This morning, Vice Admiral Vivien S. Crea was properly relieved by Vice Admiral David Pekoske as the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard. Over the last three years, she served as second in command and Chief Operating Officer of the Coast Guard. She will now prepare to retire from the Coast Guard and start a new life out of uniform.
Today, it seemed appropriate to honor VADM Crea as the Guardian of the Week. She has not only made a profound impact on the service but has also led a distinguished career like no other female Guardian in the history of the Coast Guard.
- She was the first woman from any service to serve as the Presidential Military Aide. She carried the “football” for President Ronald Reagan for three years.
- She was the first female commanding officer of an air station. She commanded both Air Station Clearwater and Detroit.
- She was the first woman promoted to flag rank in the Coast Guard
- She was the first female vice-commandant of the Coast Guard
Yesterday, during the SPARs reunion event, it was fitting to recognize VADM Crea as another pioneer for women in the Coast Guard. After hearing amazing stories about the lives of the SPARs during World War II, the Commandant, Admiral Thad Allen, made some remarks about VADM Crea’s service and esprit de corps.
“She made history that was very little noticed… she became the First Female Vice Service Chief in the history of the United States and in the entire world,” he said. After noting some of her accomplishments, he went on to highlight the lighter side of her personality. As a Coast Guard Aviator, VADM Crea takes her role very seriously but with a light heart and humorous manner. The Commandant joked about her diamond studded C-130 earrings and the fact she is the Ancient Albatross for the Coast Guard (the longest serving, active-duty Coast Guard aviator). He then revealed her official portrait, but it wasn’t the typical illustration of an officer in her finest uniform. Rather it was a photograph of her in the Ancient Albatross attire etched onto metal (see picture on the left).
The Commandant fittingly chose a quote from Amelia Earhart to summarize VADM Crea’s Coast Guard career. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”
Congratulations to VADM Crea on her Change of Watch.