New Commandant Nominated

Official portrait of U.S. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Paul Zukunft. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Vice Adm. Paul Zukunft. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard Compass has just announced that,

“Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced President Obama’s intent to nominate Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, currently Pacific Area commander, to be the next commandant of the United States Coast Guard in an all hands email to DHS personnel.”

You can see the full announcement here.

Here is his official bio:

Vice Admiral Zukunft previously served as the Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship. His other Headquarters flag assignments include the Director of Response Policy and the Assistant Commandant for Capability.

In 2010, Vice Admiral Zukunft served as the Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon Spill of National Significance where he directed more than 47,000 responders, 6,500 vessels and 120 aircraft during the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Vice Admiral Zukunft was promoted to flag rank in 2006 and his previous flag assignments include Commander, Eleventh Coast Guard District and Director, Joint Interagency Task Force West.

His senior staff assignments included Chief of Operations, Coast Guard Pacific Area and Chief of Operations Oversight, Coast Guard Atlantic Area where he directly supervised all major cutter oin the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. He also served as Chief of Staff, at the Fourteenth Coast Guard Districin Honolulu.

Vice Admiral Zukunft has commanded six units and served extensively in the cutter fleet where he commanded the cutters CAPE UPRIGHT, HARRIET LANE, and RUSH.

Vice Admiral Zukunft graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1977 with a Bachelor of Scdegree in Government; from Webster University in 1988 with a Master of Arts degree in Managemand from the U.S. Naval War College in 1997 with a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. He is a graduate of the Asia Pacific Center for Strategic Studies Executive Seminar and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government National Preparedness Leadership Initiative Course.

Vice Admiral Zukunft is a native of North Branford, Connecticut. He wears the permanent Cutterman pin and is a certified NIMS ICS Type I Area Commander. His personal awards include the Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, three Legions of Merit and five Meritorious Service medals with “O” device among others.

Adm Papp Interviewed by Homeland Security Today

There is an interview with Admiral Papp in the November 2010 “Homeland Security Today” that is available on line here.

When asked about his vision for the Coast Guard, Admiral Papp laid down four principles:

  • steady the service
  • honor our profession
  • strengthen our partnerships
  • respect our shipmates

It appears his primary concern is to strengthen understanding of a common Coast Guard Culture, integrating the changes initiated by the last two Commandants, rather than making sweeping of his own. To use his analogy, to publish a watch, quarter, and station bill. As might be expected he discusses budget cuts, the BP oil spill, recapitalization, counter-terrorism and counter-drug operations, and the Arctic. He also talks about developing a career path for marine safety. Its an impressive interview.