First female service academy superintendent named

Rear Adm. Stosz

Rear Admiral Sandra L. Stosz currently serves as Director of Reserve and Leadership. She is responsible for developing policies to recruit, train and support over 8,000 Coast Guard Reservists. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Update: Paragraph four has been corrected to reflect that the U.S. Coast Guard Academy was the first military service academy to accept women in 1976.

Earlier today, the Coast Guard announced that Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz will be the first female Superintendent of the United States Coast Guard Academy. Stosz, currently the Director of Reserve and Leadership, will become the first, and only female to lead a U. S. service academy when she assumes command of USCGA next summer. Today’s announcement came with the release of the 2011 flag officer assignment list, detailing key leadership positions across the service.

“Rear Admiral Stosz has dedicated her career to developing professional Coast Guard men and women,” said Adm. Bob Papp, commandant, U.S. Coast Guard. “We are also extremely proud to be the first service with a woman at the helm of our academy. The Coast Guard has always led by allowing men and women equal access to all career fields and assignments.”

Stosz, a 1982 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, is the first female Coast Guard Academy graduate to achieve the rank of flag officer and is a surface operations officer with 12 years at sea, including command of two cutters – an icebreaking tug on the Great Lakes and a medium endurance cutter that patrolled North Atlantic and Caribbean waters.

The smallest of the five federal service academies, the Coast Guard Academy was the first military service academy to accept women among their Corps of Cadets in 1976, which now includes over 1,000 officers in training.



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25 Responses



  2. John says:

    Wow, an Admiral. Don’t get any higher than that, except for President of USA. I was Navy but have thought for a long time the Coast Guard doesn’t get enough recognition for what they do.

  3. BarbD says:

    Proud that the Coast Guard is leading the way. Congratulations, Admiral Stosz!

  4. Sarah B. Foster says:

    Great feature article on RADM Stosz published in the Baltimore Sun Nov. 30, 2009.

  5. Corinne says:

    Congrats, ADM Stosz! It was a pleasure hearing you speak last year at the Women’s Leadership Symposium! I look forward to attending the Academy with you at the helm!

  6. Zac Mathews says:

    Congratulations to Rear Admiral Stozs. However, I’d like to point out an error in the last paragraph. With respect, I believe the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point was the first federal service academy to enroll women into its Regiment of Midshipmen. This occured in 1974 roughly two years before West Point, Annapolis, Air Force, and Coast Guard Academies with eight women graduting in Kings Point’s Class of 1978.

  7. Dannytheman says:

    Congrats Admiral!!

    The word Maam just doesn’t seem right to me!

    Dan, BM2, Coxwain 1974-78.

  8. Lyal says:

    I had the honor to serve under Adm. Stosz’s command back in the early 90s. A stellar officer and excellent choice for this assignment.

    LAD QM2 USCG 1986-1991

  9. RDML Sandy Stosz says:

    My sincere thanks to all for your kind remarks. I am truly humbled. It is my sincere honor and privilege to be offered the opportunity to serve with the exceptional team at the Coast Guard Academy and to help shape the next generation of Coast Guard leaders.

  10. Curt Jones, MK1, USCG( Ret) says:

    Congratulations. Its nice to know someone how is making history.
    All the best,

  11. CGFO, Inc. says:

    Dear Rear Admiral Stosz:

    Please accept our congratulations and best wishes on this new opportunity in your career.

    Very Respectfully,
    The Board of CGFO

  12. R,H. Scarborough says:

    Suggest check the actual dates that the “five service academies” each first accepted females as students ( AND/OR graduated them.). Believe the info/claim (that USCGA was first) in basic document is not correct

  13. Dear Rear Admiral Stosz says:

    Congratulations! I am so proud to say that my son is proudly serving his second week at boot camp! We couldn’t be prouder of him being in the Coast Guard, and also quite proud to see what opportunities the Coast Guard has to offer! Again, congratulations.
    A very proud mom and proud citizen of The United States of America!!!
    Nikki Shoemaker
    ( son, Robert M. Walker)

  14. LTJG Stephanie Young says:

    Over the past several days, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about the use of the word “first” with respect to the Coast Guard Academy accepting, admitting and graduating female cadets.

    In 1974, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy amended their admissions standards, making them the first federal service academy to accept women. The Coast Guard Academy was the first military service academy to open the admissions process to women on September 22, 1975. The other services opened their admissions process following a Congressional mandate in 1976. The Coast Guard Academy and Air Force Academy were the first military service academies to have women report in on June 28, 1976.

    Due to your high level of interest, we’re working with the Coast Guard historian to develop a post on this important period in history. Stay tuned to Coast Guard Compass for more on the pioneering women who were the first to enter the military academies.

    Very Respectfully,
    LTJG S.M. Young
    Coast Guard Public Affairs

  15. Mike Malette says:

    Congratulations, Admiral!!
    I always knew women are better at running things, just ask my wife.
    Cousin Mike Malette

  16. Marilyn Mackie says:

    WOW, Rear Admiral Sandy, AND now heading up the academy where your life long ambitions can be implimented…We (your family)are so proud of you and your example to others as you have climbed life’s ladder to fullfillment and success in todays world where women are finally breaking barriers. Your love and energy for doing the job is without question. Congratulations and much success in this, another new venture in your life. Keep going and enjoy the ride..Cousin Marilyn

  17. Adam Nadeau says:

    Congratulations Admiral.

    HS2 Nadeau
    USCGC Reliance 2003

  18. Amy says:

    RADM Stosz,
    You are an absolute inspiration to all the men and women of the United States Coast Guard. Bravo Zulu! I look forward to meeting you and maybe seeing you at some of the USCGA Women’s rugby games! it has been my honor to serve on USCGC EAGLE for the past three years and coach both rugby and lacrosse at the Academy. Your command will be a breath of fresh air for not only the academy but the Coast Guard as a whole. You truly are a role model for all the female coasties out there!
    Very Respectfully,
    SN Amy E. Halperin
    USCGC Barque Eagle

  19. Chuck and April says:

    Congratulations doesn’t seem to be the right words to describe how proud we are of you. We are so proud to have a cousin that has accomplished so much as what you have. You certainly can be proud of yourself as well. May God richly bless you as you embark on a new journey in your life.
    Cousin Chuck and wife April

  20. Larry Pendleton says:

    Congradulaltion Adirmal Stosz,
    Happy to see that you had not lost any of your zeal since the USCGC Clover. ETCS Retired

  21. LtCol Robert A Schwehr USA says:

    Wonderful annd about time,congratulations Admiral!

  22. Doug Borden says:

    Sandy, congratulations on your selection. It seems a lifetime ago we met during one of the CG’s first diversity training sessions. Some of the challenges we discussed then have been met, but more remain. I know you will rise to remaining and new challenges and will do justice to the opportunity to set the direction for CG leadership for decades to come.
    Douglas H Borden III, LT, USCG (Ret)

  23. Bob Leggett says:

    Congratulations Admiral Stosz on your recent appointment as Superintendent of the US Coast Guard Academy. We met last year as members of the Distinguished Citizen’s Panel. I enjoyed meeting you and spending the evening at the Academy. I wish you the best as you embark on what should be an exciting, albeit challenging, adventure. Please call on me if I can assist you in any way. Good luck and smooth sailing. Bob Leggett


    Belated congratulations on your appointment, Admiral Stosz.

  25. BrRobertNapolitanoSchwehr says:

    Congratulations Admiral,our future officers look to you for leadership .Surely the Academy has been blessed by your appointment!