WASHINGTON — U.S. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Charles Michel formally assumed the role of vice commandant of the Coast Guard during a ceremony at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Monday.
As vice commandant, Michel will oversee the Coast Guard’s operations, strategic development, organizational governance and management of the service’s more than 58,000 employees and 30,000 volunteers.
“I am humbled and honored to be given this important opportunity to further serve the American people and the men and women of the United States Coast Guard,” said Michel. “I look forward to assisting the commandant in meeting the many challenges facing our nation and our service.”
Michel became the 30th vice commandant of the Coast Guard after serving as the service’s deputy commandant for operations, responsible for establishing and providing operational strategy, policy, guidance and resources as needed to meet national priorities for Coast Guard missions, programs and services.
His previous flag officer assignments include deputy commander of U. S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area; director of Joint Interagency Task Force South; military advisor to the secretary of homeland security; and the director for the Coast Guard’s governmental and public affairs directorate.
Tours of duty afloat included serving as commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutters Resolute and Cape Current, executive officer of Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless, and as deck watch officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Decisive. Michel also served as chief of the office of maritime and international law in Washington, D.C.; staff attorney at the Eighth Coast Guard District in New Orleans; head of the operations division for the office of maritime and international law in Washington, D.C.; and as legislative counsel for the office of congressional and governmental affairs in Washington, D.C.
A native of Brandon, Florida, he graduated from the U. S. Coast Guard Academy in 1985. In 1992, he graduated summa cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law.
Michel has received numerous military awards during his career, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the Coast Guard Letter of Commendation Ribbon and the Distinguished Service Medal of the Colombian Navy. Michel was the American Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year for the Coast Guard in 1995, the Judge Advocate’s Association Career Armed Services Attorney of the Year for the Coast Guard in 2000 and is currently a member of the Florida Bar.