Linda Fagan Confirmed as First Woman USCG Commandant
Adm. Linda L. Fagan has been confirmed as the 27th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, clearing way for her to be the first woman top officer in one of the military services. The Senate on Wednesday approved Fagan’s promotion, along with those of five other senior Coast Guard officers, by unanimous consent.
Nominated for the role by President Joe Biden in April, Fagan will succeed Adm. Karl Schultz as head of the Coast Guard. Schultz, who has been Coast Guard Commandant since 2018, will retire at the end of this month. A change of command ceremony is scheduled to take place on June 1.
Fagan became the first woman four-star admiral in the service when she took over as vice commandant in June 2021. 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.
She has previously served as the Commander, Pacific Area, and Commander, Coast Guard Defense Force West. Prior flag assignments include Deputy Commandant for Operations, Policy, and Capability; Commander, First Coast Guard District; and a joint assignment as Deputy Director of Operations for Headquarters, United States Northern Command.
Admiral Fagan has served on all seven continents, and her operational tours include Commander, Sector New York, more than 15 years as a Marine Inspector, and sea duty in heavy polar icebreaker USCGC Polar Star. Staff assignments include Executive Assistant to the Commandant and Vice Commandant, and Division Chief of the Foreign and Offshore Compliance Office.
Admiral Fagan has worked with both the International Maritime Organization and International Labor Organization on flag state and port state issues. This work includes the development of the International Ship and Port Security Code (ISPS), and the Consolidated Maritime Labor Convention.
Admiral Fagan holds a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science degree from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a Master of Science in Marine Affairs degree from the University of Washington, and a Master in National Resource Strategy degree from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, whose department includes the Coast Guard, in April praised Fagan as an “exceptional choice” to lead the service.
“Admiral Fagan is a tremendous leader, trailblazer and respected public servant who will lead the Coast Guard across its critical missions with honor. Over Admiral Fagan’s 36 years in the Coast Guard, she has served on seven continents, was previously Commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area, and is the officer with the longest service record in the Marine Safety Field. 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 Senate also confirmed Vice Adm. Steven D. Poulin to become a four-star admiral and succeed Fagan as vice commandant.