Vice Admiral Paul F. Thomas assumed duties as the Deputy Commandant for Mission Support (DCMS) in June 2021. As Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, Vice Admiral Thomas leads the 17,000-person organization that delivers the systems and people that enable the U.S. Coast Guard to efficiently and effectively perform its operational missions. He is responsible for all facets of support for the Coast Guard’s diverse mission set through oversight of human capital, lifecycle engineering and logistics, acquisitions, information technology and security.
VADM Thomas most recently served as served as the DCMS Deputy for Personnel Readiness (DPR), where he was responsible for integrating human resources, force readiness, and Coast Guard Academy activities through oversight of emerging policy and technology, planning and budget, and program coordination. VADM Thomas takes from this experience the ability to deliver mission-ready forces by investing in an effective talent management system through initiatives such as modern ready learning, robust HR analytics and improving access to health care and other support services.
Vice Admiral Thomas’ previous Flag assignments were Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, New Orleans, LA, and Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy at 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.
Vice Admiral Thomas is a 1985 graduate of 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.
Vice 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, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal. VADM Thomas has been designated an Honorary Chief Petty Officer.
Vice Admiral Thomas and his wife Mary Thomas, D.V.M., have one son Erik.