New era at Coast Guard Academy

Coast Guard Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz marches onto the field to assume command of the United States Coast Guard Academy from Rear Admiral J. Scott Burhoe in a change of command ceremony Friday, June 3, 2011 on the academy's Washington Parade Field.
Coast Guard Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz marches onto the field to assume command of the United States Coast Guard Academy from Rear Admiral J. Scott Burhoe in a change of command ceremony Friday, June 3, 2011 on the academy's Washington Parade Field. Sean D. Elliot/The Day Buy Photo

New London— Rear Adm. Sandra L. Stosz became the first woman ever to lead one of the nation's military academies today as she took command of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

She is the school's 40th superintendent, taking over from Rear Adm. J. Scott Burhoe who has led the school since January 2007.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. said at the ceremony that Stosz was opening "hopefully one of the few remaining doors" as the first female superintendent of a service academy.

"Congratulations on this historic and well-earned accomplishment," he said.

Stosz, who previously developed policies to recruit, train and support about 8,000 Coast Guard reservists as the director of Reserve and Leadership, said she was honored to serve as a role model, but feels that becoming the first female superintendent is not a milestone, but rather a "natural progression in the Coast Guard's efforts to create a climate of equity."

She said she was looking forward to meeting everyone at the academy and the community to "take a fix" and see where there may be new opportunities or challenges. She said she planned to build on Burhoe's "phenomenal record of success."

As superintendent, Burhoe recruited, trained and graduated more than 2,200 people into the officer corps, or more than 30 percent of the Coast Guard's commissioned officers. That number includes academy cadets, officer candidates, direct commission officers and reserve officer candidates

Papp said Burhoe's legacy is these men and women, ready to step forward and apply their knowledge, leadership and might— attributes they honed at the academy under Burhoe's leadership.

"I can't think of any finer legacy for an officer," Papp said.

Burhoe was emotional as he read his orders from the personnel command to leave the academy and retire. He will continue in the educational field by becoming the next president of Fork Union Military Academy.

"What a blessing it has been," he said, "to educate and inspire the next generation of Coast Guard leadership."

j.mcdermott@theday.com

Coast Guard Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz, left, stands with Rear Admiral J. Scott Burhoe before assuming command of the United States Coast Guard Academy from Burhoe in a change of command ceremony Friday, June 3, 2011 on the academy's Washington Parade Field.  Stosz is the 40th superintendent and first woman to lead the academy.
Coast Guard Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz, left, stands with Rear Admiral J. Scott Burhoe before assuming command of the United States Coast Guard Academy from Burhoe in a change of command ceremony Friday, June 3, 2011 on the academy's Washington Parade Field. Stosz is the 40th superintendent and first woman to lead the academy. Sean D. Elliot/The Day Buy Photo
Coast Guard Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz, left, accepts congratulations from her predecessor, Rear Admiral J. Scott Burhoe, right, as Admiral Robert Papp, center, looks on, after assuming command of the United States Coast Guard Academy from Burhoe in a change of command ceremony Friday, June 3, 2011 on the academy's Washington Parade Field.  Stosz is the 40th superintendent and first woman to lead the academy.
Coast Guard Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz, left, accepts congratulations from her predecessor, Rear Admiral J. Scott Burhoe, right, as Admiral Robert Papp, center, looks on, after assuming command of the United States Coast Guard Academy from Burhoe in a change of command ceremony Friday, June 3, 2011 on the academy's Washington Parade Field. Stosz is the 40th superintendent and first woman to lead the academy. Sean D. Elliot/The Day Buy Photo
Coast Guard Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz, center, greets wellwishers in the Henriques Room in Hamilton Hall before the change of command ceremony where she assumed command of the United States Coast Guard Academy from Rear Admiral J. Scott Burhoe Friday, June 3, 2011 on the academy's Washington Parade Field.
Coast Guard Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz, center, greets wellwishers in the Henriques Room in Hamilton Hall before the change of command ceremony where she assumed command of the United States Coast Guard Academy from Rear Admiral J. Scott Burhoe Friday, June 3, 2011 on the academy's Washington Parade Field. Sean D. Elliot/The Day Buy Photo
Coast Guard Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz adjusts her dress uniform hat by checking her reflection in a Hamilton Hall display case before the change of command ceremony where she assumed command of the United States Coast Guard Academy from Rear Admiral J. Scott Burhoe Friday, June 3, 2011 on the academy's Washington Parade Field.
Coast Guard Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz adjusts her dress uniform hat by checking her reflection in a Hamilton Hall display case before the change of command ceremony where she assumed command of the United States Coast Guard Academy from Rear Admiral J. Scott Burhoe Friday, June 3, 2011 on the academy's Washington Parade Field. Sean D. Elliot/The Day Buy Photo
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