Last week, President Joe Biden nominated Admiral Linda Fagan to serve as the 27th commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, making her the first woman to lead a U.S. armed service.

Who Is Coast Guard’s Admiral Linda Fagan?

Admiral Fagan has been serving as the 32nd Vice Commandant since June 18, 2021. If confirmed by the Senate, she will succeed Admiral Karl Schultz as commandant on June 1. Admiral Fagan has selected and President Biden has nominated Vice Admiral Steven Poulin to serve as the next vice commandant if confirmed will relieve Admiral Fagan on May 24.

Admiral Fagan has served for thirty-six years. She began her career at the Coast Guard Academy. She graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science.  And since then has obtained a Masters of Science in Marine Affairs degree from the University of Washington, and a Masters in National Resource Strategy degree from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

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. Some of the highlights of her career include being the first woman commander of Sector New York. She also served more than 15 years as a Marine Inspector. This record makes her 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. Other highlights include sea duty in U.S. Coast Guard Cutter POLAR STAR and a 399ft heavy polar icebreaker.

Top Praise for Admiral Fagan

Secretary Mayorkas said this about her nomination, “President Biden has made an exceptional choice by nominating Admiral Linda L. Fagan to serve as Commandant of the United States Coast Guard. Admiral Fagan is a tremendous leader, trailblazer, and respected public servant who will lead the Coast Guard across its critical missions with honor.”  He strongly urged the Senate to swiftly confirm her nomination along with Vice Admiral Poulin.

She also received praise from Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington the chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation which is where her nomination will be considered. Cantwell said that the nomination will “inspire generations of American women to strive to serve at the highest level in the Armed Forces.” But Admiral Fagan gets high praise from both sides of the aisle.

The current U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz said, “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.”

With all the high praise from leaders and both Democrats and Republicans, it seems highly likely that Admiral Fagan, and her vice commandant will quickly be confirmed by the Senate before the impending deadline of Admiral Schultz’s retirement of May 31.


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Amanda is a military spouse and veteran who served in the Air Force for six years as a Civil Engineer including a deployment to Afghanistan. She traded in her combat boots for a diaper bag to stay home with her two boys and follow her husband’s military career. She published her first book in 2019 titled Women of the Military, sharing the stories of 28 military women. In 2019 she also launched her podcast also titled Women of the Military. In 2020, she was published as a collaborative author in Brave Women Strong Faith. And in 2021, she launched a YouTube channel to help young women answer their questions about military life, Girl’s Guide to the Military. You can learn more about Amanda at her blog Airman to Mom.