. Schultz said.

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