Thomas H. Collins

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Thomas H. Collins
Admiral Collins.jpg
Collins during his tenure as a U.S. Coast Guard admiral.
Born (1946-06-25) June 25, 1946 (age 72)
Stoughton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Coast Guard
Years of service1968–2006
RankUSCG O-10 shoulderboard.svg Admiral
Commands heldCommandant of the Coast Guard
Pacific Area and Eleventh Coast Guard District
USCGC Cape Morgan (WPB-95313)
Battles/warsSeptember 11 attacks
Other workSPADAC, Inc.,[1] SureID, USIS Inc., Terma North America, U.S. Coast Guard Foundation

Thomas Hansen Collins (born June 25, 1946)[2] is a former United States Coast Guard admiral who served as the 22nd Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard from May 2002 to May 2006.

Early life and education[edit]

A native of Stoughton, Massachusetts, Collins graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1968 and later served as a faculty member within the Humanities Department. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Haven.


Collins orating before an audience of U.S. Coast Guard recruits at Recruit Training Center Cape May in June 2004

U.S. Coast Guard[edit]

Collins started his U.S. Coast Guard career as a deck watch officer and first lieutenant aboard the cutter Vigilant. Following that assignment, he served a two-year tour as commanding officer of the cutter USCGC Cape Morgan, a patrol boat homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. His shore operational assignments include Deputy Commander, Group St. Petersburg, Florida, and Commander of Coast Guard Group and Captain of the Port, Long Island Sound, in New Haven, Connecticut.

Prior to his promotion to Flag Officer in 1994, he served as Chief, Programs Division at Coast Guard Headquarters, and then the Coast Guard’s Deputy Chief of Staff.

From 1998 to 2000 he served as Commander, Pacific Area and Eleventh Coast Guard District, where he developed the successful Coast Guard response to the increase in illegal drug and migrant smuggling traffic in the Eastern Pacific. His other flag assignments include serving as Commander, Fourteenth Coast Guard District in Honolulu, Hawaii and Chief, Office of Acquisition at Coast Guard Headquarters where he managed the acquisition of twelve major systems worth nearly $3 billion and laid the foundation for the ill-fated Integrated Deepwater System project, which was intended to modernize the ships, aircraft and sensors that the Coast Guard uses to perform its many open ocean missions.

Vice-Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard[edit]

Prior to becoming Commandant, he served as the Coast Guard's Vice Commandant, the number two post, from 2000 to 2002 where he created the Innovation Council, spearheaded service-wide process improvement initiatives and directed system enhancements as the Coast Guard Acquisition Executive.

Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard[edit]

Collins served as the 22nd Commandant of the Coast Guard from May 2002 to May 2006,[3][4] and guided the U.S. Coast Guard in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks of 2001. As part of this effort to tighten maritime security, Collins encouraged people involved in the maritime industry and the recreational boating industry to report suspicious activity to the National Response Center.[5] This program was extended and formalized as America's Waterway Watch in 2005.[5]

Other activities[edit]

Collins serves or has served as a director on the boards of numerous companies such as EID Passport Inc., USIS Inc., and Terma North America, and the U.S. Coast Guard Foundation. He consults in areas of national security and maritime security, safety, and environmental protection.

He served on the board of SPADAC [1] from 2007 thru 2010 as a key independent director, having been recruited by CEO Mark Dumas to provide balance to the board after SPADAC raised $7.5M in Venture Capital. SPADAC later was renamed to GeoEye Analytics, Inc. after its acquisition then ultimately DigitalGlobe Analytics, Inc. (NYSE: DGI).

Personal life[edit]

Awards and decorations[edit]

USCG - Boat Force Operations Advanced BW.png
Award star (gold).pngAward star (gold).png
Gold star
Award star (gold).pngAward star (gold).png
Silver block letter O
Gold star
USCG - Commandant's Staff Badge.png
Advanced Boat Force Operations Insignia
1st Row
Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal[6]
Transportation Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Distinguished Service Medal[6]
2nd Row
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit with 2 gold award stars
Meritorious Service Medal with gold award star
3rd Row
Coast Guard Commendation Medal with 2 gold award stars
Commandant's Letter of Commendation Ribbon
Secretary of Transportation Outstanding Unit Award
4th Row
Coast Guard Unit Commendation
Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation with "O" device
Meritorious Team Commendation with 1 award star
5th Row
Coast Guard Bicentennial Unit Commendation
National Defense Service Medal with 2 bronze service stars
Humanitarian Service Medal
6th row
Special Operations Service Ribbon
Sea Service Ribbon
Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with silver sharpshooter device
Commandant Staff Badge

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "SPADAC, Inc". InsideView. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16.
  2. ^ Marquis Who's Who on the Web
  3. ^ United States Coast Guard Biography
  4. ^ White House Press Release
  5. ^ a b Commandant Instruction 16618.8, 2005-02-10.
  6. ^ a b Coast Guard Change of Command Ceremony, dated 25 May 2006. C-SPAN Video Library.

This article contains information from the United States Coast Guard, and by US public law, is in the public domain.

Military offices
Preceded by
James Loy
Commandant of the Coast Guard
Succeeded by
Thad W. Allen
Preceded by
James C. Card
Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard
Succeeded by
Thomas J. Barrett