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New Coast Guard commandant takes the helm

Adm. Paul F. Zukunft assumed command as the 25th commandant of the Coast Guard on Friday, relieving Adm. Bob Papp during a military ceremony at the Douglas A. Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building in Washington, D.C.

“Adm. Papp’s leadership and resolve have left an indelible mark on the service. The Coast Guard is more proficient, more capable and more resilient due to his contributions, and I wish him fair winds and following seas,” Zukunft said at the ceremony.

“To the men and women of the Coast Guard, I’m humbled to stand before you as your 25th commandant,” Zukunft added. “You embody the world’s best Coast Guard.”

Zukunft reports to Coast Guard headquarters from Alameda, Calif., where he had served as Pacific Area commander since 2012. He was the operational commander for all Coast Guard missions from the Rocky Mountains west to the east coast of Africa.

Zukunft will lead the largest component of the Department of Homeland Security, composed of 41,700 active-duty, 7,800 reserve and 8,300 civilian personnel, as well as more than 31,000 volunteer Coast Guard auxiliarists.

Before stepping down, Papp issued a message to all personnel within the Coast Guard with the theme of “We Are Coast Guardsmen.”

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