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Press Release | Oct. 16, 2023

LIFT: Leadership, Improvement, Future and Teamwork

The U.S. Coast Guard recently released an overarching strategic vision for the Coast Guard Academy that will set the course for advancing the institution and meeting the challenges of the future. The Coast Guard’s Strategic Vision for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, outlines three strategic imperatives: 

  • Developing and preparing tomorrow’s commissioned officers, by investing in technology and infrastructure to keep pace with advances in STEM education and mission excellence.
  • Enhancing the Coast Guard’s Readiness for tomorrow by investing in and advancing our intellectual resources.
  • Ensuring the Academy is ready for tomorrow by becoming an employer of choice for the young women and men who will make up our future workforce.

Rear Admiral Michael J. Johnston, who recently assumed the duties of the 43rd Superintendent of the Academy, said the institution is at an inflection point and that, “the long-term success of the Academy will depend on what we do today.”

The first African American leader of the institution, Rear Admiral Johnston previously served for four years as a member of the Academy’s Board of Trustees, which advises the Superintendent and other senior leaders at the Academy by providing strategic oversight for the institution.

“I am honored to return to my alma mater, which has had such a lasting impact on me as a leader and person,” he said, “and I look forward to helping this institution meet the challenges that lie on the horizon.”

Rear Admiral Johnston’s vision for every member of the Academy community is encompassed in what he calls LIFT, which stands for Leadership, Improvement, Future and Teamwork. “Leadership is about selfless service, compassion for our people, and the trust and transparency to hold each other accountable up and down the ranks,” he said.

He asks that each day Academy community members, “think about and do something to improve ourselves, our processes and the organization.”

In addition, Rear Admiral Johnston states, “we need to put energy into our strategic plan to set our successors up for success,” and ask ourselves, “What bridge did we build or strengthen today?”

“At the end of the day, we must ensure that the Academy lifts up its entire workforce and provides a safe and secure environment for staff members, faculty and the cadets who call this place home,” he said.