In 2006, Ronald J. Rábago was promoted to rear admiral in the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG); this made him the first person of Hispanic American descent to attain flag rank in that military branch. (A flag officer is a commissioned officer who is senior enough to be entitled to fly a flag to mark the position from which he or she exercises command.) Rábago graduated from the USCG Academy in 1978 with a B.S. degree in ocean engineering and was commissioned as an ensign. His first assignment was aboard the cutter USCG Mellon as a student engineer.
Along with steadily rising through the ranks in the USCG, Rábago pursued his education at the graduate level. He earned M.S. degrees in naval architecture/marine engineering and mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1983; in 1996, he received a third master’s degree– this one in national security and strategic studies — from the Naval War College.
At the time of his retirement in 2014, Rábago was serving as the USCG’s chief engineer. His responsibilities in this role involved overseeing the military branch’s vast array of naval, civil, aeronautical, and industrial engineering, logistics, and environmental and energy programs (encompassing 23,000 facilities, 250 ships, 1,800 boats, and 200 aircraft). As chief engineer, Rábago also led more than 5,000 personnel stationed at the USCG headquarters in Washington, D.C.; the Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina; the Shore Infrastructure Logistics Center in Norfolk, Virginia; and the Surface Forces Logistics Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
For more information about USCG Rear Admiral Ronald J. Rábago, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_J._Rabago