President Joe Biden Nominates U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Linda Fagan to Be First Woman in Command of Military Branch

by Suzanne Halliburton

President Joe Biden nominated the first woman to command a military branch. And Admiral Linda Fagan enjoys bipartisan support as the next leader of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Biden announced his choice to replace retiring Admiral Karl Schultz, who has served as the Coast Guard leader since 2018.

Joe Biden Nominates First Woman to Lead Military Branch

  • Linda Fagan, 58, currently is vice commander of the Coast Guard
  • Fagan was first woman in Coast Guard to earn rank of four-star admiral
  • She enjoys bi-partisan support

Biden announced his nomination of Fagan via social media. He wrote:

“I’m honored to nominate Admiral Linda Fagan as Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. Her leadership and integrity are second to none. If confirmed, Adm. Fagan will be the first woman in history to serve as Commandant and the first female service chief.

“My Administration is committed to seeing more qualified women at the highest levels of command and making sure women can succeed and thrive throughout their military careers.”

Republicans Already Endorsed Fagan’s Nomination

Fagan, 58, also is a wife and mother to two children. She’s been second in command of the Coast Guard since last summer. And she already was the first female four-star admiral in Coast Guard history. She sports another unique detail on her military resume. She’s served on all seven continents. She served aboard the USCGC Polar Star and was the deputy director of operations at US Northern Command. 

The Senate Commerce committee must approve Biden’s choice. But it doesn’t appear Republicans have objections to her nomination. The Republicans on the committee tweeted:

“The President has finally nominated an outstanding leader for the U.S. Coast Guard. If confirmed, Linda L. Fagan would be the first female Commandant of the Coast Guard. It is important for the Commerce Committee to proceed efficiently so the Coast Guard is not left without a leader.

Schulz also endorsed Fagan to serve as his replacement.

In a statement to the media, Schulz wrote: “Admiral Fagan is an exceptional senior Coast Guard officer and nominee. (She possesses) the keen intellect, the depth of operational experience and the well-honed leadership and managerial acumen to serve with distinction.”

And there were more endorsements to back up Joe Biden and the first woman leader of a military branch.

The Department of Homeland Security also offered praise.

“Adm. Fagan is a tremendous leader, trailblazer, and respected public servant who will lead the Coast Guard across its critical missions with honor,” a DHS statement said. “Over Adm. Fagan’s 36 years in the Coast Guard, she has served on seven continents, was previously commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area, and is the officer with the longest service record in the marine safety field.”

The Democrats control the Senate Commerce Committee. Chairman Maria Cantwell (Washington) also has endorsed Fagan.