Vice Admiral Robert C. Parker assumed the duties as Commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area (LANTAREA) in April 2010, where he serves as the operational commander for all U.S. Coast Guard missions within a geographic region that ranges from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf and spans across five Coast Guard Districts and 40 states. He concurrently serves as Commander, Defense Force East and provides Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense (DOD) and Combatant Commanders.
Before assuming command of LANTAREA, he served as the U.S. Southern Command's first Director of Security and Intelligence in Miami, Florida. As the first Coast Guard officer to serve as a Director in any DOD command, he directed U.S. military operations and intelligence efforts, and coordinated interagency operations in the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
Vice Admiral Parker was promoted to Flag rank in July 2006 and immediately assigned to serve as the Assistant Commandant for Capabilities in Washington DC, responsible for identifying and providing service-wide capabilities, competencies, and capacities; and for developing staffing and training standards, and for equipping, sustaining, maintaining, and employing Coast Guard forces.
He has over 12 years of sea duty, including 3 commands - USCGC Cape Hedge, in Morro Bay, California; USCGC Tahoma in New Bedford, Massachusetts; and USCGC Mellon in Seattle, Washington – charged with conducting search and rescue operations during the winter crab fishing season in the Bering Sea, counterdrug law enforcement, migrant operations, and fisheries enforcement in the North Pacific, Gulf of Alaska, North Atlantic, Caribbean, and Eastern Pacific.
His assignments ashore have included: Operations Center Duty Officer for the Twelfth Coast Guard District and Pacific Area in Alameda, California; Security Assistance Liaison Officer in Monrovia, Liberia; Professional Development Branch Chief at the Coast Guard Academy; Chief, Pacific Area Operational Forces Branch in Alameda, CA; Chief of Operations, Eleventh Coast Guard District in Alameda, CA; and Chief of Staff, Thirteenth Coast Guard District in Seattle, Washington.
Vice Admiral Parker is a 1979 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy. Additionally, he holds a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College. He also completed a one-year National Security Fellowship at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1999.
His awards include a Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legions of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals, the 9-11 Medal, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal and various other personal and unit awards.