Chuck Hill's CG Blog

Chuck Hill's CG Blog

Admiral Linda L. Fagan Nominated to be First Woman to Serve as Commandant of the Coast Guard; Vice Adm. Steven D. Poulin as Vice Commandant

Admiral Linda L. Fagan

Below is a news release reporting the nominations for Commandant and Vice Commandant. Below that I have reproduced their official biographies. You may note their career paths. They are respectively a marine inspector and a lawyer. I am a bit surprised neither is either a cutterman or an aviator. I was impressed with Admiral Fagan’s innovative pairing of buoy tender and fast response cutter to do long range law enforcement in the Western Pacific. Both served as 1st District Commander. Both served in Joint Commands, Adm Fagan as Deputy Director of Operations for Northern Command, and VAdm. Poulin as Southern Command’s Director of Operations

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard Headquarter

MULTIMEDIA RELEASE: Admiral Linda L. Fagan Nominated to be First Woman to Serve as
Commandant of the Coast Guard

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden nominated Adm. Linda L. Fagan to serve as the 27th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. Upon confirmation, Adm. Fagan will be the first woman to serve as Commandant of the Coast Guard.

Adm. Fagan currently serves as the 32nd Vice Commandant, having assumed the duties on June 18, 2021. The Vice Commandant is the Vice Service Chief and Chief Operating Officer, responsible for executing the Commandant’s Strategic Intent, managing internal organizational governance, and serving as the Component Acquisition Executive.

Previously, Adm. Fagan served as Commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area overseeing operations from the Rocky Mountains to the waters off the East Coast of Africa. The Pacific Area Commander concurrently serves as Commander, Defense Force West providing Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders. Adm. Fagan is the Coast Guard’s first-ever Gold Ancient Trident, as the officer with the longest service record in the Marine Safety field.

Pending confirmation, Adm. Fagan is expected to relieve the current Commandant of the Coast Guard, Adm. Karl L. Schultz, during a change of command ceremony planned for June 1, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Adm. Schultz will retire following the change of command this summer.

“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,” said Adm. Schultz.

Adm. Fagan has selected and the president has nominated Vice Adm. Steven D. Poulin as the Coast Guard’s 33rd Vice Commandant. Vice Adm. Poulin currently serves as the Commander of the Coast Guard Atlantic Area and is responsible for all Coast Guard Missions from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf. The Atlantic Area Commander concurrently serves as Commander, Coast Guard Defense Force East providing Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders.

Pending confirmation, Vice Adm. Poulin is expected to relieve Adm. Fagan as Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard during a change of watch ceremony planned for May 24, 2022 in Washington, D.C.


Admiral Linda L. Fagan, Vice Commandant

She reports to Coast Guard Headquarters from a tour 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, from the snows of Ross Island, Antarctica to the heart of Africa, from Tokyo to Geneva, and in many ports along the way. Operational tours include Commander, Sector New York, more than 15 years as a Marine Inspector, and sea duty in USCGC POLAR STAR, a 399ft heavy polar icebreaker.  Staff assignments include Executive Assistant to the Commandant and Vice Commandant, and Division Chief of the Foreign and Offshore Compliance Office.

Possessing extensive interagency as well as intergovernmental experience, 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. She has earned numerous personal and team awards during her 36 years of Coast Guard service.  Admiral Fagan is the longest serving active duty Marine Safety Officer, which has earned her the distinction of being the Coast Guard’s first-ever Gold Ancient Trident.


Vice Admiral Steven D. Poulin, Atlantic Area Commander

Vice Admiral Poulin assumed the duties as the Atlantic Area Commander in June 2020. He serves as the operational commander for all Coast Guard missions from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf, spanning across five Coast Guard Districts and 40 states. In addition to his duties at Atlantic Area, he serves as Commander, Coast Guard Defense Force East, which provides Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders. He also has been appointed as Director, Department of Homeland Security Joint Task Force – East, responsible for achieving the objectives of the DHS Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Plan, along with, coordination and synchronization of cross-component operations and investigations in the joint operating area.

Vice Admiral Poulin previously served as U.S. Southern Command’s Director of Operations, directing U.S. military operations across the Caribbean Basin plus Central and South America. Previously, he was Commander of the First Coast Guard District where he directed all Coast Guard missions across eight states in the Northeast, including over 2,000 miles of coastline from the U.S. – Canadian border to northern New Jersey and 1,300nm offshore.

Vice Admiral Poulin’s other flag assignments include the Judge Advocate General and Chief Counsel of the Coast Guard, where he was responsible for the delivery of all legal services in support of the Coast Guard’s missions, its units and its people. From June 2012 to April 2014, Vice Admiral Poulin served as the Director of Governmental and Public Affairs, where he was responsible for external engagement with Congress, the media and other intergovernmental entities.

From October 2010 to June 2012, Vice Admiral Poulin served as the Chief, Office of Maritime and International Law. From April 2009 to July 2010, he was the Commander of Coast Guard Sector Mobile, where he directed Coast Guard operations in Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle. He further served as the Incident Commander for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response operations in that same geographic area from April to October 2010. His previous operational tours include Deputy Commander, Coast Guard Sector Mobile; Deputy Commander, Coast Guard Group Galveston, TX; and Law Enforcement Officer and Assistant Operations Officer at Coast Guard Group Mobile, AL. He was assigned as a Deck Watch Officer on USCG DAUNTLESS (WMEC-624) from 1984 to 1985. Vice Admiral Poulin was also a Special Advisor for Border and Transportation Security in the Office of Vice President Cheney from 2005 to 2007. From 2003 to 2004, he was the Coast Guard’s liaison to the State Department’s Office of Ocean Affairs, where he served on U.S. delegations to myriad committees of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). He was the Legal Counsel for the Coast Guard’s Port Security Director from 2002-2003, where he helped negotiate, draft, and implement new port and maritime security requirements. From 1999-2001, he served as the Legislative Counsel in the Coast Guard’s Office of Congressional Affairs. He also served on the U.S. delegation to the Legal Committee of the IMO, from 1994-1996. From 1992-1994, he was assigned to the Coast Guard’s General Law Division.

He graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Management. He was awarded his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law in 1992. Other degrees include: Master of Law (Environmental Law), with highest honors, from the George Washington University Law School in 2002; Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in 2005; and Master of Public Administration from the University of South Alabama in 1989. His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards), Legion of Merit (five awards), Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Coast Guard Commendation Medal (three awards), and Coast Guard Achievement Medal.

8 thoughts on “Admiral Linda L. Fagan Nominated to be First Woman to Serve as Commandant of the Coast Guard; Vice Adm. Steven D. Poulin as Vice Commandant

  1. Interesting – sent a text to a friend that is ex CG and her reaction was “Wow”

    I hope it works well – but the lack of time in the trenches concerns me – when I started in private industry there was no one lower than me and I worked up the ladder – I always felt one of my strengths was having done the dirty jobs at the bottom – even when I was the boss of large work groups (up to 125 people) I would still trade places and run the equipment at the cannery/factory floor level – gave me an understanding what the average production worker faced for hours at a time

    It is one thing to read about a mission and quite another to be out on the water in the case of thee Coast Guard – tired – cold – maybe having been beat up by bad weather for hours – or days if on an offshore vessel –

    I wish them the best of luck in their new jobs – the Coast Guard faces some major challenges in the next several years and needs great leadership

  2. Poulin is a major reason I got out. New Group Galveston XO, refused to approve an achievement medal that was passing his desk as our unit (electronic shop) was transitioning away from Gru control to ESD New Orleans because ‘he can’t verify it’ because the last XO left it as he transferred. At the time my rate (TC, formerly RM) was backlogged because of automation and every point counted – so not getting those medal points meant I lost out on a very tight cut for TC1. At that point I had just over 8 years in, but knew that was it for me. Didn’t go reserve because there were no slots in the electronic shop, only in the Group radio room and I refused to work for that guy at all.

  3. Pingback: Congress Unimpressed At Slow-Moving Nomination Of Coast Guard’s New Boss – Innovatio Media

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