Military Wiki
Sandra L. Stosz
Rear Admiral Sandra L. Stosz
Place of birth Takoma Park, Maryland
Allegiance United States
Service/branch  United States Coast Guard
Years of service 1982 – present
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Rear Admiral
Commands held

United States Coast Guard Academy
Training Center Cape May CGC Reliance (WMEC 615)

CGC Katmai Bay (WTGB 101)

Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal (four awards)
Coast Guard Commendation Medal (two awards)
Coast Guard Achievement Medal (two awards)


Sandra Leigh Stosz (born 1960, Takoma Park, Maryland)[2] is a United States Coast Guard rear admiral who was chosen by the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard ADM Robert J. Papp to become the Superintendent of United States Coast Guard Academy in 2011.[3] As such, she is the first woman to lead a United States military service academy.[4][5] At the time of her appointment to head the Coast Guard Academy, she was the Coast Guard's Director of Reserve and Leadership.[6]

Early career

Stosz as a Coast Guard lieutenant with President George Herbert Walker Bush

Stosz, a 1982 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, holds a master of business administration degree from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois. Stosz is the first female graduate of the Coast Guard Academy to achieve flag rank.[7] In 1990, as a Coast Guard lieutenant, Stosz became the first woman to command a Coast Guard cutter in the Great Lakes.[8] The cutter was USCGC Katmai Bay (WTGB 101), which, homeported in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, has operated since her 1979 launching in the Great Lakes as a unit of the Ninth Coast Guard District. The Katmai Bay is a 140-foot ice-breaking tug, with a crew of 17 (3 officers and 14 enlisted).[9] She has also served as the Commanding Officer of United States Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, New Jersey.[10]

Flag officer

In her role as leader of the Coast Guard Reserve, early in 2011 she announced plans to raise the Coast Guard Reserve to 8,100 personnel from the 7,600 reservists available in 2010; the reason was partly experience with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, during which the Coast Guard struggled with insufficient reserve personnel to support the active-duty contingent.[11]


Stosz is married. In a People Magazine profile, she described her Coast Guard career as her lifetime adventure. Her parents were chemical engineers Max Stosz and his wife Joy. Sandra Stosz has three siblings, all brothers.[2]

She has described her "most enjoyable assignment" as being her initial tour, once completing her studies at Coast Guard Academy, as an ensign on the icebreaker USCGC Glacier (AGB/WAG/WAGB 4), which took her to Haiti, New Zealand, various South Pacific islands, and Antarctica.

Recently, in April 2013, Stosz expressed to a United States Coast Guard Academy cadet that her favorite colors were "blue and shades of purple."[12]


  1. Rear Admiral Sandra L. Stosz bio on the web site of the United States Coast Guard, United States Department of Homeland Security.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chu, Dan. "She's No Party Animal, but When It Comes to Breaking the Ice, Sandra Stosz Knows No Peer". People Magazine.,,20114851,00.html. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  3. Altimari, Daniela (2010-12-15). "Military academy gets female leader". p. A2. Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  4. "First woman to take helm of a U.S. military academy". 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  5. Malec, William A. (2012-05). "Female firsts". Military Officers Association of America. p. 19. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  6. Director of Reserve and Training United States Coast Guard (accessed 2010 September 9).
  7. The first woman to achieve flag rank in the U.S. Coast Guard was Vice Admiral Vivien Crea, who received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin; Coast Guard Academy began admitting women in 1976, and Stosz was in the third graduating class to contain women. Braesch, Connie (2009 December 4). "Guardian of the Week – RDML Sandra Stosz". Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  8. Manning, Elizabeth H. (2010-09/10). "Live lessons for a strategic plan: New Coast Guard Reserve chief sets her sights on 2020". Reserve Officers Association. pp. 46–47. 
  9. Coast Guard specifications for the Katmai Bay (WTGB 101), accessed 2010 September 12.
  11. Stosz, Sandra (2011 January–February). "From quick response to new horizons: 2010 events emphasized the importance of the Coast guard Reserve and served as a foundation to build a stronger future force". Reserve Officers Association. pp. 52–54. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  12. Philpott, Tom (2012-03). "Rapidfire Active duty spotlight: Rear Adm. Sandra L. Stosz". Alexandria, Virginia: Military Officers Association of America. p. 28. 

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