U.S. Coast Guard gets new vice commandant

United States Coast Guard

WASHINGTON - Vice Adm. Vivien S. Crea will step down as the U.S. Coast Guard’s vice commandant during a change of watch ceremony scheduled for Friday, 10 a.m., at the Telecommunications and Information Systems Command, 7323 Telegraph Road, Alexandria, Va.

The change of watch ceremony, at which Adm. Thad Allen, the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard will preside, will mark the transition of authority from Crea to Vice Adm. David P. Pekoske.

Crea made history when she was confirmed by the Senate in 2006, becoming the first woman in the service to achieve the rank of Vice Adm. and serve as vice commandant. As the second in command and chief operating officer of the service, Crea oversees the operations management of the organization and the development of Coast Guard policies. She is also the Coast Guard’s current “Ancient Albatross,” the longest-serving, active-duty Coast Guard aviator.

Crea’s flag assignments also include command of the Atlantic Area and the Coast Guard Defense Forces East, where she was the operational commander for all Coast Guard activities from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf. Other assignments include service as commander of the First Coast Guard District, Military Aide to President Reagan and Executive Assistant to the 20th commandant of the Coast Guard.

Among Crea’s personal awards are the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four awards), and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Relieving Crea is Pekoske, who served as commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area prior to his Senate confirmation as vice commandant of the Coast Guard. While in charge of Pacific Area, Pekoske was responsible for missions that included maritime safety, maritime mobility, protection of natural resources, maritime security, homeland security, and national defense in an area of operations that encompassed more than 73 million square miles throughout the Pacific Basin to the Far East.

Commissioned in 1977, Pekoske has a Bachelor of Science in ocean engineering from the Coast Guard Academy. He is a 1989 graduate of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University with a master’s in public administration. Pekoske graduated from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Master of Business Administration in 1997.

His personal decorations include the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (2 awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (5 awards), the Coast Guard Commendation Medal (2 awards), the Coast Guard Achievement Medal (4 awards) and the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation.