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Vivien S. Crea

Vice Admiral Vivien S. Crea, United States Coast Guard was the 25th Vice Commandant of the United States Coast Guard under Admiral Thad W. Allen. Crea held the second highest position in the Coast Guard, and she is the first woman to do so. She is the former Commander of the Coast Guard Atlantic Area, and was confirmed by the Senate to her historic post in June 2006. Crea retired on August 7, 2009, and was replaced by VADM David Pekoske. Crea was the first woman to attain flag rank in the United States Coast Guard.

Crea earned a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as one from Central Michigan University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas.

As Lieutenant Commander, she became the first woman from any service, as well as the first service member from the US Coast Guard to serve as the Presidential Military Aide, where she carried the nuclear football for President Ronald Reagan for three years.

Crea assumed command of Coast Guard Atlantic Area on July 16, 2004. This post is the operational commander for all Coast Guard activities in an area of responsibility spanning five Coast Guard Districts, over 14 million square miles covering the Eastern and Midwestern United States from the Rocky Mountains to Maine and Mexico, out across the Atlantic and through the Caribbean Sea, involving over 33,000 military and civilian employees, and 30,000 auxiliarists. She served concurrently as Commander, Coast Guard Defense Force East.

Crea previously served as Commander, First Coast Guard District, overseeing all Coast Guard operations in the Northeastern United States, from the Maine-Canada border to Northern New Jersey. Prior to that she served as Director of Information and Technology of the Coast Guard as Chief Information Officer and oversaw the Coast Guard’s Research and Development program.

Earlier assignments include Chief, Office of Programs in Coast Guard Headquarters, Commanding Officer of Air Station Clearwater, Executive Assistant to the Commandant of the Coast Guard; Commanding Officer, Air Station Detroit; Operations Officer, Air Station Borinquen, P.R.; Coast Guard Aide to President Reagan; and many other operational assignments. As Coast Guard aviator, Vice Admiral Crea has flown the C-130 Hercules turboprop, HH-65 Dolphin helicopter, and Gulfstream II jet.

Crea was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Coast Guard Reserve upon graduation from OCS at Reserve Training Center, Yorktown, Virginia in December, 1973.

Her personal awards include the Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal, the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (four awards), and the Meritorious Service Medal.

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