Rear Admiral Meredith Austin assumed the duties of the Coast Guard Deputy for Operations, Policy and Capabilities in August 2018. In this capacity, she is responsible for establishing and providing operational strategy, policy, capability and resources to meet national priorities for U.S. Coast Guard missions, programs and services.
Previously, she served as the Fifth District Commander. In this role, she had the overall responsibility for the full range of U. S. Coast Guard maritime safety and security missions carried out in the Mid-Atlantic region from central New Jersey through North Carolina. This area encompasses 1.4 million square miles of ocean, bays, and rivers that are unique and filled with historical significance, several major Mid-Atlantic ports, the largest naval base in the world, and our Nation’s Capital.
Additional Flag assignments include Deputy Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area (PACAREA), where she was responsible for all U. S. Coast Guard missions within a geographic region that covers the Rocky Mountains to the waters off the east coast of Africa. Her first flag assignment was Commander, Coast Guard Personnel Service Center, where she was responsible for meeting the current and future needs of the Service’s nearly 45,000 Active Duty and Reserve personnel.
Rear Admiral Austin has held several additional commands including Sector Delaware Bay, executing the Coast Guard’s eleven statutory missions along the coasts of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania; the Pacific Strike Team; and the National Strike Force, responding to oil and hazardous substance spills and threats from Weapons of Mass Destruction in support of Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Defense On-Scene Coordinators throughout the United States, its territories, and other nations. She worked closely with port and response partners from local, state, and federal agencies, foreign governments, as well as private industry and non-governmental organizations. Other operational tours include Marine Safety Unit, Galveston, Texas, Marine Safety Office Louisville, Kentucky and Deck Watch Officer on USCGC POLAR SEA.
Staff assignments include Chief of Staff for the Fourteenth Coast Guard District in Honolulu; Chief, Planning Division and Plankowner of the Deployable Operations Group; TRACEN Yorktown and Eleventh Coast Guard District.
Rear Admiral Austin is a 1985 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy with a degree in Marine Science. She earned a Master of Science in Public Health in Industrial Hygiene from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1994 and a Master of Arts in Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California in 2007. Rear Admiral Austin is a NIMS certified Type I Incident Commander, and has earned the designations of Certified Industrial Hygienist and Certified Emergency Manager.
Rear Admiral Austin’s personal awards include five Legion of Merit Medals, four Meritorious Service Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the DOT 9-11 Medal, three Coast Guard Achievement Medals, two Commandant's Letter of Commendation, and the Marine Safety Designation.