U.S. Senate Confirms Adm. Linda Fagan as First Female USCG Commandant

linda fagan
Adm. Linda Fagan (right) meets with Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) in April (Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith)

Published May 12, 2022 3:14 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Senate has confirmed Adm. Linda Fagan to the post of commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, making her the first woman to head a U.S. military service. (Though it is housed outside of the Department of Defense, the Coast Guard is a military service branch and a part of the U.S. armed forces.)

Fagan's nomination was approved by unanimous consent on Wednesday, putting her on course to replace outgoing commandant Adm. Karl Schultz upon his retirement. She will take up the post towards the end of May, and Vice Adm. Steven Poulin will succeed her in the role of vice commandant.

"Congratulations to Admiral Linda Fagan, who was confirmed yesterday to be the new U.S. Coast Guard Commandant and will be the first woman to serve in the role," said the American Waterways Operators in a statement. "AWO looks forward to continuing our strong partnership with the Coast Guard with ADM Fagan at the helm."

Adm. Fagan is the Coast Guard's first female four-star admiral and has held the post of vice commandant since last June. She previously served as the commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, a command covering more than 74 million square miles of ocean from the U.S. West Coast to Asia. She also served as commander, Defense Force West, providing Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense. She is the longest-serving officer with a background in the Coast Guard's marine safety community. 

"Fagan is a tremendous leader, trailblazer, and respected public servant who will lead the USCG across its critical missions with honor. Over Admiral Fagan’s 36 years in the USCG, she has served on seven continents," said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in a statement. "Within the USCG  . . . Admiral Fagan is admired as a role model of the utmost integrity."