Historic Change in Command: Rear Adm. Michael Platt Becomes First African-American Commander of First Coast Guard District

In a landmark ceremony held last Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard welcomed Rear Admiral Michael Platt as the new commander of the First Coast Guard District. Platt, a Boston native, has made history by becoming the first African-American servicemember to assume this prestigious role.

Rear Adm. Platt arrives from the Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he served as the Military Advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security. In this capacity, he provided critical counsel to both the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on a wide array of issues concerning the intersection of policies, plans, and operational affairs between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.

Before his tenure at the Department of Homeland Security, Platt served as the Executive Assistant to the 26th Commandant of the Coast Guard, where he provided senior executive decision support, advice, and recommendations to shape, communicate, and carry out strategic direction, policy, and internal/external communications. His extensive career also includes service in six Coast Guard aviation units, during which he accumulated over 3,600 flight hours in the MH-65 helicopter and the HC-144 airplane.

A native of Boston, Platt entered the Coast Guard through the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI). He holds a Bachelor of Science from Hampton University, a Master of Science from American Military University, and a Master of Science in National Security Strategy from the National War College. Additionally, Rear Admiral Platt was a 2014 MIT Seminar XXI Fellow and is an alumnus of Harvard’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative.

The First Coast Guard District, under Platt’s command, encompasses over 12,000 active duty, reserve, civil servant, and auxiliary personnel. Annually, the district saves 427 lives, conducts 2,392 search and rescue cases, assists 4,536 people, and safeguards approximately $115 million in property at sea.

The change-of-command ceremony, a time-honored military tradition, marks the transfer of total responsibility and authority from one individual to another. This ceremony formally demonstrates the continuity of authority within a U.S. military command.

The event also marked the retirement of Rear Admiral John Mauger, who relinquished command to Platt after an illustrious 33-year career. Rear Adm. Mauger’s tenure has been characterized by exemplary leadership and dedicated service, earning him widespread respect and admiration within the Coast Guard and beyond.




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