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Overview:

The United States Coast Guard (USCG), under the Department of Homeland Security, is one of the five branches of the U.S. Armed Services, with a variety of functions at U.S. ports, coasts and inland waterways, as well as in international waters. Today, the Coast Guard’s peacetime roles include patrolling borders, enforcing licenses, protecting the environment, maintaining waterways, conducting rescue operations, inspecting vessels for safety and stemming the flow of drugs and other contraband into the United States. In times of war, the Coast Guard can be called upon to augment the other military services. The USCG’s budgets increased substantially following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, as it placed greater emphasis on homeland security missions.

more
History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coast Guard is the oldest maritime agency in the federal government - predating the Navy Department by eight years - in addition to being one of the oldest federal agencies overall. The list of services provided by the Coast Guard gradually expanded over the past 200 years, as it was merged with other federal agencies.
 
The USCG’s most distant predecessor was a maritime patrol service authorized by Congress on Aug. 4, 1790. According to the Coast Guard Web site, 10 vessels were built “to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling and protect the collection of federal revenue.” These 10 ships were part of what became known as either the Revenue Marine or the Revenue Cutter Service.
 
In 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law Senate Bill 2337, which merged the Revenue Cutter Service with the aptly named Life-Saving Service to create the Coast Guard, which was placed under Treasury Department control. The USCG assumed further responsibilities in 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized it to absorb the Lighthouse Service. Finally, Congress folded the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation into the Coast Guard in 1946, adding merchant marine licensing and ensuring the safety of merchant vessels to its list of responsibilities. In 1967, oversight of the Coast Guard was passed to the Transportation Department, and in 2002, the Transportation Department ceded control of the USCG to the newly created Department of Homeland Security.
 
The Coast Guard’s Duties
The USCG has emphasized different roles over its lifetime. Prior to World War II, the service largely concerned itself with intercepting illegal goods, including drugs and - during Prohibition - alcohol. After the war ended, its focus shifted to ensuring safe sea travel and aiding navigation. It then shifted again when Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba in 1959, with the service setting up patrols to collect Cuban refugees. Its priorities changed in 1965, after restrictions were placed on immigration from Cuba, prompting fewer refugees to make the trip. From the 1970s until 2003, the Coast Guard focused mainly on preventing drugs from being carried into the United States.
 
Below are some noteworthy events in the Coast Guard’s recent history:
  • The largest peacetime Coast Guard operation occurred in 1980. An economic downturn and resulting tensions in Cuba led its government to declare that anyone who wanted to emigrate could do so. Cuban-Americans organized hundreds of small vessels, which left Miami for Mariel, Cuba, where they picked up émigrés before attempting to return home. The number of people on many of the vessels exceeded their design limits, and the Coast Guard had to mobilize resources from all over the East Coast to help them. By the time the Mariel Boatlift - as it came to be called - was over, some 125,000 Cubans had found their way to the U.S. mainland. Only 27 died at sea.
  • One of the major responsibilities of the modern-day Coast Guard is protecting the marine environment; it currently does so under the auspices of the Clean Water Act. The Coast Guard also leads efforts to clean up oil spills. The Exxon Valdez disaster resulted in the passage of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which the Coast Guard is partly responsible for enforcing.
  • A month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, members of Congress from both major parties proposed the creation of a cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security. Initially, President George W. Bush opposed the idea, but on June 6, 2002, he finally reversed his position. Bush also proposed that a number of already-existing federal agencies, including the Coast Guard, be placed under the authority of the nascent department. On Feb. 25, 2003, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta officially ceded control of the service to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. The transportation secretary had been the civilian leader of the Coast Guard for nearly 36 years. As a result of the transfer, issues relating to homeland security became USCG’s prime focus (see links below).
  • The Coast Guard sent teams to restore ports following Hurricane Katrina, allowing nearly unrestricted shipping to resume some two weeks after the storm made landfall.
  • A new Deployable Operations Group was launched in the summer of 2007, bringing specialized forces under one command for coordinated use with other agencies in specific emergencies or tactical situations. The group is headed by Rear Adm. Thomas F. Atkin.
 

 

more
What it Does:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coast Guard has defined 11 missions:
  • Port, Waterway and Coastal Security - Conducts patrols, gathers and analyzes intelligence, and assesses vulnerabilities in order to thwart terrorist attacks. Also maintains territorial integrity.
  • Defense Readiness - Takes part in military operations worldwide, generally in support positions.
  • Illegal Immigration Control - Uses ships and aircraft to intercept and detain illegal immigrants who are traveling by water.
  • Search and Rescue - Maintains emergency-response stations and a communication system for helping those in distress.
  • Aids to Navigation - Manages and monitors U.S. waterways, making sure traffic flows in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Living Marine Resources - Enforces domestic fishing laws through patrols and inspections.
  • Ice Operations - Helps transport goods and personnel in connection with scientific and national security efforts in polar regions. Also breaks through ice with specialized ships and keeps track of icebergs to help direct commercial vessels.
  • Marine Safety - Sets safety standards and inspects commercial vessels to ensure those standards are being maintained.
  • Marine Environmental Protection - Prevents and responds to oil and chemical spills, stops illegal dumping in U.S. waters and works to curtail the proliferation of invasive plant and animal species.
  • Illegal Drug Interdiction - Uses sea vessels and aircraft to intercept illegal drug shipments and collect intelligence.
  • Fish Stock Protection - Ensures foreigners don’t raid U.S. fish stocks.
 
The USCG is divided into two operational commands - one centered around the Pacific Ocean, and the other centered around the Atlantic. The operational commands are subdivided into nine districts, each with its own command staff.
 
During peacetime, the Coast Guard is a part of the Department of Homeland Security, whereas the other military services are a part of the Defense Department. However, during war or by order of the president, oversight of the Coast Guard can be transferred to the U.S. Navy. Whereas the other military services concentrate on national defense at all times, the Coast Guard - at least during peacetime - takes on not only military duties, but also social, environmental and economic roles. The Coast Guard’s mission is therefore far more diverse. Unlike the other military services, the USCG isn’t represented by a flag officer on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
 
The United States Coast Guard Academy is the higher education institution for the USCG, comparable to the academies that serve the other branches of the military. It’s based in New London, Conn. The United States Coast Guard Navigation Center, also known as NAVCEN, distributes navigational and safety information to the public. The Coast Guard Reserve is trained to carry out missions in three areas: homeland security, military service support and disaster relief. Reservists, who must be prepared for mobilization at any time, undergo regular drills and must serve two weeks of active duty each year. Established in 1939, the Coast Guard Auxiliary assists the USCG in all functions except those relating to law enforcement or military missions. Members of the auxiliary forces patrol waterways, conduct safety checks, teach classes and carry out other educational programs.
 

 

more
Controversies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modernization
The USCG is undertaking a novel package of reforms known as the Integrated Deepwater System Program - or simply Deepwater - to modernize its aging fleet. However, the program has engendered cost overruns and other problems.
Learning Katrina’s Lessons: Coast Guard Modernization is a Must (by James Jay Carafano and Laura P. Keith, Heritage Foundation)
Coast Guard Deepwater Program: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress (by Ronald O’Rourke, Congressional Research Service) (PDF)
Costly Fleet Update Falters: Contractors Oversee Coast Guard Project (by Renae Merle and Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post)
Coast Guard’s Deepwater program hits rough waters (by Alicia Mundy, Seattle Times)
 
The Royal Family of Dubai
Analysts with the Coast Guard initially voiced concern about possible security threats over the proposed sale of U.S. port management operations to a Dubai-based company.
 
According to a April 2007 report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (PDF), the Coast Guard’s non-homeland security functions may be suffering funding shortfalls as a result of the service’s new focus on stopping terrorism.
The DP World Controversy and the Ongoing Vulnerability of U.S. Seaports (by Stephen E. Flynn and Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Council on Foreign Relations)
U.S. agency says doubt on port sale is resolved: Coast Guard offers assurance to Senate (by Carl Hulse and David E. Sanger, International Herald Tribune)
 
Other issues
Coast Guard sets oil course (by Becky W. Evans, New Bedford Standard-Times)

 

more

Comments

mike wythe 5 years ago
in the past, when at war, the coast guard was transfered from the dept. of transportation to the dept. of the navy, or the dept. of defense. i don't know which. if a major war were to ocur, would they remain under homeland security or be transfered as in the past? thank you, mike wythe

Leave a comment

Founded: 1915 (with precursors dating back to 1790)
Annual Budget: $8.7 billion (2008)
Employees: 48,124 (2008, excluding 8,100 reserve and 31,900 auxiliary personnel)
Official Website: http://www.uscg.mil/
United States Coast Guard
Zukunft, Paul
Commandant

Admiral Paul Zukunft took over as Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on May 30, 2014. He is the 25th person to hold that position.

 

Zukunft was born January 30, 1955, in New Haven, Conn., and grew up in nearby North Branford. He stayed near home as he attended the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., graduating in 1977 with a B.S. in government. Zukunft subsequently earned an M.A. in management from Webster University in 1988 and an M.A. in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College in 1997.

 

After having been in the Coast Guard only three years, Zukunft commanded a 95-foot boat, the Cape Upright, as the Mariel boatlift was going on. At one point Zukunft and his crew took 200 people off a leaky 60-foot boat making its way to Florida. During his career, Zukunft also commanded the cutters Rush and Harriet Lane, and served as chief of staff at the Fourteenth Coast Guard District in Honolulu, Hawaii. Other assignments included Chief of Operations for the Coast Guard Pacific Area and Chief of Operations Oversight for the Coast Guard Atlantic Area.

 

In 2008, Zukunft took over as commander of the 11th Coast Guard District, which comprises California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. Two years later, he was made federal on-scene coordinator of the BP oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico under National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen.

 

Zukunft then served as commander of the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area, which stretches from the Rockies west to the east coast of Africa.

 

As Commandant, Zukunft has pushed for the Coast Guard to acquire new ships, including an Offshore Patrol Cutter, which would be suitable for sailing in the worst weather, and additional icebreakers. The service’s only operational heavy icebreaker, the Polar Star, is 40 years old and prone to breakdowns. Zukunft is concerned that if the Polar Star were to break down in the middle of the icepack, there would be no way to rescue the ship.

 

Zukunft’s wife, Fran, is a former pharmaceutical sales rep. They have one son, and Zukunft has two daughters from an earlier marriage.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

           

Official Biography (pdf)

more
Papp, Robert
Previous Commandant

The United States Coast Guard (USCG), gained a new leader on May 25, 2010, when Commandant of the Coast Guard Thad Allen finished his four-year tour in the post. President Obama chose Coast Guard Vice Admiral Robert A. Papp to be next Commandant. The Coast Guard, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime and can be transferred to the Department of the Navy during wartime, has about 42,000 active-duty men and women and 7,000 civilian employees. The USCG’s budget has increased substantially since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and it has become a key player in addressing some of the nation’s most complex security problems, including international smuggling and terrorism. 

 
Papp takes over at a time when the Coast Guard is under great pressure because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Allen, the man he is replacing, will continue to be incident commander for the federal government’s response to the spill.
 
Born in Norwich, Connecticut, October 18, 1953, Papp is a 1975 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy. He also earned an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College and an M.S. in Management from Salve Regina College.
 
Papp is a career Cutterman, having served in six Coast Guard Cutters and commanded several others. He also served as commander of a task unit during Operation Able Manner off the coast of Haiti in 1994, preventing Haitians from entering the U.S. illegally. Additionally, in September 1994 his task unit augmented U.S. Naval Forces during the Operation Uphold Democracy, in which U.S. forces invaded Haiti. From 1995 to 1999, Papp commanded the academy’s training ship, the Barque Eagle, an assignment he often describes as the best in the Coast Guard. His assignments ashore have included Commandant of Cadets staff at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard. Papp was promoted to Flag rank in October 2002 and appointed the Director of Reserve and Training. He was responsible for managing and supporting 13,000 Coast Guard Ready Reservists and all Coast Guard Training Centers. From 2004 to 2006, he served as Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, with responsibilities for Coast Guard missions on the Great Lakes and Northern Border. While serving as the Coast Guard’s Ninth District Commander he was designated to serve as the principle federal coordinator of the Iraqi election in Dearborn, Michigan, Major League Baseball’s 2005 All-Star Game in Detroit, and Super Bowl XL in Detroit. From 2006 to 2008, Papp served as the Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard in Washington, DC, with responsibility for strategic-level development of policy, organization, and resource allocation for the entire Coast Guard.
 
In July 2008, Papp became Commander of the Atlantic Area, which runs east from the Rocky Mountains to the Persian Gulf. As Atlantic Area commander, Papp dealt with one of the Coast Guard’s most embarrassing recent incidents, a training exercise on the Potomac River near the Pentagon on September 11, 2009, which many thought was an actual terrorist event. President Obama was speaking at a Pentagon memorial service at the time, and the drill sparked widespread alarm. In Papp’s assessment of the incident, which involved forces under his command, he noted that while the exercise didn’t violate any policies, it was “ill-advised” and showed a lack of judgment among those involved.
 
Papp is married to the former Linda Kapral, whose father, Captain Frank Kapral, also a Coast Guard officer, is a member of the Coast Guard Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. They have three daughters, Lindsay, Caitlin and Jillian, and one granddaughter.
- Matt Bewig
 
ADM Papp Defines Guiding Principles (by Christopher Lagan, Coast Guard Compass)
Papp is Nominated for Top CG Post (by Jennifer Grogan, The Day)
Coast Guard Drill, Misunderstood, Sets Off 9/11 Scare (by Scott Shane and Brian Stelter, New York Times)
 
 
more
Bookmark and Share
Overview:

The United States Coast Guard (USCG), under the Department of Homeland Security, is one of the five branches of the U.S. Armed Services, with a variety of functions at U.S. ports, coasts and inland waterways, as well as in international waters. Today, the Coast Guard’s peacetime roles include patrolling borders, enforcing licenses, protecting the environment, maintaining waterways, conducting rescue operations, inspecting vessels for safety and stemming the flow of drugs and other contraband into the United States. In times of war, the Coast Guard can be called upon to augment the other military services. The USCG’s budgets increased substantially following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, as it placed greater emphasis on homeland security missions.

more
History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coast Guard is the oldest maritime agency in the federal government - predating the Navy Department by eight years - in addition to being one of the oldest federal agencies overall. The list of services provided by the Coast Guard gradually expanded over the past 200 years, as it was merged with other federal agencies.
 
The USCG’s most distant predecessor was a maritime patrol service authorized by Congress on Aug. 4, 1790. According to the Coast Guard Web site, 10 vessels were built “to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling and protect the collection of federal revenue.” These 10 ships were part of what became known as either the Revenue Marine or the Revenue Cutter Service.
 
In 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law Senate Bill 2337, which merged the Revenue Cutter Service with the aptly named Life-Saving Service to create the Coast Guard, which was placed under Treasury Department control. The USCG assumed further responsibilities in 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized it to absorb the Lighthouse Service. Finally, Congress folded the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation into the Coast Guard in 1946, adding merchant marine licensing and ensuring the safety of merchant vessels to its list of responsibilities. In 1967, oversight of the Coast Guard was passed to the Transportation Department, and in 2002, the Transportation Department ceded control of the USCG to the newly created Department of Homeland Security.
 
The Coast Guard’s Duties
The USCG has emphasized different roles over its lifetime. Prior to World War II, the service largely concerned itself with intercepting illegal goods, including drugs and - during Prohibition - alcohol. After the war ended, its focus shifted to ensuring safe sea travel and aiding navigation. It then shifted again when Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba in 1959, with the service setting up patrols to collect Cuban refugees. Its priorities changed in 1965, after restrictions were placed on immigration from Cuba, prompting fewer refugees to make the trip. From the 1970s until 2003, the Coast Guard focused mainly on preventing drugs from being carried into the United States.
 
Below are some noteworthy events in the Coast Guard’s recent history:
  • The largest peacetime Coast Guard operation occurred in 1980. An economic downturn and resulting tensions in Cuba led its government to declare that anyone who wanted to emigrate could do so. Cuban-Americans organized hundreds of small vessels, which left Miami for Mariel, Cuba, where they picked up émigrés before attempting to return home. The number of people on many of the vessels exceeded their design limits, and the Coast Guard had to mobilize resources from all over the East Coast to help them. By the time the Mariel Boatlift - as it came to be called - was over, some 125,000 Cubans had found their way to the U.S. mainland. Only 27 died at sea.
  • One of the major responsibilities of the modern-day Coast Guard is protecting the marine environment; it currently does so under the auspices of the Clean Water Act. The Coast Guard also leads efforts to clean up oil spills. The Exxon Valdez disaster resulted in the passage of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which the Coast Guard is partly responsible for enforcing.
  • A month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, members of Congress from both major parties proposed the creation of a cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security. Initially, President George W. Bush opposed the idea, but on June 6, 2002, he finally reversed his position. Bush also proposed that a number of already-existing federal agencies, including the Coast Guard, be placed under the authority of the nascent department. On Feb. 25, 2003, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta officially ceded control of the service to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. The transportation secretary had been the civilian leader of the Coast Guard for nearly 36 years. As a result of the transfer, issues relating to homeland security became USCG’s prime focus (see links below).
  • The Coast Guard sent teams to restore ports following Hurricane Katrina, allowing nearly unrestricted shipping to resume some two weeks after the storm made landfall.
  • A new Deployable Operations Group was launched in the summer of 2007, bringing specialized forces under one command for coordinated use with other agencies in specific emergencies or tactical situations. The group is headed by Rear Adm. Thomas F. Atkin.
 

 

more
What it Does:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coast Guard has defined 11 missions:
  • Port, Waterway and Coastal Security - Conducts patrols, gathers and analyzes intelligence, and assesses vulnerabilities in order to thwart terrorist attacks. Also maintains territorial integrity.
  • Defense Readiness - Takes part in military operations worldwide, generally in support positions.
  • Illegal Immigration Control - Uses ships and aircraft to intercept and detain illegal immigrants who are traveling by water.
  • Search and Rescue - Maintains emergency-response stations and a communication system for helping those in distress.
  • Aids to Navigation - Manages and monitors U.S. waterways, making sure traffic flows in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Living Marine Resources - Enforces domestic fishing laws through patrols and inspections.
  • Ice Operations - Helps transport goods and personnel in connection with scientific and national security efforts in polar regions. Also breaks through ice with specialized ships and keeps track of icebergs to help direct commercial vessels.
  • Marine Safety - Sets safety standards and inspects commercial vessels to ensure those standards are being maintained.
  • Marine Environmental Protection - Prevents and responds to oil and chemical spills, stops illegal dumping in U.S. waters and works to curtail the proliferation of invasive plant and animal species.
  • Illegal Drug Interdiction - Uses sea vessels and aircraft to intercept illegal drug shipments and collect intelligence.
  • Fish Stock Protection - Ensures foreigners don’t raid U.S. fish stocks.
 
The USCG is divided into two operational commands - one centered around the Pacific Ocean, and the other centered around the Atlantic. The operational commands are subdivided into nine districts, each with its own command staff.
 
During peacetime, the Coast Guard is a part of the Department of Homeland Security, whereas the other military services are a part of the Defense Department. However, during war or by order of the president, oversight of the Coast Guard can be transferred to the U.S. Navy. Whereas the other military services concentrate on national defense at all times, the Coast Guard - at least during peacetime - takes on not only military duties, but also social, environmental and economic roles. The Coast Guard’s mission is therefore far more diverse. Unlike the other military services, the USCG isn’t represented by a flag officer on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
 
The United States Coast Guard Academy is the higher education institution for the USCG, comparable to the academies that serve the other branches of the military. It’s based in New London, Conn. The United States Coast Guard Navigation Center, also known as NAVCEN, distributes navigational and safety information to the public. The Coast Guard Reserve is trained to carry out missions in three areas: homeland security, military service support and disaster relief. Reservists, who must be prepared for mobilization at any time, undergo regular drills and must serve two weeks of active duty each year. Established in 1939, the Coast Guard Auxiliary assists the USCG in all functions except those relating to law enforcement or military missions. Members of the auxiliary forces patrol waterways, conduct safety checks, teach classes and carry out other educational programs.
 

 

more
Controversies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modernization
The USCG is undertaking a novel package of reforms known as the Integrated Deepwater System Program - or simply Deepwater - to modernize its aging fleet. However, the program has engendered cost overruns and other problems.
Learning Katrina’s Lessons: Coast Guard Modernization is a Must (by James Jay Carafano and Laura P. Keith, Heritage Foundation)
Coast Guard Deepwater Program: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress (by Ronald O’Rourke, Congressional Research Service) (PDF)
Costly Fleet Update Falters: Contractors Oversee Coast Guard Project (by Renae Merle and Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post)
Coast Guard’s Deepwater program hits rough waters (by Alicia Mundy, Seattle Times)
 
The Royal Family of Dubai
Analysts with the Coast Guard initially voiced concern about possible security threats over the proposed sale of U.S. port management operations to a Dubai-based company.
 
According to a April 2007 report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (PDF), the Coast Guard’s non-homeland security functions may be suffering funding shortfalls as a result of the service’s new focus on stopping terrorism.
The DP World Controversy and the Ongoing Vulnerability of U.S. Seaports (by Stephen E. Flynn and Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Council on Foreign Relations)
U.S. agency says doubt on port sale is resolved: Coast Guard offers assurance to Senate (by Carl Hulse and David E. Sanger, International Herald Tribune)
 
Other issues
Coast Guard sets oil course (by Becky W. Evans, New Bedford Standard-Times)

 

more

Comments

mike wythe 5 years ago
in the past, when at war, the coast guard was transfered from the dept. of transportation to the dept. of the navy, or the dept. of defense. i don't know which. if a major war were to ocur, would they remain under homeland security or be transfered as in the past? thank you, mike wythe

Leave a comment

Founded: 1915 (with precursors dating back to 1790)
Annual Budget: $8.7 billion (2008)
Employees: 48,124 (2008, excluding 8,100 reserve and 31,900 auxiliary personnel)
Official Website: http://www.uscg.mil/
United States Coast Guard
Zukunft, Paul
Commandant

Admiral Paul Zukunft took over as Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on May 30, 2014. He is the 25th person to hold that position.

 

Zukunft was born January 30, 1955, in New Haven, Conn., and grew up in nearby North Branford. He stayed near home as he attended the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., graduating in 1977 with a B.S. in government. Zukunft subsequently earned an M.A. in management from Webster University in 1988 and an M.A. in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College in 1997.

 

After having been in the Coast Guard only three years, Zukunft commanded a 95-foot boat, the Cape Upright, as the Mariel boatlift was going on. At one point Zukunft and his crew took 200 people off a leaky 60-foot boat making its way to Florida. During his career, Zukunft also commanded the cutters Rush and Harriet Lane, and served as chief of staff at the Fourteenth Coast Guard District in Honolulu, Hawaii. Other assignments included Chief of Operations for the Coast Guard Pacific Area and Chief of Operations Oversight for the Coast Guard Atlantic Area.

 

In 2008, Zukunft took over as commander of the 11th Coast Guard District, which comprises California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. Two years later, he was made federal on-scene coordinator of the BP oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico under National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen.

 

Zukunft then served as commander of the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area, which stretches from the Rockies west to the east coast of Africa.

 

As Commandant, Zukunft has pushed for the Coast Guard to acquire new ships, including an Offshore Patrol Cutter, which would be suitable for sailing in the worst weather, and additional icebreakers. The service’s only operational heavy icebreaker, the Polar Star, is 40 years old and prone to breakdowns. Zukunft is concerned that if the Polar Star were to break down in the middle of the icepack, there would be no way to rescue the ship.

 

Zukunft’s wife, Fran, is a former pharmaceutical sales rep. They have one son, and Zukunft has two daughters from an earlier marriage.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

           

Official Biography (pdf)

more
Papp, Robert
Previous Commandant

The United States Coast Guard (USCG), gained a new leader on May 25, 2010, when Commandant of the Coast Guard Thad Allen finished his four-year tour in the post. President Obama chose Coast Guard Vice Admiral Robert A. Papp to be next Commandant. The Coast Guard, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime and can be transferred to the Department of the Navy during wartime, has about 42,000 active-duty men and women and 7,000 civilian employees. The USCG’s budget has increased substantially since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and it has become a key player in addressing some of the nation’s most complex security problems, including international smuggling and terrorism. 

 
Papp takes over at a time when the Coast Guard is under great pressure because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Allen, the man he is replacing, will continue to be incident commander for the federal government’s response to the spill.
 
Born in Norwich, Connecticut, October 18, 1953, Papp is a 1975 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy. He also earned an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College and an M.S. in Management from Salve Regina College.
 
Papp is a career Cutterman, having served in six Coast Guard Cutters and commanded several others. He also served as commander of a task unit during Operation Able Manner off the coast of Haiti in 1994, preventing Haitians from entering the U.S. illegally. Additionally, in September 1994 his task unit augmented U.S. Naval Forces during the Operation Uphold Democracy, in which U.S. forces invaded Haiti. From 1995 to 1999, Papp commanded the academy’s training ship, the Barque Eagle, an assignment he often describes as the best in the Coast Guard. His assignments ashore have included Commandant of Cadets staff at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard. Papp was promoted to Flag rank in October 2002 and appointed the Director of Reserve and Training. He was responsible for managing and supporting 13,000 Coast Guard Ready Reservists and all Coast Guard Training Centers. From 2004 to 2006, he served as Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, with responsibilities for Coast Guard missions on the Great Lakes and Northern Border. While serving as the Coast Guard’s Ninth District Commander he was designated to serve as the principle federal coordinator of the Iraqi election in Dearborn, Michigan, Major League Baseball’s 2005 All-Star Game in Detroit, and Super Bowl XL in Detroit. From 2006 to 2008, Papp served as the Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard in Washington, DC, with responsibility for strategic-level development of policy, organization, and resource allocation for the entire Coast Guard.
 
In July 2008, Papp became Commander of the Atlantic Area, which runs east from the Rocky Mountains to the Persian Gulf. As Atlantic Area commander, Papp dealt with one of the Coast Guard’s most embarrassing recent incidents, a training exercise on the Potomac River near the Pentagon on September 11, 2009, which many thought was an actual terrorist event. President Obama was speaking at a Pentagon memorial service at the time, and the drill sparked widespread alarm. In Papp’s assessment of the incident, which involved forces under his command, he noted that while the exercise didn’t violate any policies, it was “ill-advised” and showed a lack of judgment among those involved.
 
Papp is married to the former Linda Kapral, whose father, Captain Frank Kapral, also a Coast Guard officer, is a member of the Coast Guard Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. They have three daughters, Lindsay, Caitlin and Jillian, and one granddaughter.
- Matt Bewig
 
ADM Papp Defines Guiding Principles (by Christopher Lagan, Coast Guard Compass)
Papp is Nominated for Top CG Post (by Jennifer Grogan, The Day)
Coast Guard Drill, Misunderstood, Sets Off 9/11 Scare (by Scott Shane and Brian Stelter, New York Times)
 
 
more