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Coast Guard Adm. Michel Promoted As Vice Commandant Billet Becomes A Four-Star Job

Adm. Paul Zukunft (right), commandant of the Coast Guard, administers the oath of office to Adm. Charles Michel, vice commandant of the Coast Guard at the conclusion of a ceremony at the Douglas Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building in Washington, D.C., on June 1, 2016. US Coast Guard photo. Following passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015, the president nominated Michel for promotion from vice admiral to admiral to align the Coast Guard’s leadership structure to that of the other armed services. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Kyle Niemi

Adm. Paul Zukunft (right), commandant of the Coast Guard, administers the oath of office to Adm. Charles Michel, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, as his wife, Claudia Michel, watches during a ceremony at the Douglas Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building in Washington, D.C., on June 1, 2016. US Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard Vice Commandant Charles Michel was promoted to the rank of admiral on Wednesday, giving the Coast Guard two four-stars atop the chain of command just like the rest of the services.

The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 allowed the president to nominate Michel for promotion “to align the leadership structure of the Coast Guard to that of the other armed services and recognize the important role of the vice service chief at the national level,” according to a Coast Guard news release.

Lt. Cmdr. Jason Smith, military aide to the vice commandant, affixes a new shoulderboard to the uniform of Adm. Charles Michel, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, during a ceremony at the Douglas Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building in Washington, D.C., on June 1, 2016. US Coast Guard photo. Following passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015, the president nominated Michel for promotion from vice admiral to admiral to align the Coast Guard’s leadership structure to that of the other armed services. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Kyle Niemi

Lt. Cmdr. Jason Smith, military aide to the vice commandant, affixes a new shoulderboard to the uniform of Adm. Charles Michel, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, during a ceremony at the Douglas Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building in Washington, D.C., on June 1, 2016. US Coast Guard photo.

“I am humbled to be the first Coast Guard vice commandant promoted to the rank of four-star admiral,” Michel said in the news release. “This promotion will enable me and future vice commandants to better represent the Coast Guard and the commandant.”

Michel has served as vice commandant since August 2015 and oversees headquarters staff and senior operational and mission support commanders. A Defense Department biography notes he is the first four-star vice commandant in Coast Guard history and also the first career judge advocate in any military service to wear four stars. Michel is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law and is a current member of the Florida Bar.

Adm. Paul Zukunft (right), commandant of the Coast Guard, presents the new flag of the vice commandant of the Coast Guard to Adm. Charles Michel at the conclusion of a ceremony at the Douglas Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building in Washington, D.C., on June 1, 2016. US Coast Guard photo. Following passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015, the president nominated Michel for promotion from vice admiral to admiral to align the Coast Guard’s leadership structure to that of the other armed services. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Kyle Niemi

Adm. Paul Zukunft (right), commandant of the Coast Guard, presents the new flag of the vice commandant of the Coast Guard to Adm. Charles Michel and his wife Claudia at the conclusion of a ceremony at the Douglas Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building in Washington, D.C., on June 1, 2016. US Coast Guard photo.

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Categories: Military Personnel, News & Analysis, U.S. Coast Guard
Megan Eckstein

About Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein is a staff writer for USNI News. She previously covered Congress for Defense Daily and the U.S. surface navy and U.S. amphibious operations as an associate editor for Inside the Navy.