The Coast Guard cutter Calhoun was commissioned April 20, adding a fourth national security cutter to the growing Coast Guard base at North Charleston, S.C.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Linda Fagan presided over the commissioning of the Calhoun, named for the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Charles L. Calhoun.

The April 20 date was chose in honor of Calhoun’s birthday. After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Calhoun joined the Coast Guard in 1946 and served over 170 months at sea service, including service in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and became the first master chief petty officer in 1969.

“I’m honored to share the job title, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, with Charles Calhoun,” said Heath Jones, 14th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard. “His efforts as a voice for the enlisted workforce created significant, lasting culture change within the Coast Guard. His dedication to people, the most precious resource we have, and the challenges he faced paved the way for the talent transformation work we’re doing today.”

Calhoun is the 10th cutter in the 418’ Legend class, and was delivered to the Coast Guard in October 2023 from Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. After deploying in support of oil spill response and counter migration missions, Calhoun arrived at its homeport in North Charleston on Dec. 3, 2023. The commissioning of Calhoun officially places the cutter in service for the Coast Guard and marks the most significant milestone of the cutter’s life to date.

“What a monumental day for this crew, our service, and the legacy of Master Chief Calhoun,” said Capt. Timothy Sommella, commanding officer of Calhoun. “Now that Calhoun has entered active service, we are ready to serve alongside our fellow cutters and interagency partners in protecting the American people from threats here at home and abroad. The crew has worked tirelessly to see this day and is very proud.”

The Legend-class cutter Calhoun at Coast Guard Base Charleston April 20, 2024. Coast Guard photo.