SEA-AIR-SPACE NEWS: Coast Guard Leaders Laud New Commandant’s Historic Nomination
Coast Guard photo
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Adm. Karl Schultz, current commandant of the Coast Guard, acknowledged Adm. Linda Fagan’s historic nomination to become the first woman to lead a branch of the military on April 6.
“We’re really excited for the nation and Linda is going to be awesome,” Schultz said at a breakfast for the Coast Guard at the Navy League’s annual Sea-Air-Space conference in National Harbor, Maryland. “I will sleep well at night.”
Schultz is expected to retire in May. President Joe Biden April 5 nominated Fagan to become the next commandant of the Coast Guard.
If confirmed, Adm. Linda Fagan would be the first woman to lead a branch of the military. Biden also nominated Vice Adm. Steven D. Poulin to serve as the vice commandant of the Coast Guard.
“I can vouch for the last 35-plus or minus years for both of these officers,” he said, referring to Fagan and Poulin. “They are rockstars and we are in good hands.”
Fagan has been in the Coast Guard for over 36 years, and is the officer with the longest service record in the Marine Safety Field, according to the announcement from the Department of Homeland Security. Fagan has served as vice commandant since June 2021, and was the first woman to become a four-star admiral in the Coast Guard. She has served on all seven continents.
“Within the Coast Guard and across the Department of Homeland Security, Admiral Fagan is admired as a role model of the utmost integrity, and her historic nomination is sure to inspire the next generation of women who are considering careers in military service,” the announcement said.
At the Coast Guard breakfast, Capt. Laura Collins touched on how the Coast Guard is making cutters more accessible for mix-gender crews. Women who get more opportunities to serve are more likely to stay in the Coast Guard, Collins said in reference to a study.
“By giving women this opportunity to serve at sea, in these new cutters and the mix gendered crewing we’re ensuring retention for the diversity of our workforce,” Collins said.
Similarly, Fagan has also acknowledged the need for diversity in the Coast Guard, and policies to recruit women and retain involvement.
“I look at some of the policy changes that are helping us retain women, the focus on diversity and inclusion so that we better represent the public that we serve,” Fagan said in a CBS interview in August 2021. “We’ve made a lot of progress in the junior ranks, we need to keep making progress.”
Topics: Maritime Security