Biden at ceremony for 1st female commandant: 'No one more qualified to lead' Coast Guard

During a change-of-command ceremony on Wednesday, President Biden said Adm. Linda Fagan's appointment to be commandant of the Coast Guard — the first time a woman will lead that branch, or any branch of the armed forces — shows to young people in the service that "there are no doors ... no doors closed to women."

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: You've crewed the Polar Star, a heavy icebreaker. You've captained the port of New York. You served on all seven continents. And you've commanded the Coast Guard operation in the Pacific. You've served as vice commandant of the Coast Guard. Throughout her decades of service, she's demonstrated an exceptional skill, integrity, and commitment to our country. She upholds the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

This moment of acceleration of global challenges and hybrid threats that stop at any border. There's no one more qualified to lead the proud women and men in the Coast Guard, and she will also be the first woman to serve as commandant of the Coast Guard, the first woman to lead any branch of the United States Armed forces, and it's about time.


Secretary of defense, when he sent me the name, I said, what in the hell took you so long?


Really, congratulations. Look, with her trailblazing career, Admiral Fagan shows that young people, young people entering the service, that we mean when we say there are no doors, no doors closed to women.

- Mr. President, please join Admiral Schultz at center stage. Admiral Fagan will now read her orders.

LINDA FAGAN: From Personnel Service Center to Admiral Linda Fagan. Upon relief as vice commandant, proceed and report as commandant.

Mr. President, I request permission to relieve Admiral Schultz of his office.


LINDA FAGAN: Sir, I offer you my relief.