List of United States Coast Guard vice admirals

Summary

This is a complete list of United States Coast Guard vice admirals. The grade of vice admiral (or three-star admiral) is the second-highest in the Coast Guard, ranking above rear admiral (two-star admiral) and below admiral (four-star admiral).

Flag of a Coast Guard
vice admiral

The grade of vice admiral was first granted to the commandant of the Coast Guard during World War II. From 1942 to 1972, the Coast Guard had at most one vice admiral, either the commandant or the assistant commandant. Additional vice admirals were appointed in 1972 to command operating forces in the Atlantic and Pacific, and by 2021 the Coast Guard had four vice admirals on active duty. More than a dozen rear admirals received tombstone promotions to vice admiral when they retired, for either completing 40 years of service or being specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat before the end of World War II. Tombstone promotions for years of service ended on November 1, 1949, and for combat citations on November 1, 1959.

Of the 77 vice admirals who were appointed to that rank while on active duty, 65 were commissioned via the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) or its predecessor, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service School of Instruction (USRCSSI); 1 via the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA); and 11 via officer candidate school (OCS).

List of vice admiralsEdit

The following list of vice admirals is indexed by the numerical order in which each officer was appointed to that rank. Each entry lists the officer's name, date of rank,[1] number of years on active duty as vice admiral (Yrs),[2] active-duty positions held while serving as vice admiral,[3] year commissioned and source of commission,[4] and number of years in commission when promoted to vice admiral (YC),[5] and other biographical notes.[6]

# Name Photo Date of rank [1] Position [3] Yrs [2] Commission [4] YC [5] Notes [6]
1 Russell R. Waesche   10 Mar 1942   3   1906 (USRCSSI)[7] 36   (1886–1946) Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 4 Apr 1945–1 Jan 1946.
2 Merlin O'Neill   1 Jan 1950   4   1921 (USCGA) 29   (1898–1981) Retired as admiral, 1 Jan 1954.
3 Alfred C. Richmond   1 Jun 1954   6   1924 (USCGA) 30   (1902–1984) Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 1 Jun 1960–1 Jun 1962.
4 James A. Hirshfield   1 Jun 1960   2   1924 (USCGA) 36   (1902–1993)
5 Edwin J. Roland   12 Feb 1962   0   1929 (USCGA) 33   (1905–1985) Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 1 Jun 1962–1 Jun 1966.
6 Donald M. Morrison   3 Jul 1962   2   1931 (USCGA) 31   (1906–1989)
7 William D. Shields   8 Jul 1964   2   1931 (USCGA) 33   (1907–1989)
8 Paul E. Trimble   17 Jul 1966   4   1936 (USCGA) 30   (1913–2004)
9 Thomas R. Sargent III   1 Jul 1970   4   1938 (USCGA) 32   (1914–2010)
10 Mark A. Whalen   14 Oct 1972   2   1937 (USCGA) 35   (1919–2002)
11 Benjamin F. Engel   14 Oct 1972   2   1938 (USCGA) 34   (1914–1983)
12 Ellis L. Perry   1 Jul 1974   4   1941 (USCGA) 33   (1919–2002)
13 William F. Rea III   1 Jul 1974   4   1941 (USCGA) 33   (1918–2004)
14 Joseph J. McClelland   1 Jul 1974   2   1940 (USCGA) 34   (1916–1981)
15 Austin C. Wagner   30 Jun 1976   2   1941 (USCGA) 35   (1919–2004)
16 Robert H. Scarborough Jr.   1 Jul 1978   4   1944 (USMMA) 34   (1923–2020)
17 Robert I. Price   1 Jul 1978   3   1945 (USCGA) 33   (1921–2019)
18 James S. Gracey   1 Jul 1978   4   1949 (USCGA) 29   (1927–2020) Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 28 May 1982 – 30 May 1986.
19 James P. Stewart   17 Jun 1981   1   1946 (USCGA) 35   (1924–2019)
20 Wayne E. Caldwell   21 May 1982   2   1948 (USCGA) 34   (1923–2009)
21 Benedict L. Stabile   22 May 1982   4   1950 (USCGA) 32   (1927–2014)
22 Charles E. Larkin   28 Jun 1982   2   1949 (USCGA) 33   (1927–       )
23 Paul A. Yost Jr.   1 Jul 1984   2   1951 (USCGA) 33   (1929–       ) Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 30 May 1986 – 31 May 1990.
24 John D. Costello   31 Jul 1984   4   1952 (USCGA) 32   (1930–2014)
25 James C. Irwin   16 May 1986   5   1953 (USCGA) 33   (1929–2018)
26 Donald C. Thompson   27 May 1986   2   1952 (USCGA) 34   (1930–       )
27 Clyde T. Lusk Jr.   Jun 1988   2   1954 (USCGA) 34   (1932–2014)
28 Clyde E. Robbins   Jun 1988   5   1954 (USCGA) 34   (1929–       )
29 Howard B. Thorsen   31 Mar 1989   2   1955 (USCGA) 34   (1933–       )
30 Martin H. Daniell Jr.   May 1990   4   1957 (OCS) 35   (1935–       )
31 A. Bruce Beran   30 Jun 1990   2   1957 (USCGA) 33   (1935–       )
32 Paul A. Welling   28 Jun 1991   3   1959 (USCGA) 32   (1938–       )
33 Robert T. Nelson   Jun 1992   2   1958 (USCGA) 34   (1936–       )
34 Robert E. Kramek   Jul 1992   2   1961 (USCGA) 31   (1939–2016) Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 1 Jun 1994–30 May 1998.
35 Arthur D. Henn   Jun 1994   2   1962 (USCGA) 32   (1940–2001)
36 James M. Loy   23 Jun 1994   4   1964 (USCGA) 30   (1942–       ) Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 30 May 1998 – 30 May 2002. Administrator, Transportation Security Administration, 2002–2003; U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, 2003–2005.
37 Kent H. Williams   Jun 1994   3   1965 (USCGA) 31   (1943–       )
38 Richard D. Herr   1 Jul 1994   4   1964 (USCGA) 30   (1941–       )
39 Roger T. Rufe Jr.   1996   3   1965 (USCGA) 31   (1943–       )
40 James C. Card   May 1997   3   1964 (USCGA) 33   (1942–       )
41 Timothy W. Josiah   May 1998   4   1969 (USCGA) 29   (c. 1947–       )
42 Thomas H. Collins   1998   4   1968 (USCGA) 30   (1946–       ) Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 30 May 2002 – 25 May 2006.
43 John E. Shkor   3 Sep 1999   2   1966 (USCGA) 33   (1944–       )
44 Ernest R. Riutta   24 May 2000   2   1968 (USCGA) 32   (c. 1946–       )
45 Thad W. Allen   Aug 2001   5   1971 (USCGA) 30   (1949–       ) Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 25 May 2006 – 25 May 2010.
46 James D. Hull   14 May 2002   2   1969 (USCGA) 33   (c. 1947–       )
47 Thomas J. Barrett   30 May 2002   2   1969 (OCS) 33   (1947–       ) Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, 2006–2007; U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation, 2007–2009.
48 Terry M. Cross   Jul 2002   4   1970 (USCGA) 32   (1947–       )
49 Harvey E. Johnson Jr.   Jun 2004   2   1975 (USCGA) 29   (c. 1953–       ) Deputy Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2006–2009.
50 Vivien S. Crea   16 Jul 2004   5   1973 (OCS) 31   (1952–       )
51 Robert J. Papp Jr.   Apr 2006   4   1975 (USCGA) 31   (1953–       ) Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 25 May 2010 – 30 May 2014.
52 D. Brian Peterman   9 May 2006   2   1972 (OCS) 34   (c. 1950–       )
53 Charles D. Wurster   May 2006   2   1971 (USCGA) 35   (c. 1949–       ) Brother of Air Force lieutenant general Donald C. Wurster.
54 David P. Pekoske   29 May 2008   2   1977 (USCGA) 31   (1955–       ) Administrator, Transportation Security Administration, 2017–present.
55 Clifford I. Pearson   Jun 2008   1   1973 (OCS) 35   (c. 1951–       )
56 Jody A. Breckenridge   Jul 2009   1   1976 (OCS) 33   (c. 1954–       )
57 John P. Currier   6 Aug 2009   5   1976 (OCS) 33   (1951–2020)
58 Robert C. Parker   30 Apr 2010   4   1979 (USCGA) 33   (1957–       )
59 Manson K. Brown   17 May 2010   4   1978 (USCGA) 32   (1956–       ) U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction, 2015–2017.
60 Sally Brice-O'Hara   24 May 2010   2   1975 (OCS) 35   (c. 1953–       )
61 Brian M. Salerno   28 Mar 2011   1   1976 (OCS) 35   (c. 1954–       ) Director, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, 2013–2017.
62 Paul F. Zukunft   27 Apr 2012   2   1977 (USCGA) 35   (1955–       ) Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 30 May 2014–1 Jun 2018.
63 Peter V. Neffenger   3 May 2012   3   1982 (OCS) 30   (1955–       ) Administrator, Transportation Security Administration, 2015–2017.
64 Charles W. Ray   22 Apr 2014   4   1981 (USCGA) 33   (1959–       ) Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 24 May 2018–18 Jun 2021.
65 Charles D. Michel   2 May 2014   2   1985 (USCGA) 29   (1963–       ) Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 24 May 2016 – 24 May 2018.
66 William D. Lee   16 May 2014   2   1981 (OCS) 33   (c. 1959–       )
67 Sandra L. Stosz   3 Jun 2015   3   1982 (USCGA) 33   (1960–       ) First woman to lead a U.S. service academy.
68 Fred M. Midgette   11 Mar 2016   3   1982 (USCGA) 33   (c. 1960–       )
69 Marshall B. Lytle III   13 Jul 2016  
  • Director, Command, Control, Communications and Computers/Cyber, J-6, Joint Staff, 2016–2018.
2   1981 (USCGA) 35   (1959–       )
70 Karl L. Schultz   4 Aug 2016   2   1983 (USCGA) 33   (1961–       ) Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 1 Jun 2018–1 Jun 2022.
71 Scott A. Buschman   24 May 2018   4   1984 (USCGA) 34   (1962–       )
72 Michael F. McAllister   25 May 2018   4   1986 (USCGA) 32   (1964–       )
73 Linda L. Fagan   8 Jun 2018   3   1985 (USCGA) 33   (1963–       ) Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 18 Jun 2021–1 Jun 2022; Commandant of the Coast Guard, 1 Jun 2022–present.
74 Daniel B. Abel   18 Jun 2018   2   1983 (USCGA) 35   (1961–       )
75 Steven D. Poulin   1 Jul 2020   2   1984 (USCGA) 36   (1962–       ) Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, with rank of admiral, 24 May 2022–present.
76 Paul F. Thomas   22 Jun 2021   1   1985 (USCGA) 36   (1963–       )
77 Kevin E. Lunday   24 May 2022   0   1987 (USCGA) 35   (1965–       )

TimelineEdit

United States Coast Guard order of battleUnited States Coast Guard order of battleUnited States Department of TransportationUnited States Department of Defense
Kevin E. LundayPaul F. ThomasSteven D. PoulinDaniel AbelLinda L. FaganMichael F. McAllisterScott BuschmanKarl L. SchultzMarshall B. Lytle IIIFred M. MidgetteSandra L. StoszWilliam D. LeeCharles D. MichelCharles Ray (admiral)Peter V. NeffengerPaul K. ZukunftBrian M. SalernoSally Brice-O'HaraManson K. BrownRobert C. ParkerJohn CurrierJody A. BreckenridgeClifford I. PearsonDavid P. PekoskeCharles D. WursterD. Brian PetermanRobert J. Papp Jr.Vivien S. CreaHarvey E. Johnson Jr.Terry M. CrossThomas J. BarrettJames D. HullThad W. AllenErnest R. RiuttaJohn E. ShkorThomas H. CollinsTimothy W. JosiahJames C. CardRoger T. Rufe Jr.Richard D. HerrKent H. WilliamsJames M. LoyArthur D. HennRobert E. KramekRobert T. NelsonPaul A. WellingBruce BeranMartin H. DaniellHoward ThorsenClyde E. RobbinsClyde T. LuskDonald C. Thompson (admiral)James C. IrwinJohn D. CostelloPaul A. Yost Jr.Charles E. LarkinBenedict L. StabileWayne E. CaldwellJames P. StewartJames S. GraceyRobert I. PriceRobert H. ScarboroughAustin C. WagnerJoseph J. McClellandWilliam F. Rea IIIEllis L. PerryBenjamin F. EngelMark A. WhalenThomas R. Sargent IIIPaul E. TrimbleWilliam D. ShieldsDonald M. MorrisonEdwin J. RolandJames HirshfieldAlfred C. RichmondMerlin O'NeillRussell R. Waesche

HistoryEdit

World War IIEdit

The first vice admiral in the Coast Guard was appointed in March 1942, following the United States entry into World War II, when Coast Guard commandant Russell R. Waesche and two Navy officers were nominated to be temporary vice admirals under a 1941 statute that authorized an unlimited number of appointments in all grades for temporary service during a national emergency.[8][9][10] The statute technically created temporary grades only up to rear admiral, but the Senate confirmed all three officers as vice admirals anyway.[11] Three years later, Waesche became the first four-star officer in the Coast Guard when the commandants of the Coast Guard and Marine Corps were both authorized that rank until six months after the end of the war.[12]

PostwarEdit

After World War II, Congress consolidated all of the various statutes governing the Coast Guard into a single positive law, Title 14 of the United States Code, which lowered the rank of future commandants to vice admiral. In 1960, Congress restored the commandant's rank to admiral and raised the assistant commandant to vice admiral. Congress gave three-star rank to the commanders of Coast Guard Atlantic Area and Coast Guard Pacific Area in 1972.[13]

Initially most vice admirals retired after their first three-star assignment. Only three of the eight commandants appointed after 1960 ever served as vice admirals, the other five being promoted directly from rear admiral. As late as 1990, rear admiral J. William Kime was selected for commandant over all three vice admirals. Follow-on assignments were rare until 1988, when vice commandant James C. Irwin was transferred to command the Coast Guard Atlantic Area, breaking the tradition that vice commandants retired with their commandants.[14] Irwin retired in 1989 and was recalled to active duty to serve as the three-star commander of Joint Task Force Four, the predecessor of Joint Interagency Task Force South.[15] Reappointments as vice admiral became more common after a fourth three-star position was created for the chief of staff of the Coast Guard in 1993.[16]

21st centuryEdit

In 2010, to support the Coast Guard's modernization plan, Congress removed the requirement that vice admirals be assigned as area commanders or chief of staff of the Coast Guard, and simply authorized the President to designate four positions to carry three-star rank in addition to the vice commandant. The chief of staff of the Coast Guard became the deputy commandant for mission support, and the deputy commandant for operations received a third star.[17]

The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 elevated the vice commandant to admiral and authorized Coast Guard officers to serve as additional vice admirals in positions outside the Coast Guard without having to retire and be recalled to active duty in that rank like Irwin and Clyde E. Robbins, the first director of intelligence and security for the Department of Transportation.[18] In 2016, Marshall B. Lytle III became the director of command, control, communications and computers (C4) and cyber and chief information officer on the Joint Staff, the first Coast Guard officer to compete successfully for a joint three-star position that traditionally rotated between the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

Tombstone vice admiralsEdit

From 1923 to 1959, Coast Guard officers could retire with a tombstone promotion to the rank and sometimes the pay of the next higher grade, if they had 40 years of service or had been specially commended for the performance of duty in actual combat before the end of World War II. More than a dozen rear admirals received tombstone promotions to vice admiral, and one vice admiral, Merlin O'Neill, received a tombstone promotion to admiral. Tombstone promotions for years of service ended on November 1, 1949, and for combat citations on November 1, 1959.[19][20]

Legislative historyEdit

The following list of Congressional legislation includes all acts of Congress pertaining to appointments to the grade of vice admiral in the United States Coast Guard.

Each entry lists an act of Congress, its citation in the United States Statutes at Large, and a summary of the act's relevance.

Legislation Citation Summary
Act of January 12, 1923  42 Stat. 1131
  • Authorized officers with 40 years of service to retire with the rank and retired pay of the next higher grade.
Act of July 24, 1941  55 Stat. 604
  • Authorized temporary appointments to higher ranks or grades during a national emergency.
Act of June 6, 1942  56 Stat. 328
  • Authorized officers who were specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat, to be placed on the retired list with the rank of the next higher grade and three-fourths of the active-duty pay of the grade in which serving at the time of retirement.
Act of March 21, 1945  59 Stat. 37
  • Authorized one admiral, to be selected from officers serving now or hereafter as Commandant, until six months after the end of World War II.
Act of August 4, 1949  63 Stat. 498
 63 Stat. 516
 63 Stat. 558
 63 Stat. 561
  • Reduced rank of Commandant to vice admiral.
  • Reauthorized officers who were specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat, to be placed on the retired list with the rank of the next higher grade and three-fourths of the active-duty pay of the grade in which serving at the time of retirement, unless the duty was performed after December 31, 1946.
  • Specified no reduction or abolition of the grade any person held on the effective date of this Act.
  • Repealed authorization for officers with 40 years of service to retire with the rank and retired pay of the next higher grade, effective November 1, 1949.
Act of October 12, 1949

[Career Compensation Act of 1949]

 63 Stat. 807
  • Established pay grade O-8 for admiral, vice admiral, and rear admiral.
Act of August 3, 1950  64 Stat. 406
  • Repealed authorization for officers who were specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat, to retire with three-fourths of the active-duty pay of the grade in which serving at the time of retirement.
Act of May 20, 1958  72 Stat. 124
  • Established pay grade O-9 for vice admiral.
Act of August 11, 1959  73 Stat. 338
  • Repealed authorization for officers who were specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat, to retire with the rank of the next higher grade, effective November 1, 1959.
Act of May 14, 1960  74 Stat. 144
  • Increased rank of Commandant to admiral, and of Assistant Commandant to vice admiral, effective June 1, 1960.
Act of October 2, 1972  86 Stat. 755
  • Retitled Assistant Commandant as Vice Commandant.
  • Authorized grade of vice admiral for Commander, Atlantic Area, and Commander, Pacific Area.
Act of December 20, 1993
[Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1993]
 107 Stat. 2422
  • Authorized grade of vice admiral for Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard, to rank after the Area Commanders.
Act of October 15, 2010
[Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010]
 124 Stat. 2951
  • Authorized up to four vice admirals in addition to the Vice Commandant, who need not be assigned as Area Commanders or Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard.
Act of February 8, 2016
[Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015]
 130 Stat. 33
  • Increased rank of Vice Commandant to admiral.
  • Authorized up to five vice admirals to serve in positions inside the Coast Guard, the fifth of which, if appointed, to be the Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard.
  • Authorized additional vice admirals to serve in positions outside the Coast Guard or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b Dates of rank are taken from the Coast Guard Register of Officers or from the officer's official biography.
  2. ^ a b The number of years on active duty as vice admiral is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Date of rank" column from the last year in the "Position" column, or from the date promoted to admiral in the "Notes" column.
  3. ^ a b Positions listed are those held by the officer when promoted to vice admiral. Dates listed are for the officer's full tenure, which may predate promotion to vice admiral or postdate retirement from active duty.
  4. ^ a b Sources of commission are listed in parentheses after the year of commission, and include the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), United States Revenue Cutter Service School of Instruction (USRCSSI), and officer candidate school (OCS).
  5. ^ a b The number of years in commission before being promoted to vice admiral is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Commission" column from the year in the "Date of rank" column.
  6. ^ a b Notes include years of birth and death; awards of the Medal of Honor, Congressional Gold Medal, Presidential Medal of Freedom, or honors of similar significance; major government appointments; university presidencies or equivalents; familial relationships with other three-star officers or significant government officials such as U.S. Presidents, cabinet secretaries, U.S. Senators, or state governors; and unusual career events such as premature relief or death in office.
  7. ^ Graduated from the Revenue Cutter Service School of Instruction, which became the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1915.
  8. ^ Act of July 24, 1941 (55 Stat. 604).
  9. ^ "U.S. Coast Guard". Army and Navy Journal. March 14, 1942. p. 767.
  10. ^ "Admiral King Named To Head Operations; Two Are Promoted". The Cincinnati Enquirer. March 14, 1942. p. 7.
  11. ^ Hearings Before the Committee on Naval Affairs of the House of Representatives on Sundry Legislation Affecting the Naval Establishment, 1943–[1944]: Seventy-Sixth Congress, First–[Second] Session, Volume 1. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. 1944. p. 3202.
  12. ^ Acts of March 21, 1945 (57 Stat. 36) and March 21, 1945 (57 Stat. 37).
  13. ^ Acts of August 4, 1949 (63 Stat. 498); May 14, 1960 (74 Stat. 144); and October 2, 1972 (86 Stat. 755).
  14. ^ Coast Guard Transfers, Promotes Flag Officers, U.S. Department of Transportation press release, February 19, 1988.
  15. ^ ALCOAST 107/18 - Mar 2018: Death of Retired Flag Officer, U.S. Coast Guard bulletin, March 27, 2018.
  16. ^ Act of December 20, 1993 (107 Stat. 2422).
  17. ^ Act of October 15, 2010 [Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010] (124 Stat. 2951).
  18. ^ Act of February 8, 2016 [Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015] (130 Stat. 33). Gellene, Denise (December 23, 1990). "Long After Lockerbie, Air Safety Still a Worry". The Los Angeles Times.
  19. ^ Acts of August 4, 1949 (63 Stat. 561) and August 11, 1959 (73 Stat. 338).
  20. ^ Hearings Before the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, Eighty-Fourth Congress, Second Session: Sundry Legislation. Vol. 4. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1956. pp. 6966–1973.