“My experience is that the Coast Guard is one of the best places in America for motivated individuals to succeed and achieve the American dream.” – Vice Admiral Manson K. Brown
Earlier this week, Vice Admiral Manson Brown assumed his duties as Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area. The change of command ceremony, steeped in naval tradition, was also a major milestone in Coast Guard history. Brown’s attainment of three stars and an area command are both firsts for an African American Coast Guard officer.
Manson Brown’s story is a true tale of pursuit of the American dream. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Brown would enter the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1974 and graduate with an engineering degree. Upon his commissioning in 1978, then-Ensign Brown served in the engineering department aboard the Icebreaker Glacier. In 32 years as a Coast Guard officer, Vice Admiral Brown has held five commands and served as Senior Advisor for Transportation to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq in 2004, where he oversaw restoration of Iraq’s transportation systems.
In 1994, Brown became the first recipient of the Captain John G. Witherspoon Award for Inspirational Leadership. In 2008, he was honored with the Thurgood Marshall Flag Officer’s Award from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Inc.