Rear Admiral Paul F. Thomas

Deputy for Personnel Readiness

U.S. Coast Guard


Rear Admiral Paul F. Thomas assumed duties as the Deputy Commandant for Mission Support organization’s Deputy for Personnel Readiness (DCMS-DPR) at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, DC, in August 2019.  In this capacity, he is responsible for integrating human resource, force readiness, and Coast Guard Academy activities through oversite of emerging policy and technology, planning and budget, and program coordination.  He and his team are committed to delivering world-class services in support of the mission-ready, total Coast Guard workforce aligned with the Service’s strategic priorities and national needs. 

Rear Admiral Thomas’ previous Flag assignments were Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, New Orleans, LA, and Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, Coast Guard Headquarters.

Field assignments include serving as Operations Officer, USCGC BLACKHAW, San Francisco, CA; Commanding Officer, USCGC CAPE ROMAIN, San Francisco, CA; Marine Inspector, Marine Safety Office, San Francisco Bay, CA; Supervisor, Marine Safety Detachment, Port Canaveral, FL; and Chief of Inspections, Marine Safety Office, Jacksonville, FL.  He also served as Commanding Officer, Marine Safety Unit, Galveston, TX, and as Commander, Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, FL.

Staff tours include service as Staff Engineer, Marine Safety Center, Washington, DC; Military Assistant to the Director of Net Assessment, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, DC; Executive Assistant, Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship, Washington, DC; Director of Inspections and Compliance, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, Washington, DC; and Chief of Staff, Fifth Coast Guard District, Portsmouth, VA. 

In 1985, Rear Admiral Thomas graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a B.S. degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.  In 1992, he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with M.A. degrees in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.  In 2005, he completed a National Security Fellowship at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and, in 2010, he served as a Senior Fellow to the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group (SSG XXIX).  He is also an alumnus of Harvard’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. 

Rear Admiral Thomas’ military awards include the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, the Department of Transportation 9-11 Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.

Rear Admiral Thomas and his wife Mary Thomas, D.V.M., have one son Erik.