PHOTOS: Atkins Assumes Command for Coast Guard District in Hawaiʻi
By Maui Now Staff
Rear Adm. Vincent B. Atkins relieved Rear Adm. Cari B. Thomas and assumed command of the 14th Coast Guard District during a change of command ceremony at Base Honolulu, on Thursday, May 28, 2015. Prior to reporting to the 14th District, Atkins served at Coast Guard Headquarters as the Deputy for Operations Policy and Capabilities. His immediate previous assignment was as US Southern Command’s Director of Operations, directing all military operations in the Caribbean, Central and South America.
“It is absolutely wonderful to be back in the 14th Coast Guard District, and I am thoroughly impressed by the professionalism of the Coast Guard members stationed here,” said Atkins in an agency announcement. “I am truly honored and humbled to be given this incredible opportunity to serve as the District Commander, and I would like to thank Rear Adm. Thomas for her exemplary leadership and commitment to service.”
The USCG describes the change of command ceremony as “a time-honored tradition and formal ritual” in which transfer of total responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual is made to another.
Rear Adm. Thomas has served as the 14th District Commander since May 2013 and is leaving to assume the duties as the Assistant Commandant for Human Resources at Coast Guard Headquarters, according to the USCG announcement.
“It has been a privilege serving as the commander of the 14th Coast Guard District, and I am so proud of the Coast Guard men and women throughout Hawaii and the Central and Western Pacific,” said Thomas. “I will always cherish my time in Hawaiʻi, and I will take the spirit of aloha with me as I continue my Coast Guard career.”
During her tenure at the 14th District Commander, Thomas is credited with overseeing more than 1,000 rescues cases resulting in 340 lives saved; response to 235 environmental pollution cases; and coordinated the Coast Guard’s response during three hurricane events.
Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray, the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area commander, presided over the ceremony.