Trump names nominee for Coast Guard commandant

Vice Adm. Karl L. Schultz, speaks at the Coast Guard Cutter Benjamin Dailey commissioning ceremony in Pascagoula, Mississippi, July 4, 2017.



Vice Adm. Karl L. Schultz has been nominated by President Donald Trump to be the 26th commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.

“Vice Adm. Schultz has over 35 years of Coast Guard leadership experience, and I have complete confidence in his ability to lead the men and women of the Coast Guard with honor and integrity,” Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said Thursday. “Vice Adm. Schultz has exemplified the selfless service that defines the U.S. Coast Guard throughout his remarkable career, and I look forward to working closely with him in this new role.”

Pending confirmation, Schultz is expected to relieve Adm. Paul Zukunft in a change-of-command ceremony scheduled for June 1 in Washington, D.C. Zukunft will retire following the ceremony.

"Vice Adm. Schultz will provide the sound leadership and steady hand needed to guide our global military service further into this dynamic and extraordinary era of our Nation," Zukunft said.

In his current role as commander of the Atlantic Area, Schultz serves as the operational commander for all Coast Guard missions from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf, spanning across five Coast Guard districts and 40 states. He also serves as commander of Defense Force East, provides Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders, and serves as director of the DHS Joint Task Force East.

Schultz has selected and the president has nominated Vice Adm. Charles Ray to serve as vice commandant. Ray currently serves as the deputy commandant for operations, where he is responsible for the development of operational strategy, policy, guidance and resources that address national priorities. He previously served as the Pacific Area commander.

Pending confirmation, Ray will relieve Adm. Charles Michel in a change-of-watch ceremony on May 24 in Washington, D.C. Michel, the Coast Guard's first four-star vice commandant, will retire following the ceremony.

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