“The trailblazing career of Admiral Fagan shows young people entering the services, we mean what we say: There are no doors — no doors — closed to women,” President Biden told guests at Coast Guard headquarters.
President Biden swore in Adm. Linda Fagan as the 27th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard on June 1, making her the service's first female commander in American history with her appointment, per the AP.
Fagan also became the first woman to lead any branch of the U.S. armed forces.
As Commandant, she is in charge of all global Coast Guard operations, 42,000 active-duty, 7,000 reserve, 8,700 civilian personnel, and 21,000 Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers.
According to the New York Times, Fagan graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1985 as one of 16 women in the sixth class that included women.
Fagan, who previously served as the Coast Guard's second-in-command, has worn the uniform for over four decades and on all seven continents. Her promotion to 32nd vice commandant made her the Guard's first female four-star admiral.
The few four-star female generals in military history are Gen. Dunwoody, Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, Adm. Michelle Howard, Gen. Lori Robinson, Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, Gen. Maryanne Miller, and Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, who is currently serving.
The new Commandant also received the service branch's first-ever Gold Ancient Trident, which honors the officer with the longest service record in the field of marine safety.
In shattering the glass ceiling, Fagan described her historic appointment as just the beginning, per The New York Times.
"I hope sometime soon we're talking about the second female commandant, and the third female commandant, and that we'll have a Black male commandant." — Adm. Linda Fagan
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