Charles Town, WV, April 11, 2017 — American Public University System (APUS) today announced that Vice Admiral Charles W. Ray, Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Operations, will present the keynote address at its 2017 commencement. The graduate and undergraduate ceremonies are scheduled for May 13 at 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., respectively, at the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, MD.
VADM Ray assumed his current post in August 2016, and is responsible for the development of operational strategy, policy, guidance, and resources in support of Coast Guard missions, programs, and services. His oversight includes: intelligence; international affairs; cyber; maritime security and transportation; commercial regulations and inspections; search and rescue; law enforcement and defense; environmental response; contingency planning; and operational capabilities of cutter, boat, aviation, shore, and deployable specialized forces.
“We are honored to have such a distinguished public servant address our graduates; a recognized leader who truly reflects the values underlying our core mission to educate those who serve,” said APUS President Dr. Karan Powell.
VADM Ray’s previous flag assignments were Pacific Area Commander, Deputy Pacific Area Commander, and 14th Coast Guard District Commander. He also served with U.S. Forces Iraq as director of the Iraq Training and Advisory Mission for the Ministry of Interior and as military advisor to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, he has served at six Coast Guard air stations from Alaska to the Caribbean, including as engineering officer at three stations and as Program Manager for the development of the Aviation Logistics Management System. His staff assignments also include a tour as Chief of the Office of Performance Management at Coast Guard Headquarters.
VADM Ray is a 1981 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy. After an assignment as a deck watch officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter ACUSHNET (WMEC-167), he was selected for Naval Flight Training and earned his wings in 1984 and designated as an aeronautical engineer in 1988. He received Master of Science Degrees in Industrial Administration from Purdue University and in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C. His medals include the Coast Guard Distinguished Service, Legion of Merit (5), Bronze Star, Meritorious Service (2), Coast Guard Air, Coast Guard Commendations (3), and the Coast Guard Achievement.