Frequently Asked Question Friday – Who were the Commandants of the Coast Guard?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Who were the Commandants of the United States Coast Guard?



Admiral Paul Zukunft, 25th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard

The current Commandant is Admiral Paul Zukunft. Admiral Zukunft assumed the duties of the 25th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on May 30, 2014. He leads the largest component of the Department of Homeland Security, composed of 88,000 personnel including active duty, reserve, civilian and volunteer Auxiliarists.

Prior to this, Admiral Zukunft served as Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, where he was operational commander for all U.S. Coast Guard missions in an area encompassing more than 74 million square miles and provided mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders. Other Flag assignments include Commander of the Eleventh Coast Guard District and Director, Joint Interagency Task Force West, where he served as executive agent to United States Pacific Command for combating Transnational Criminal Organizations in the Asia-Pacific Region.



Commandants of the U.S. Coast Guard & Chiefs of the Revenue Marine Division:

Chiefs of the Revenue Marine Bureau (The Chiefs exercised centralized control over the Revenue Marine Bureau.)

  • 1843-1848 Captain Alexander V. Fraser, USRM
  • 1848-1849 Captain Richard Evans, USRM


In 1849 the Revenue Marine Bureau was dissolved, and the Revenue Marine fell under the control the Commissioner of Customs until the Revenue Marine Bureau was again established in 1869.

  • 1869-1871  N. Broughton Devereux
  • 1871-1878  Sumner I. Kimball
  • 1878-1885  Ezra Clark
  • 1885-1889  Peter Bonnett



  • 1905-1911 Captain Worth G. Ross, USRCS, Captain-Commandant (the office of Captain-Commandant was first created in 1908 and Ross therefore is the “first” officer to hold that office and the title of “Captain-Commandant.”)
  • 1919-1924 Rear Admiral William E. Reynolds, first Captain- and later Rear Admiral-Commandant.  Re-appointed Commandant on 12 January 1923 with rank of Rear Admiral effective 2 October 1923.  He was the first Coast Guard officer to attain this rank.
  • 1936-1946 Admiral Russell R. Waesche. Appointed Commandant as Rear Admiral. Appointed Full Admiral 4 April 1945. First officer to attain ranks of Vice Admiral and Admiral.
  • 1954-1962 Admiral Alfred C. Richmond. Appointed Commandant as Vice Admiral; appointed Admiral 1 June 1960 by act of 14 May 1960. Public Law 86-474, under which all Coast Guard Commandants thereafter automatically became Admirals.




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