Rear Admiral Laura M. Dickey assumed the duties of Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District, in September of 2020. In this position, RDML Dickey serves as the operational commander for all U.S. Coast Guard missions from the North Carolina/South Carolina border to New Jersey, encompassing nearly 3,000 Coast Guard active duty, reserve, and civilian personnel. This area spans 1.4 million square miles of oceans, bays, and rivers, several mid-Atlantic ports, the largest U.S. Naval Base in the world, and our National Capitol Region. Prior to assuming Command of the Fifth District, Rear Adm. Dickey served as the Deputy Director of Operations for United States Northern Command. In this position, she was a principal advisor to the Commander USNORTHCOM on all operational matters, providing strategic guidance to plan and execute NORTHCOM missions within the area of responsibility, including land, maritime, and Homeland Defense air operations as well as Defense Support of Civil Authorities.
Prior to her assignment in Colorado, Rear Adm. Dickey served as the Chief of Staff for the Seventeenth Coast Guard District. Headquartered in Juneau, Alaska, the 17th District encompasses an area of nearly four million square miles of the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. Rear Adm. Dickey also served as Vice President Biden’s Special Advisor for Homeland Security, Counterterrorism, and Africa. Her portfolio at the White House also included maritime security, the Arctic, the National Response Framework, and a number of other national security and humanitarian issues.
A career cutterman, Rear Adm. Dickey has over 12 years afloat conducting law enforcement, search and rescue, and homeland security operations throughout the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Bering Sea, and the Arctic. She has served aboard six cutters, commanding three of them: USCGC MIDGETT (WHEC 726) in Seattle, Washington; USCGC DEPENDABLE (WMEC 626) in Cape May, New Jersey; and USCGC CHINCOTEAGUE (WPB 1320) in Mobile, Alabama.
Her shore assignments include service as the Coast Guard’s Liaison to the U.S. Senate from 2009-2011, a period which included the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; Executive Officer of U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia based in the Kingdom of Bahrain in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; as a staff attorney at Maintenance & Logistics Command Atlantic; as a courts-martial prosecutor at the Navy Trial Services Office East; and as a Command Center Controller at the Atlantic Area/Fifth District Command Center.
Rear Adm. Dickey is a 1990 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Government. She earned a Juris Doctor from the University Of North Carolina School of Law in 2002 and graduated with honors from Naval Justice School. She is also a 2012 graduate of the U.S. Naval War College, holding a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies. She is a member of the Bar of the State of North Carolina.
Rear Adm. Dickey is a native of Wilmington, North Carolina. She has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, four Meritorious Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, numerous operational unit awards, and the Vice Presidential Service Badge.