The President may appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, one Vice Commandant who shall rank next after the Commandant, shall perform such duties as the Commandant may prescribe and shall act as Commandant during the absence or disability of the Commandant or in the event that there is a vacancy in the office of Commandant. The Vice Commandant shall be selected from the officers on the active duty promotion list serving above the grade of captain. The Commandant shall make recommendation for such appointment. The Vice Commandant shall, while so serving, have the grade of admiral with pay and allowances of that grade. The appointment and grade of a Vice Commandant shall be effective on the date the officer assumes that duty, and shall terminate on the date the officer is detached from that duty, except as provided in section 306(d) of this title.
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES Based on title 14, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §§11a, 12 (Apr. 16, 1908, ch. 145, §§1, 2, 35 Stat. 61; Jan. 28, 1915, ch. 20, §1, 38 Stat. 800; Jan. 12, 1923, ch. 25, §2, 42 Stat. 1130; May 24, 1939, ch. 148, §§2, 3, 53 Stat. 757; June 6, 1940, ch. 257, §§1(b), 3, 54 Stat. 246; July 23, 1947, ch. 301, §2, 61 Stat. 410; May 19, 1948, ch. 305, 62 Stat. 239). Said sections have been divided. The provisions of the proviso of title 14, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §11a, and the first proviso of title 14, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §12, are placed in section 48 of this title and the remainder is placed in this section. The provisions regarding appointment of the Assistant Commandant and Engineer in Chief are coordinated, inasmuch as these positions are about equal in the Coast Guard organization. The qualification that the Engineer in Chief be appointed from the active list of engineering officers is changed to the active list of officers who have qualified for engineering duty, because there is no longer any provision for a corps of engineering officers. 81st Congress, House Report No. 557.PRIOR PROVISIONS A prior section 304, act Aug. 4, 1949, ch. 393, 63 Stat. 518, provided for voluntary retirement of warrant officers after thirty years’ service, with retired pay of grade with which retired, prior to repeal by act May 29, 1954, ch. 249, §20(o), 68 Stat. 167, and by Pub. L. 88–130, §1(10)(A), Sept. 24, 1963, 77 Stat. 177.AMENDMENTS 2018—Pub. L. 115–282, §123(b)(2), substituted "section 306(d)" for "section 51(d)". Pub. L. 115–282, §104(b), renumbered section 47 of this title as this section. 2016—Pub. L. 114–120, §209(3), substituted "Commandant" for "commandant" in section catchline. Pub. L. 114–120, §201(b), substituted "grade of admiral" for "grade of vice admiral". 2010—Pub. L. 111–281 substituted "Vice commandant; appointment" for "Vice Commandant; assignment" in section catchline and "section 51(d)" for "subsection 51(d)" in text. 1993—Pub. L. 103–206 struck out "; retirement" after "assignment" in section catchline, struck out "(a)" before "The President may appoint", substituted "The appointment and grade of a Vice Commandant shall be effective on the date the officer assumes that duty, and shall terminate on the date the officer is detached from that duty, except as provided in subsection 51(d) of this title." for "The appointment of a Vice Commandant shall be effective on the date the officer assumes such duty, and shall terminate on the date he is detached from such duty.", and struck out subsecs. (b) to (d) which read as follows: "(b) A Vice Commandant, while so serving, who is retired for physical disability shall be placed on the retired list with the grade of vice admiral. "(c) An officer who is retired while serving as Vice Commandant, or who, after serving at least two and one-half years as Vice Commandant, is retired after completion of that service while serving in a lower rank or grade, may, in the discretion of the President, be retired with the grade of vice admiral. "(d) An officer who, after serving less than two and one-half years as Vice Commandant, is retired after completion of that service while serving in a lower rank or grade, shall be retired in his permanent grade." 1986—Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 99–348, §205(b)(2)(A), struck out "and retired pay" after "with the grade". Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 99–348, §205(b)(2)(B), struck out "and with the retired pay of that grade" after "permanent grade". 1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–295 substituted "a" for "an" before "Vice Commandant". 1972—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 92–451 substituted "Vice Commandant" for "Assistant Commandant" in four places, and "above the grade of captain" for "in the grade of captain or above" in second sentence. Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 92–451 substituted "A Vice Commandant" for "An Assistant Commandant". Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 92–451 substituted "Vice Commandant" for "Assistant Commandant" wherever appearing. 1966—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 89–444, §1(6), struck out requirement that Assistant Commandant serve 2½ years as Assistant Commandant before becoming eligible for retirement with the grade and pay of vice admiral. Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 89–444, §1(7), struck out provision that section 334 of this title, which covers cases of retirement when a higher grade has been held, shall not apply to an officer retiring within 2½ years of the date of his original assignment as Assistant Commandant. 1963—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 88–130, §1(5), substituted "officers on the active duty promotion list serving in the grade of captain or above" for "active list of officers who hold a permanent commission as captain or above". Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 88–130, §1(6), substituted "section 334" for "section 243". 1960—Pub. L. 86–474 amended section generally, and, among other changes, required Assistant Commandant to be appointed from the active list of officers who hold a permanent commission as captain or above, raised grade of Assistant Commandant from rear admiral to vice admiral, increased his pay and allowances from that of a rear admiral (upper half) to that of a vice admiral, struck out provisions which related to an Engineer in Chief, and added subsecs. (b) to (d).EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1972 AMENDMENT Amendment by Pub. L. 92–451 effective Oct. 2, 1972, except that continuation boards may not be held until one year thereafter, see section 3 of Pub. L. 92–451, set out as a note under section 2151 of this title.EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIGHER GRADE AND INCREASED PAY AND ALLOWANCES The increased grade of vice admiral for the Vice Commandant, including the pay and allowances applicable to such grade, effective on the first day of the month following May 14, 1960, see section 2 of Pub. L. 86–474, set out as a note under section 302 of this title.
14 U.S.C. § 304 (2018)