Rear Admiral Robert F. Duncan, USCG (Ret.)

Over his career Bob was honored with two Distinguished Service Medals, two Legion of Merit awards, five Meritorious Service Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, and three Coast Guard Achievement Medals. Bob was recently honored by the American Security Council Foundation with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Like many of our class, I had significant work experience prior to coming to BC Law. In my case, I had served as a Coast Guard officer on ships in the Arctic and North Atlantic in primarily lifesaving rescue and enforcement actions. I was accepted into the funded law school program and chose BC Law, in exchange for five years of additional service. BC Law provided me with an excellent preparation for what turned into a 38-year career culminating in service as the Chief Counsel and the Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Coast Guard as a Rear Admiral, the positions I held on 9/11.

I retired from the Coast Guard in 2006, having had an active 34-year career in the Coast Guard. Post-retirement, I led several telecoms ventures focusing on improving disaster communications between first responders and assumed leadership service on several charitable and professional Boards of Directors, including the Navy Safe Harbor/Wounded Warrior Foundation, the Women in Military Service for America Foundation, and the Judge Advocates Association as president-elect.”

Highlights of a distinguished career

1987:  Bob assumed command of Coast Guard Group and Coast Guard Base Charleston, South Carolina. There, he led the Coast Guard’s response to Hurricane Hugo and was honored with the South Carolina Order of the Palmetto, that State’s highest honor.

1990-1991: During Operation Desert Storm, Bob served on the staff of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Central Command, as Attorney for the Maritime Interception Forces, and as Assistant Officer-in-Charge, U.S. Coast Guard Forces, Middle East, in the Arabian Gulf.

He next served as a law professor at the Naval War College and then as a strategic Fellow to the Chief of Naval Operations.

2001-2003: Bob served as Chief Counsel and the Service’s first military Judge Advocate General of the Coast Guard.

He led the Coast Guard Homeland Security Task Force in response to the 9/11 attacks rapidly re-aligning the Service’s operations to meet a radically changed threat matrix and new national security imperatives. A principal architect of the Maritime Transportation Security Act (the guiding blueprint for all following national security enactments) and the comprehensive regulatory actions that followed, Bob also provided drafting assistance to the Congress on the Homeland Security Act, establishing the new Department of Homeland Security.

Bob testifying at a U.S. Senate Committee Hearing after Hurricane Katrina

2005: Bob led the Coast Guard’s rescue and recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. For his leadership of those historic rescue and recovery operations, he was commended by President George W. Bush and the United States Senate and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by President Bush, the Louisiana Legion of Merit by the governor of the state, and the City of New Orleans’ highest recognition.

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