Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft told the Corps of Cadets last month that “whether you’re a cadet, whether you’re the commandant, or anywhere in between, the standards you walk past are the standards you accept.”
Zukunft, in the annual Commandant’s Leadership Address at the Coast Guard Academy, in New London, Conn., emphasized the importance of maintaining standards that uphold the Coast Guard’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty. “It is going to take moral courage to make sure that everyone in this service upholds the standards, and in so doing, maintains public trust,” he said.
The commandant, who is slated for retirement this year, took cadets, staff and faculty on a journey through his career, highlighting key moments that impacted him as a leader over his 45 years in the Coast Guard. He discussed topics such as the importance of maintaining a high level of public trust and noted significant advances within the Coast Guard to better serve the mission as well as leadership challenges that he experienced throughout his career.
“Leadership is not solitary. Leadership is a team sport,” he said. “I cannot underscore the significance enough of having a mentor, someone who has been through all this before.”