New leader takes the helm at Coast Guard Academy

By the Associated Press | June 3, 2011 | 12:43 PM EDT

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — The first woman selected to lead one of the nation's five military service academies has taken command of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz was installed as the academy's 40th superintendent in an official change-of-command ceremony Friday on its New London campus. She takes over from Rear Adm. J. Scott Burhoe, who is retiring.

Stosz is a 1982 graduate and a member of the third graduating class that included female cadets. She previously was the Coast Guard's director of reserve and leadership, and also commanded two cutters during her 12 years of experience at sea.

The academy has about 1,030 cadets in its four-year program. Students graduate with a bachelor of science degree and an obligation to serve five years in the Coast Guard.