Schultz Nominated as Next Coast Guard Commandant
WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced March 8 the nomination by President Donald J. Trump of Vice Adm. Karl L. Schultz to be the 26th commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Schultz, the commander of the Coast Guard's Atlantic Area, currently serves as the operational commander for all Coast Guard missions, from the Rocky Mountains to the Persian Gulf, spanning across five Coast Guard Districts and 40 states. In addition to his duties at Atlantic Area, he serves as commander, Defense Force East, and provides Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders. He concurrently serves as Director, DHS Joint Task Force East, responsible for achieving the objectives of the DHS Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Plan throughout his Joint Operating Area.
Pending confirmation, he is expected to relieve Adm. Paul F. Zukunft as commandant in a change of command ceremony June 1 in Washington. Adm. Zukunft will retire following the change of command this summer.
“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.
Schultz’s previous operational assignments included sector command in Miami as well as command tours aboard the cutters Venturous, Acacia and Farallon. Staff assignments have included chief of the Office of Congressional and Governmental Affairs; congressional liaison officer to the U.S. House of Representatives; liaison officer to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; assignment officer at the Coast Guard Personnel Command; and command duty officer in the 7th Coast Guard District Operations Center in Miami.
The president also has nominated Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray, the current deputy commandant for Operations, as the Coast Guard's 31st vice commandant. Pending confirmation, Ray will relieve Adm. Charles D. Michel in a change of watch ceremony May 24 in Washington. Michel, the Coast Guard's first four-star vice commandant, will retire following the change of watch.