US Coast Guard gets first female four-star admiral 

US Coast Guard gets first female four-star admiral 
Admiral Linda L. Fagan


The U.S. Coast Guard has welcomed Admiral Linda L. Fagan as its new Vice Commandant and first female four-star admiral in Coast Guard history.

Adm. Fagan was nominated to the position by President Biden in April. She previously served as the commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area, a role she has held since June 2018, responsible for overseeing all Coast Guard operations in the Pacific, covering more than 74 million square miles of ocean from the U.S. Western States to Asia and from the Arctic to Antarctica.

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

A change-of-watch ceremony was held Friday at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, during which Adm. Fagan relieved Adm. Charles W. Ray, who has served as the Coast Guard’s vice commandant since May of 2018. Ray retired from the Coast Guard after 40 years of service and received the Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal from the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas.

“I am extremely proud of the dedication and resiliency I have seen throughout our service and throughout my career,” said Ray. “It has been an honor to serve with the men and women of the Coast Guard and it is my privilege to pass the reigns of vice commandant to Adm. Fagan, a true trailblazer and inspiration to so many.”

Adm. Fagan’s professional history 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.

“Thank you Adm. Ray for your service and your extraordinary leadership. You have made a tremendous, and long-lasting impact on our great service and we will strive to build upon your extraordinary work,” said Adm. Karl L. Schultz, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard. “Adm. Fagan, it is an honor to welcome you as the first woman to serve as a four-star admiral in the U.S. Coast Guard, and I congratulate you as you assume the duties as our 32nd Vice Commandant. I am proud to be part of this historic moment and look forward to leading the Coast Guard alongside of you.”