Charles D. Michel

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Charles D. Michel
ADM Charles Michel.jpg
Born (1963-04-07) April 7, 1963 (age 55)
Lawton, Oklahoma, U.S.
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Coast Guard
Years of service 1985–2018
Rank USCG O-10 shoulderboard.svg Admiral
Commands held Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard
Director of Joint Interagency Task Force South
Commanding Officer of USCGC Resolute
Commanding Officer of USCGC Cape Current
Awards Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (5)

Charles David Michel (born April 7, 1963) is a United States Coast Guard Admiral who last served as the 30th Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. He is the first Vice Commandant to hold the rank of Admiral while in office. Originally a Vice Admiral when he assumed office on August 6, 2015, Michel was promoted to Admiral on May 24, 2016 when the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 elevated the statutory rank for the position to admiral. Michel is also the first career judge advocate in any of the Armed Forces to achieve four-star rank.[1] Michel retired from the Coast Guard on May 24, 2018 after over 33 years of service.

Early life and education[edit]

Michel was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, in 1963[2] and graduated from Brandon High School at Brandon, Florida in 1981. Michel graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a degree in marine engineering with high honors in 1985. He also graduated in 1992 summa cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law as the salutatorian and is a member of The Florida Bar.[3]


Michel has served on four cutters including a tour aboard USCGC Decisive as deck watch officer, USCGC Dauntless as executive officer, and tours as commanding officer on USCGC Cape Current and USCGC Resolute.[3] Other assignments have included a tour as staff attorney for the Eighth Coast Guard District at New Orleans, Louisiana and assignments at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. as head of the operations division the Office of Maritime and International Law and a later tour as chief of the same office. Michel also served a tour as Legislative Counsel for the Office of Congressional and Governmental Affairs.[3] His flag assignments include Director, Governmental and Public Affairs, Military Advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Director, Joint Interagency Task Force South, Deputy Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, and Deputy Commandant of Operations at Coast Guard Headquarters.[3]

Awards and decorations[edit]

1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg
Operational Distinguishing Device.png1 golden star.svg
Operational Distinguishing Device.png
Operational Distinguishing Device.png1 golden star.svg
Operational Distinguishing Device.png
Operational Distinguishing Device.png1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg
Operational Distinguishing Device.png1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg
1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg
Bronze star
USCG - Commandant's Staff Badge.png Emblem Knockout.png USCGCAFLT.jpg Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg
Cutterman Insignia (Officer)
1st row
Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
2nd row
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with four gold award stars
Meritorious Service Medal with gold award star and Operational Distinguishing Device
3rd row
Coast Guard Commendation Medal with "O" device
Coast Guard Achievement Medal with gold award star and "O" device
Commandant's Letter of Commendation Ribbon
4th row
Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation with "hurricane symbol"
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Secretary of Transportation Outstanding Unit Award
5th row
Coast Guard Unit Commendation with "O" device
Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation with two award stars and "O" device
Meritorious Team Commendation with three gold award stars and "O" device
6th row
Coast Guard "E" Ribbon with two award stars
Coast Guard Bicentennial Unit Commendation
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
7th row
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Transportation 9-11 Ribbon
8th row
Special Operations Service Ribbon with four service stars
Sea Service Ribbon with two service stars
Unidentified award
9th row
Distinguished Service Medal of the Colombian Navy (Surface)
Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with silver sharpshooter device
Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon
Commandant Staff Badge
Office of the Secretary of Homeland Security Identification Badge
Command Afloat Pin
Joint Staff Identification Badge

Dates of rank[edit]

Ensign Lieutenant, Junior Grade Lieutenant Lieutenant Commander Commander Captain
O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5 O-6
USCG O-1 insignia.svg USCG O-2 insignia.svg USCG O-3 insignia.svg USCG O-4 insignia.svg USCG O-5 insignia.svg USCG O-6 insignia.svg
May 22, 1985 November 22, 1986 May 22, 1990 September 1, 1995 October 1, 2000 March 1, 2006
Rear Admiral (lower half) Rear Admiral (upper half) Vice Admiral Admiral
O-7 O-8 O-9 O-10
USCG O-7 insignia.svg USCG O-8 insignia.svg USCG O-9 insignia.svg USCG O-10 insignia.svg
October 1, 2009 July 1, 2012 May 2, 2014 May 24, 2016

Personal life[edit]

In addition to his military awards, Michel was the American Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year for the Coast Guard in 1995, and the Judge Advocate’s Association Career Armed Services Attorney of the Year for the U.S. Coast Guard in 2000.[3] Also, Michel has received the USCG Public Service Commendation certificate.[3]


References cited
  • "Admiral Charles D. Michel" (PDF). Coast Guard Flag Biographies. U.S. Coast Guard. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  • "Flag Officer and Senior Executive Service Assignments". Internet Releasable Announcements. U.S. Coast Guard. Retrieved 10 August 2015.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Peter Neffenger
Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard
Succeeded by
Charles W. Ray