Then-Vice Admiral Charles Michel assumed the duties as the 30th Vice Commandant on August 6, 2015. He received his fourth star on May 24, 2016, becoming the first Vice Commandant to make the rank of Admiral.
Prior to this appointment, Admiral Michel served as the Deputy Commandant for Operations, responsible for establishing and providing operational strategy, policy, guidance and resources to meet national priorities for U.S. Coast Guard missions, programs and services.
His previous flag officer assignments include Deputy Commander, U. S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area; Director, Joint Interagency Task Force South; Military Advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security; and Director for Governmental and Public Affairs, U. S. Coast Guard.
A native of Brandon, Florida, he graduated from the U. S. Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering (with high honors) in 1985. In 1992, he graduated summa cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law as the salutatorian, receiving membership in the Order of the Coif.
Tours of duty afloat included serving as Commanding Officer, USCGC RESOLUTE; as Executive Officer, USCGC DAUNTLESS; as Commanding Officer, USCGC CAPE CURRENT; and as Deck Watch Officer, USCGC DECISIVE. Vice Admiral Michel also served as Chief of the Office of Maritime and International Law, Washington, DC; Staff Attorney, Eighth Coast Guard District, New Orleans, Louisiana; head of the Operations Division, Office of Maritime and International Law, Washington, DC; and as Legislative Counsel for the Office of Congressional and Governmental Affairs, Washington, DC.
Admiral Michel’s awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, and the Coast Guard Letter of Commendation Ribbon. Vice Admiral Michel was also awarded the Distinguished Service Medal of the Colombian Navy. Vice Admiral Michel was the American Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year for the Coast Guard in 1995, the Judge Advocate’s Association Career Armed Services Attorney of the Year for the Coast Guard in 2000, and is currently a member of the Florida Bar.
Admiral Michel retired on May 24, 2018 after over 33 years of active-duty service.