Updated Jun 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Linda Fagan becomes first woman to command U.S. military branch

Picture of Linda Fagan and Joe Biden shaking hands

Admiral Linda Fagan greets President Biden during the U.S. Coast Guard change of command ceremony at the branch's headquarters in Washington on June 1. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden swore in Admiral Linda Fagan on Wednesday as commandant of the Coast Guard, making her the first woman to lead a branch of the U.S. armed forces.

Driving the news: "Now we need to keep working to make sure Admiral Fagan may be the first but not the only person. We need to see more women at the highest levels of command at the Coast Guard and across every service in the armed forces," Biden said.

  • "Admiral Fagan is part of a generation of pioneering women ... and this ceremony is historic," Biden added, mentioning that Fagan's promotion was "earned through a career of outstanding leadership and accomplishments."

What she's saying: "I'm immensely grateful to the many pioneers who have paved the way. ... I'm proud to be part of this long history of service, dedication and ground breaking, and I am committed to carrying these principles forward," Fagan said in a speech after being sworn in.

  • "I look forward to the journey ahead. I'm eternally optimistic about the future of the service. You are the world's best coast guard. I am honored and humbled to serve alongside you as we look to the future," she added.

Catch up fast: Fagan served as the Coast Guard's second-in-command as vice commandant since June 2021. Her promotion to vice commandant last year made her the first female four-star admiral in the Guard's history.

Go deeper