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Coast Guard Vice Admiral

O-9 Flag Officer, U.S. Coast Guard
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Coast Guard Ranks » Vice Admiral RankVADM PayVADM Rank History

O-9 Vice Admiral - U.S. Coast Guard Ranks

Coast Guard Vice Admiral
Coast Guard O-9 Vice Admiral Coast Guard Military Ranks
Class Flag Officer
Abbr. VADM
Title Admiral (last name)
Paygrade O-9 (DoD Paygrade)
OF-8 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $18,096/mo

Vice Admiral is a three-star flag officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and is equivalent to the rank of Lieutenant General in the other Armed Services. The rank of Vice Admiral is temporary and generally used only in wartime.

Officers are promoted to Vice Admiral in order to fill a certain office, and may only remain in-grade for a certain amount of time. Of all the flag officer slots allocated to the Coast Guard, no more then 25% may hold a rank with three stars or more.

A Vice Admiral commands regional Coast Guard operations during an operation or war and answers directly to the Fleet Admiral and the President of the United States. As a three-star flag officer a Vice Admiral may fly the Vice Admiral's pennant over any ship or station on which he is serving, which is three white stars on a navy blue background.

Promotion to Vice Admiral is initiated with nomination of a candidate by the President of the United States from active Rear Admirals, the lower half and upper halves. Nomination is based on recommendations provided by senior Coast Guard officials and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

After nomination by the President, candidates must be approved by the U.S. Senate by majority vote before being approved for promotion upon assumption of their new duties.

Three-star flag officers generally serve for a tour of three to four years, and a variety of mandates apply to admirals' retirement from the Coast Guard.

  • Three-star officers must retire after 38 years of total service unless promoted
  • All flag officers must retire one month after their 64th birthday
  • Flag officers can have their retirement deferred to their 66th birthday by the Secretary of Defense, and to their 68th birthday by the President
  • Once a three-star admiral's tour has ended, he has 60 days to be reappointed or promoted before they must retire.
Most vice admirals retire well before their mandatory retirement date to allow other officers the chance to fill their position. Typically, they are allowed to retire in-grade to retain their title and paygrade through retirement.

Vice Admiral is the 25th rank in the United States Coast Guard , ranking above Rear Admiral and directly below Admiral. A vice admiral is a Flag Officer at DoD paygrade O-9, with a starting monthly pay of $18,096.

What is the proper way to address a Vice Admiral?

The correct way to address a Vice Admiral named Mr. Miller is "Admiral Miller", or written as VADM Miller. In formal situations, a Vice Admiral should always be addressed by their full rank.

How much does a Vice Admiral earn?

Basic pay for an entry-level Vice Admiral with Over 20 years of experience is $18,096.00 per month.

A Vice Admiral receives an automatic raise to their basic pay every one to two years. Basic pay is only a small percentage of a Vice Admiral's final compensation package.

In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Coast Guard Vice Admiral may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including education allowance, hazard pay, and more.

For full details on the Coast Guard's Vice Admiral compensation and retirement plan, visit the 2024 Coast Guard Vice Admiral Pay Chart. A full table of the Coast Guard's current paygrades are available at the Coast Guard Pay Chart.

Equivalent Ranks to the Coast Guard's O-9 Vice Admiral

To learn more about the Coast Guard's rank structure, see our complete list of Coast Guard ranks.

The Government civilian-employee equivalent of a Vice Admiral is paid under the General Schedule payscale. For more details, see this Coast Guard rank to GS grade conversion table .

To see a list of military medals and decorations that can be earned by servicemembers in the Coast Guard and other branches of the military, see our list of military decorations and medals.