Vice Admiral Charles W. Ray assumed the duties of Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area in April 2014, where he serves as the operational commander for all U.S. Coast Guard missions within half of the world that ranges from the Rocky Mountains to the waters off the East Coast of Africa. He concurrently serves as Commander, Defense Force West and provides Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders.
Vice Admiral Ray’s previous Flag Assignments include Commander, Fourteenth Coast Guard District, service with U.S. Forces Iraq as Director of the Iraq Training and Advisory Mission for the Ministry of Interior, and as the Military Advisor to the Secretary of the Department Homeland Security.
Vice Admiral Ray is from Newport, Arkansas and is a 1981 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy. After an assignment as a deck watch officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter ACUSHNET (WMEC-167), he was selected for Naval Flight Training and earned his wings in 1983.
Vice Admiral Ray has served at six Coast Guard Air Stations from Alaska to the Caribbean. He was designated an Aeronautical Engineer in 1988 and has served as Engineering Officer at three stations and at the Aviation Logistics Center as the Program Manager for the development of the Coast Guard’s Aviation Logistics Management System. He commanded Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico from 2002 through 2005. During the course of his career he accumulated over 5,000 hours of helicopter flight time.
Vice Admiral Ray’s staff assignments include a tour as Chief of the Office of Performance Management at Coast Guard Headquarters followed by a tour as the Chief of Staff of the Fourteenth Coast Guard District. Vice Admiral Ray earned a Master’s of Science Degree in Industrial Administration from Purdue University and a Master’s of Science Degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C.
Vice Admiral Ray’s personal awards include five Legion of Merit Medals, one Bronze Star Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, one Coast Guard Air Medal, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.