Rear Adm. John "Jay" Vann

Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District


Rear Adm. John “Jay” Vann assumed the duties of commander, Fifth Coast Guard District, in June 2024.  In this position, Vann 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 Fifth District, Vann served as commander, Coast Guard Cyber Command located in Washington, D.C. in May 2022. He is responsible for conducting full-spectrum cyberspace operations in support of Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Defense mission objectives.

His previous assignments include deputy commander, Coast Guard Personnel Service Center, where he oversaw execution of the Coast Guard’s human resource policies by recruiting, assigning, and managing nearly 45,000 members of the active duty and reserve workforces. Prior to that, in June 2021, he completed a Military Fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations. Vann served as assistant superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and commanding officer of the Coast Guard’s largest training center in Yorktown, Virginia. A career operations afloat officer, he commanded Coast Guard cutters Harriet Lane and Assateague, and served aboard cutters Active, Gallatin, and Forward.

His assignments ashore have included duty as both future operations and cutter forces chief at Coast Guard Atlantic Area, as support and special staff assignments officer in the Officer Assignments Branch of the Coast Guard Personnel Service Center, and as the Coast Guard’s first e-Learning Program Manager on the Commandant’s Training, Workforce Performance and Development staff.

Vann is a 1992 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He holds a Master of Science degree in Instructional Systems from Florida State University and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Air Force’s Air War College. In 2019, Rear Admiral Vann graduated from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s Institute for Educational Management.

His military decorations include two Coast Guard Legions of Merit, four Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medals, five Coast Guard Commendation Medals, and the permanent Cutterman’s Pin. He was awarded the 2015 Secretary of Homeland Security’s Gold Medal for Exceptional and Distinguished Service and was designated an Honorary Chief Petty Officer in 2018. Rear Admiral Vann and his wife Darlene are the proud parents of daughters Lt. Hailey Murray, MC, U.S. Navy, and Madison Vann.

(Current as of June 2024)