President Bush today nominated Vice Admiral Thomas H. Collins
, 55, to be the 22nd Commandant of the United States Coast Guard
Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta
, the Coast Guard’s Service Secretary, praised the President’s nomination, saying, “Admiral Collins reflects the best leadership traits of the dedicated men and women of the United States Coast Guard. He is the right person to lead the modern Coast Guard through today’s challenges to tomorrow’s promise of a safer, more secure American coastline and maritime transportation system.
“Tom Collins brings a combination of scholarly intelligence, practical experience at sea, and Washington policy expertise to the critical job of commandant at a time when the Coast Guard is facing a host of new missions,” Secretary Mineta said. “I look forward to working with him.”
Once confirmed by the Senate, Vice Admiral Collins will relieve the current Commandant, Admiral James M. Loy, at a formal change of command ceremony in Washington, DC. The ceremony is being planned for May 30, 2002.
Admiral Loy, who has held the Commandant position since May 1998, will retire at the May ceremony after serving with the Coast Guard for forty-two years.
Vice Admiral Collins is currently serving as the Coast Guard’s Vice Commandant, the service’s second-in-command. Prior to that he served as Commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area.
Vice Admiral Collins began his Coast Guard service at sea aboard the Coast Guard Medium Endurance Cutter Vigilant. He later commanded the Patrol Boat Cape Morgan, a Coast Guard Group at Long Island Sound, NY, and the 14th Coast Guard District at Honolulu, HI. He also served in several Headquarters assignments including Deputy Chief of Staff.
Vice Admiral Collins graduated from the Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT, in 1968 and returned as a faculty member within the Humanities Department from 1972 to 1976. He earned a Master of Arts degree from Wesleyan University in 1972 and a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Haven, in 1976.