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Press Release | March 20, 2024

Coast Guard swears-in NASA astronaut as Reserve commissioned officer

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard swore-in NASA Astronaut Andre Douglas as a commander in the Coast Guard Reserve during a commissioning ceremony in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

Senior Official Performing the Duties of Deputy Secretary Kristie Canegallo participated in the ceremony, highlighting the important role Reserve members play in Coast Guard operations.

“Commander Douglas, like the fewer than 400 Americans and two Coast Guardsmen before him, will soon join the exclusive group of pioneers and explorers to embark on the journey to space,” said Canegallo. “With your commissioning into the Coast Guard Reserve component, it is our hope that you will use this position and your incredible story to share with fellow Coasties what it means to be an astronaut, share with fellow Americans what it means to be a Coastie, and share with the world the knowledge that can be gained and the progress that can be won for all when we tackle this new frontier together. Thank you for your continued service.” 

Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Linda Fagan presided over the ceremony, welcoming Douglas to the Reserve force. He will serve on the Commandant’s Advisory Group assisting with autonomous maritime systems integration, public affairs and recruiting outreach. 

“We’re proud to have Commander Douglas serve in the Reserve and to represent the Service as the third Coast Guard member of the NASA Astronaut Corps,” said Fagan. “Andre is a unique example of the caliber of our members and the rare opportunities available with Coast Guard service.”

Douglas, a 2008 U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduate, served as an active-duty Coast Guard officer from 2008 to 2015. He earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and in naval architecture and marine engineering from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate in systems engineering from George Washington University. Prior to selection as an astronaut candidate, he served as a senior professional staff member at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab working on maritime robotics, planetary defense and space exploration missions. He completed NASA astronaut candidate training on March 5, 2024.

During the ceremony, Douglas reflected on his career and the significance of joining the Coast Guard Reserve.

"This is a big deal," said Douglas. "There is a huge responsibility that's been placed on me, and I'm going to take it seriously. What better way to share how the Coast Guard helped me get to where I want to go."

Douglas is the third active-duty Coast Guard member to become a NASA astronaut. 

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