Award Recipients

Loy, James

ADM James M. Loy, USCG (Ret.)

Award Year: 1999

NMHS Distinguished Service Award

The NMHS Distinguished Service Award has been presented each year since 1993 to recognize individuals who, through their personal effort and creativity, have made outstanding contributions to the maritime field.

ADM James M. Loy, USCG (Ret.) served as acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security in 2005 and US Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security from December 4, 2003, to March 1, 2005. He served as the second administrator of the Transportation Security Administration from 2002 to 2003, and before that as the Commandant of the US Coast Guard from 1998 to 2002.

As the twenty-first Commandant of the Coast Guard, Loy focused on restoring Coast Guard readiness and shaping the future of the nation’s oldest continuous sea-going service, including rebuilding the workforce to authorized levels, improving retention and managing the operational tempo of the service. He oversaw the development of the Integrated Deepwater System acquisition project, which was the plan to modernize the ships, aircraft, and sensors that the Coast Guard utilizes to perform its many missions. During his tenure as commandant, Loy oversaw the USCG’s response to the September 11 attacks of 2001 and supervised the resumption of sea-borne trade throughout the US after the USCG had shut down most major ports. He also led the US delegation that helped establish the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code that was implemented in 2002.

Born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Loy entered the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1960. Subsequently, he earned master’s degrees in history and government from Wesleyan University, and in public administration from the University of Rhode Island.

Commissioned an ensign in 1964, Loy commanded four Coast Guard cutters, including the Point Lomas on combat patrols in Vietnam; CGC Valiant, homeported in Galveston, Texas; and CGC Midgett, homeported in San Francisco, California. He served in flag assignments as Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, New Orleans, Louisiana and as Chief, Office of Personnel and Training at Coast Guard Headquarters.

He has received the Department of Transportation Distinguished Service Medal, four Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medals, the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legion of Merit awards, the Bronze Star with Combat “V,” the Meritorious Service Medal, five Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, and other unit and campaign awards. Loy was the 1999 NMHS Distinguished Service Award recipient.

On 12 August 2020, ADM James M. Loy, USCG (Ret.) provided the following update: In the past twenty years, ADM Loy finished his public service as the initial Administrator standing up TSA after 9/11 and then helping Tom Ridge stand up the new Department of Homeland Security as his Deputy Secretary. Retiring from public service in 2005, he has served on several corporate Boards and as a Senior Counselor at The Cohen Group.  He is also a Director of the National Coast Guard Museum Association helping that project bring Coast Guard history alive for the visiting public.

Categories: Nonprofit Leadership, Sea Services Leadership, US Coast Guard