Rear Admiral Michael Parks is the operational commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, which spans the five Great Lakes, Saint Lawrence Seaway and parts of the surrounding states, including 1,500 miles of international border. He leads 6,000 Coast Guard active duty, reserve, civilian and auxiliary men and women serving at 77 subordinate units and on the District staff.
He most recently served as the Deputy Director of Operations for Headquarters United States Northern Command, where he was the principal advisor to the U.S. NORTHCOM Commander on all operational matters and provided strategic guidance to plan and execute missions within the U.S. NORTHCOM area of responsibility; including land, maritime, and Homeland Defense air operations as well as Defense Support of Civil Authorities.
Rear Admiral Parks is a 1982 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Government. In 1994 Rear Admiral Parks attended George Washington University, where he earned a Master of Public Administration degree. In 2004 Rear Admiral Parks was selected and attended the National War College in Washington, D.C., where he received a Master of Science in National Security Strategy and Policy.
Rear Admiral Parks’ afloat assignments include serving as Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin, Charleston, S.C.; Coast Guard Cutter Legare, Portsmouth, Va.; Coast Guard Cutter Matagorda, Miami, Fla.; and Coast Guard Cutter Point Divide, Newport Beach, Calif. Rear Admiral Parks also served as Executive Officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Venturous, and Deck Watch Officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Decisive, both home ported in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Rear Admiral Parks’ staff and ashore assignments have included: Chief of Staff for the United States Coast Guard Atlantic Area in Portsmouth, VA; Chief of Response and Chief of Staff in Ninth Coast Guard District in Cleveland, Ohio; Senior Operations Center Controller in the Eleventh Coast Guard District in Long Beach, California; Aide to the Vice Commandant at Coast Guard Headquarters; Congressional Fellow for U.S. Senator John Breaux (D-LA) in Washington, D.C.; and Chief of the Coast Guard’s Command and Operations School at the Leadership Development Center at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.
Rear Admiral Parks’ personal awards include The Defense Superior Service Medal, three Legions of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals, six Coast Guard Commendation Medals, two Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbons and various service and unit awards.