Rear Adm. Shannon N. Gilreath

Commander, Coast Guard 5th District


Rear Adm. Shannon N. Gilreath assumed the duties of commander, Coast Guard 5th District, in May 2022.  In this position, Gilreath serves as the operational commander of all Coast Guard missions from the North Carolina-South Carolina border to New Jersey, encompassing nearly 3,000 Coast Guard active duty, reserve and civilian personnel.  This area spans 1.4 million square miles of oceans, bays, and rivers, several mid-Atlantic ports, the largest U.S. Naval Base in the world, and our National Capitol Region.

Prior to assuming command of the 5th District, Gilreath served as commander, Personnel Service Center, in Washington, DC.  In this capacity, he was responsible for executing the Coast Guard’s human resource policies by recruiting, accessing, assigning, developing careers, maintaining well-being, compensating, separating and retiring the nearly 45,000 members of the active duty and reserve workforces.

His previous assignments include chief of staff for the Coast Guard 8th District which included all or part of 26 states including most of the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri River drainages.  He was chief of the Coast Guard’s Office of Maritime and International Law at Coast Guard Headquarters where he was responsible for mission law advice to senior Coast Guard leaders and led the U.S. delegation to the International Maritime Organization; sector commander and deputy of Sector Honolulu; chief of prevention law within the Office of Maritime and International Law; commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge; Staff Attorney at the 8th District Legal Office; Marine Inspector at Marine Safety Office New Orleans; and deck watch officer aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Northland. In 2005, he served as a unified commander for a multi-agency task force conducting urban search and rescue operations in the New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina.

A 1991 graduate from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a B.S. in Government, he received his Juris Doctorate degree with honors from Tulane Law School in 2001 and is a member of the bar association in the state of Louisiana. He completed a one year fellowship as a Senior Military Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a non-partisan think tank based in Washington, DC. 

Rear Adm. Gilreath’s military awards include five Legions of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals, a Coast Guard Commendation Medal, and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.  He was honored by the Judge Advocates Association with the Coast Guard Outstanding Career Judge Advocate Award in 2011 and by the American Bar Association as the Coast Guard’s Outstanding Military Service Career Judge Advocate in 2019.

(Current as of May 2022)