Coast Guard Welcomes New Commander

Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound held a change of command ceremony Thursday morning at Coast Guard Base Seattle.

Capt. Patrick Hilbert relieved Capt. Linda Sturgis as commander of the sector during the ceremony.

Rear Adm. Jack Vogt, commander, 13th Coast Guard District, presided over the change of command.

Sector Puget Sound’s area of responsibility extends from the Pacific Coast of Washington State to the eastern boundary of Montana. It includes a 125-mile international maritime boundary with Canada, as well as a multitude of Tribal Nations.

Hilbert will now oversee the operations of eight Coast Guard cutters, five small boat stations, one aids to navigation team, Air Station/Sector Field Office – Port Angeles, and the largest Vessel Traffic Service in the United States.

Hilbert’s most recent tour was in the 7th Coast Guard District as the Chief of Prevention, helping prevent marine disasters in the seas off Alaska.

Sturgis, who served as the Sector Puget Sound commander for over three years, will retire from the Coast Guard after 27-years of service. Sturgis enlisted in the Army Reserve in 1988, eventually attending Officer Candidate School and becoming an officer in the Coast Guard in 1993.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored military tradition that marks a transfer of total responsibility and authority from one individual to another. The ceremony is conducted in order to formally demonstrate the continuity of authority within a U.S. military command.