Rear Admiral Douglas M. Fears

Assistant Commandant for Response Policy

U.S. Coast Guard


Rear Admiral Doug Fears serves as the Assistant Commandant for Response Policy, since August 2019. He is responsible for policy in seven operational mission areas, including emergency management and disaster response, defense operations, law enforcement, search and rescue, maritime security, counterterrorism, and marine environmental response.

Afloat, he served as Commanding Officer in USCGC HAMILTON (WMSL 753), USCGC DILIGENCE (WMEC 616) and USCGC SITKINAK (WPB 1329). He served as Executive Officer in USCGC THETIS (WMEC 910), Aegis Fire Control Officer in USS VINCENNES (CG 49), Combat Information Center Officer in USS LEAHY (CG 16), Operations Officer and Navigator in USCGC BASSWOOD (WLB 388), and as a Deck Seaman in USCGC TANEY (WHEC 37).

Ashore, Fears served in three positions on the National Security Council staff for two Presidents of the United States; as a Deputy Assistant to the President and the Eighth Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor to the President, a Special Assistant to the President and the Senior Director for Resilience Policy, as well as the Director for Central America and the Caribbean. He served as Chief of Staff for the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Area command, as the Coast Guard’s Chief of Law Enforcement Policy, as a Program Reviewer for the counterterrorism, law enforcement and command and control architecture programs in the Coast Guard Headquarters Office of Budget and Programs, as an Assistant Liaison to the U.S. House of Representatives, and as the Aide and Executive Assistant to the Admiral overseeing operations in the Pacific Northwest, based in Seattle, Washington.

Rear Admiral Fears is a native of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He has been awarded numerous personal, unit, campaign and service awards. He enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1982, is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1989, the U.S. Naval War College in 2001, and Harvard University in 2004, with a B.S. in Government, an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies, and a Master in Public Administration degree, respectively. He was the Coast Guard Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2009 to 2010 and a Fellow in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI on Foreign Politics, International Relations, and the National Interest from 2011 to 2012. He also served as member of the Editorial Board for the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings magazine from 2010 to 2013, and was Chairman from 2011 to 2013.