New superintendent describes his return to Coast Guard Academy as a “homecoming”

Rear Adm. William G. Kelly became the 42nd Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on May 30. Kelly's photo U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matt Thieme

Rear Adm. William G. Kelly became the 42nd Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on May 30. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matt Thieme

New London – Rear Adm. William G. Kelly became the 42nd Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on May 30.

Kelly has an extensive history with the Academy, graduating in 1987 and previously serving as both the Officer Candidate School chief and director of the Leadership Development Center, as well as chairman of the Academy’s Board of Trustees.

Kelly described his return to serve as superintendent as, “a homecoming for my family.

“My wife Angie and I met on board Coast Guard Academy back in 1986, we were married here in 1988,” said Kelly.

“Both of our sons have had their own personal experiences on board. Pat was a member of the Class of 2014 and currently serves as the commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Gannett, homeported in Mobile, Ala. Tyler served as an intern last summer with the Physical Education Department as he completed his master’s work at Springfield College.”

“This place is special and different from other colleges and universities,” he said. “It is a military academy first and foremost where every member of the faculty and staff, civilian and military have taken and oath and serve under the banner of our core values.”

In recent years the academy has faced scrutiny regarding its diversity and inclusion efforts, and has faced criticism for its handling of discrimination allegations. Despite these issues, the institution has welcomed a record number of women into the corps of cadets, and graduated the largest number of African-Americans and Asian-Americans/Pacific Islanders in its history in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

“The Academy is and will remain a center of excellence for inclusion and equity-mindedness in our service, and I am ready to serve you as we share with the broader Coast Guard the lessons we have learned on our inclusion journey,” Kelly said. “As we evolve to be recognized as the most inclusive military service academy, we must ensure we remain focused on providing the safest environment possible and continue to dedicate ourselves to the work needed to eradicate the scourge of sexual assault on board our Academy and across our service.”

This year more than 260 cadets making up more than a quarter of the cadet population were part of the Cadets Against Sexual Assault club. CASA, which is unique among the service academies, trains its members to take restricted and unrestricted reports of sexual assault and educate survivors on reporting options and resources.

“We have an opportunity to examine our governance structures, the time is right to explore potential avenues to evolve the way we do business. My experiences over the preceding days, weeks, and years tell me we are, and that the work is already well underway,” Kelly added. “I am honored to join you on the journey.”

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