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Rear Admiral Robert F. Duncan

by Robert F. Duncan, Rear Admiral US Coast Guard (ret)


Rear Admiral Robert F. Duncan, was Commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District and Commander of Maritime Defence Command Eight, headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. As District Commander, RADM Duncan was responsible for U.S. Coast Guard operations covering 26 states, over 1,200 miles of coastline and 10,300 miles of inland waterways from Florida to Mexico and including the entire navigable lengths of the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee River Systems

RADM Duncan, a 1972 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, earned his Master of Science degree from the State University of New York, Maritime College in 1978. Upon commissioning, RADM Duncan served as a Deck Watch Officer (DWO) in USCGC CITRUS. He was next assigned to the Coast Guard Third District operations staff in New York City, followed by a tour as Executive Officer of USCGC HORNBEAM, homeported in Cape May, New Jersey.

Following graduation from Boston College Law School, with the degree of Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, RADM Duncan served as the Assistant Legal Officer on the staff of the Commander, First Coast Guard District, in Boston,

Rear Admiral Robert F. Duncan -
                                  Click Larger Image


Rear Admiral Robert F. Duncan

Massachusetts. In 1987, he assumed command of Coast Guard Group and Coast Guard Base Charleston, South Carolina. He joined the faculty of the Naval War College in 1990 as Assistant Director of the Oceans Law and Policy. RADM Duncan next appointment was as Deputy Chief in the Office of General Law at Coast Guard Headquarters.

During OPERATION DESERT STORM, RADM Duncan served on the staff of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Central Command, as Attorney for the Maritime Interception Forces and as Assistant Officer-in-Charge, U.S. Coast Guard Forces, Middle East, embarked in USS LASALLE (AGF-3) and USS LONG BEACH (CGN-9), operating in the Arabian Gulf.

In 1994, RADM Duncan then served as Fellow to the Chief of Naval Operations, on CNO Strategic Studies Group XIV. He next commanded Coast Guard Group Woods Hole, Massachusetts, served as Chief of Staff, First Coast Guard District, and then as Assistant Superintendent, United States Coast Guard Academy. Upon promotion to Flag rank, RADM Duncan served as Chief Counsel and Judge Advocate General of the Coast Guard, and led the Coast Guard Homeland Security Task Force. RADM Duncan is a graduate of National Defence University's Pinnacle Course for Flag and General Officers.

President George W. Bush is greeted
                              by U.S. Coast Guard  
President George W. Bush is greeted by U.S. Coast Guard  
Vice Admiral Thad Allen, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2005 aboard   the USS Iwo Jima in New Orleans, La., joined  
 by Rear Admiral Robert Duncan and U.S. Army Lt. General Russel Honore, right. White House photo by Eric Draper  

In January 2005, he was appointed by Secretary Ridge and served as the Federal Coordinator for the Iraqi Overseas Registration and Voting for the southern region of the United States. In August and September 2005, Rear Admiral Duncan led the Coast Guardís rescue and recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

For his leadership of those rescue and recovery operations, he was commended by President Bush, and the United States Senate. On behalf of the President, Secretary Chertof awarded Admiral Duncan the Distinguished Service Medal, noting in the accompanying citation that this historic response addressed ďthe worst natural disaster in our nationís historyĒ. Similarly, Rear Admiral Duncan was formally commended by Governor Blanco and in a Concurrent Resolution of the Louisiana Senate and House of Representatives. Rear Admiral Duncan was awarded the Louisiana  Legion of  Merit  and

commended for his heroism by a Proclamation from the City Council of New Orleans. Additionally, Secretary Colin Powell presented Rear Admiral Duncan with the American Spirit Gold Medallion, an award conferred annually by the National World War II Museum. Admiral Duncan was also presented the City of New Orleans highest recognition; the Sieur de Bienville Founderís Award.

Other personal awards of RADM Duncanís are; Legion of Merit (two awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (five awards), the Coast Guard Commendation Medal (two awards), and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal (three awards) and he was also awarded the South Carolina Governorís Award of Appreciation for leading Coast Guard rescue and recovery operations during Hurricane Hugo of 1989.

After a distinguished career in the United States Coast Guard spanning 34 years he now serves as Senior Vice President, Business Development and Government Services, of Rivada Network. He still serves however as a Director on the Joint Executive Boards of the National Institute for Urban Search and Rescue (NIUSR) and the National Consortium for Readiness in Emergencies (N-CORE). An author, frequent panelist, and sought-after speaker, Admiral Duncan continues to contribute to the national, and international, dialogue on Homeland Security, emergency operations, and crisis leadership.


The Clan Duncan Society would like to thank Rear Admiral Robert F. Duncan for the use of his article. © Robert F. Duncan, Rear Admiral US Coast Guard (ret)


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