Zeita Merchant becomes 1st Black female admiral in Coast Guard history

Zeita Merchant becomes 1st Black female admiral in Coast Guard history

NEW YORK (PIX11) — U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Zeita Merchant, the commander of Sector New York, received a historic promotion on Monday. Merchant became the first Black female admiral in the Coast Guard’s 233-year history.

Merchant said it wasn’t easy. She joined the Coast Guard because she wanted to go to medical school and couldn’t afford it. The rest is history, she says, and now she is making history.

Historic journals from Newark high school heading to Washington D.C.

The historic moment happened during a ceremony at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in Manhattan. Merchant wiped away tears with her mother front and center.

Merchant is heading to Washington, D.C. to take command of the Coast Guard Personnel Service Center. Merchant will be in charge of recruitment and scholarships.

Merchant comes from humble beginnings. During her junior year in college, she didn’t know how she was going to pay for medical school. There was a Coast Guard recruiter on campus, and 27 years later, she is now an admiral.

Merchant said she hopes she inspires the next generation to follow their dreams.

More information about careers with the Coast Guard can be found here.

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