Seventh Coast Guard District to receive new admiral

Southeastern Coast Guard News
MIAMI – A change of command ceremony is scheduled for the Seventh Coast Guard District commander at Coast Guard Air Station Miami in Opa Locka, Fla., Wednesday at 10 a.m.

During the change of command ceremony Rear Adm. John H. Korn will assume the responsibilities as the Seventh Coast Guard District commander and Director of Homeland Security Task Force-Southeast from Rear Adm. William D. Baumgartner.

Presiding over the ceremony will be Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker, Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander.

Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Robert J. Papp, will participate in a retirement ceremony for Rear Adm. Baumgartner immediately following the change of command.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored military tradition that formally transfers command responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual to another.

Baumgartner is retiring after 33 years of honorable service to the Coast Guard. He became the Seventh District commander May 14, 2010, and has previously served as the Judge Advocate General and Chief Counsel of the United States Coast Guard from April 2006 to April 2010. Baumgartner began his Coast Guard career in surface operations and served as the Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Cutters Point Verde and Penobscot Bay; as a deck officer on the cutter Dependable; and as an operations center controller for the Eighth Coast Guard District where he directed search and rescue, law enforcement and other Coast Guard operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

A native of Collinsille, IL., Baumgartner is a 1980 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering and Electrical Engineering. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of New Orleans and a Juris Doctor degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School where he also served as an editor on the Harvard Law Review.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored event preserved by the rich heritage of naval tradition. It is a custom that is formal, and following military protocol, is designed to strengthen the respect for the continuity of command that is vital to any military organization. The culmination of the ceremony is reached when both officers read their orders, face one another, salute, and transfer responsibility of command. This provides the entire command with the knowledge that the officer directed by proper authority is taking command and an opportunity to witness this transfer of responsibility.

The Seventh Coast Guard District, headquartered in Miami, is a 1.8 million square mile area of responsibility that encompasses the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean basin. The district comprises six sectors and three major air stations. The district is also home to the two busiest ports in the nation, with more than 4 million visitors per year.

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