Admiral Thomas H. Collins assumed the duties of Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on May 30th, 2002. His leadership priorities are readiness, people and stewardship. He is personally committed to making effective use of emerging technologies and developing innovative methods to improve Coast Guard mission performance.
Prior to becoming Commandant, he served as the Coast Guard's Vice Commandant from 2000 - 2002 where he created the Innovation Council, spearheaded service-wide process improvement initiatives and directed system enhancements as the Coast Guard Acquisition Executive. From 1998 – 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 Integrated Deepwater System project, which will modernize the ships, aircraft and sensors that the Coast Guard uses to perform its many open ocean missions.
Prior to his promotion to Flag Officer in 1994, he served as the Chief, Programs Division at Coast Guard Headquarters, and then the Coast Guard’s Deputy Chief of Staff.
Admiral Collins began his 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 CAPE MORGAN, a patrol boat home-ported in Charleston, SC. His shore operational assignments include Deputy Commander, Group St. Petersburg, FL, and Commander of Coast Guard Group and Captain of the Port, Long Island Sound, in New Haven, CT.
Admiral Collins graduated from the 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.
The Admiral is the recipient of the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (three awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), and the Coast Guard Commendation Medal (three awards).
A native of Stoughton, MA, Admiral Collins is married to the former Nancy Monahan of New London, CT. They have two daughters, Christine and Kathryn.
Admiral Collins retired and turned over command of the U.S. Coast Guard to Admiral Thad Allen on 25 May 2006.