Admiral Karl L. Schultz assumed the duties of the 26th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on June 1, 2018. He leads the largest component of the Department of Homeland Security, composed of 88,000 personnel including active duty, reserve, civilian and volunteer Auxiliarists.
Prior to this, Admiral Schultz served as Commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area. He served as the operational commander for all Coast Guard missions from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf, spanning across five Coast Guard Districts and 40 states. In addition to his duties at Atlantic Area, he served as Commander, Coast Guard Defense Force East, which provides Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders. He concurrently served as Director, DHS Joint Task Force - East, responsible for achieving the objectives of the DHS Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Plan throughout his Joint Operating Area, which covers the Caribbean Ocean and Eastern Pacific Region and Central America.
Admiral Schultz previously served as Director of Operations (J3), U.S. Southern Command in Doral, Florida, where he directed joint service military operations across the Caribbean Basin, Central and South America. Prior flag officer assignments were Commander, Eleventh Coast Guard District, where he was responsible for multi-mission operations from California to Peru, and Director of Governmental and Public Affairs at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for external engagement with Congress, the media, and inter-governmental entities.
Previous operational assignments include Sector Command in Miami, as well as command tours aboard Cutters VENTUROUS, ACACIA and FARALLON. Staff assignments include Chief of the Office of Congressional and Governmental Affairs; Congressional Liaison Officer to the U.S. House of Representatives; Liaison Officer to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; Assignment Officer at the Coast Guard Personnel Command, and Command Duty Officer in the Seventh Coast Guard District Operations Center in Miami.
Admiral Schultz is a native of East Hartford, Connecticut and a 1983 Coast Guard Academy graduate, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. In 1992, he was awarded a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut, and in 2006 completed a one year National Security Fellowship at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.
His personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, four Legions of Merit, four Meritorious Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation medals, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, and various other personal and unit awards.