Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr. assumed the duties of the 24th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on May 25, 2010. He leads the largest component of the Department of Homeland Security, comprised of 42,000 active duty, 8,200 Reserve, 8,000 civilian and 31,000 volunteer Auxiliarists.
The Coast Guard is “Semper Paratus” – Always Ready – to use its distinctive blend of military, humanitarian and law enforcement capabilities to save lives and property at sea, protect and maintain our ports and maritime transportation system, secure our borders, respond to natural disasters, protect our marine environment and defend our nation. The Coast Guard is also America’s oldest continuous seagoing service and one of the nation’s five armed services. We trace our history back to August 4th, 1790, when the first Congress authorized the construction of ten vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling. Our people are committed to the Coast Guard’s core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty.
As a flag officer, Admiral Papp served as Commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area, where he was operational commander for all U.S. Coast Guard missions within the eastern half of the world and provided support to the Department of Defense; as the Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard and Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Headquarters; as Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District, with responsibilities for Coast Guard missions on the Great Lakes and Northern Border; and as Director of Reserve and Training where he was responsible for managing and supporting 13,000 Coast Guard Ready Reservists and all Coast Guard Training Centers.
Admiral Papp has served in six Coast Guard Cutters, commanding four of them: RED BEECH, PAPAW, FORWARD, and the training barque EAGLE. He also served as commander of a task unit during Operation ABLE MANNER off the coast of Haiti in 1994, enforcing United Nations Sanctions. Additionally, his task unit augmented U.S. Naval Forces during Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY.
He is a 1975 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy. Additionally, he holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College and a Master of Science in Management from Salve Regina College.
Admiral Papp is the 13th Gold Ancient Mariner of the Coast Guard. The Gold Ancient Mariner is an honorary position held by an officer with over ten years of cumulative sea duty who has held the qualification as a Cutterman longer than any other officer.