Biden to Nominate First Woman to Lead a Military Branch

Biden to Nominate First Woman to Lead a Military Branch Adm. Linda Fagan attends a disney movie premiere and smiles on the red carpet Adm. Linda Fagan (Paul Marotta/AP)

By Charlie McCarthy | Tuesday, 05 April 2022 02:12 PM

President Joe Biden planned to nominate Adm. Linda Fagan to lead the U.S. Coast Guard, a move that would make Fagan the first woman to lead a U.S. military service, USNI News reported.

A defense official initially confirmed the news to USNI News.

Fagan, currently the Coast Guard's vice commandant, has been the branch's No. 2 since June. She was the first woman in the service to be promoted to four stars.

"Adm. Fagan is a tremendous leader, trailblazer, and respected public servant who will lead the Coast Guard across its critical missions with honor," Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement, USNI News reported.

"Within the Coast Guard and across the Department of Homeland Security, Adm. Fagan is admired as a role model of the utmost integrity, and her historic nomination is sure to inspire the next generation of women who are considering careers in military service."

The secretary's statement said Fagan had served 36 years in the Coast Guard, served on seven continents, was previously commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area (June 2018 to June 2021), and is the officer with the longest service record in the marine safety field.

If confirmed, Fagan would replace Adm. Karl Schultz, who is expected to retire in May.

Senate Commerce Committee Republicans tweeted Tuesday: ".@POTUS has finally nominated an outstanding leader for @USCG. If confirmed, Linda L. Fagan (@VComdtUSCG) would be the first female Commandant of the @USCG. It is important for the Commerce Committee to proceed efficiently so the Coast Guard is not left without a leader."

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, tweeted that Fagan's nomination "will inspire generations of American women to strive to serve at the highest level in the Armed Forces."

"Admiral Fagan is not only a qualified, outstanding leader, with nearly four decades of @USCG experience, but she also is a trailblazer. Her historic nomination is a long overdue step in ensuring our armed forces' leadership look more like our nation as a whole," Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., tweeted.

Fagan previously served as the deputy director of operations for headquarters at U.S. Northern Command and led First Coast Guard District, which is based in Boston.

The Biden administration also planned nominate Vice Adm. Steven Poulin, the current commander of Coast Guard Atlantic Area, to serve as vice commandant, USNI News reported.