Command Master Chief Resigns at Coast Guard Academy; Investigation Underway

Command Master Chief Brett VerHulst.
Command Master Chief Brett VerHulst resigned his duties at the Coast Guard Academy on April 27, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard)

The Coast Guard Academy's senior enlisted leader, Command Master Chief Brett VerHulst, resigned his duties at the Coast Guard Academy on Tuesday and is being investigated over alleged inappropriate conduct.

A spokesman said Wednesday that the Coast Guard Investigative Service is looking into the case but declined to say more about it, citing the investigation.

"The Coast Guard cannot provide details at this time in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation and to protect the Coast Guard's ability to take appropriate final action," said Cmdr. David Milne, an academy spokesman.

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Academy Superintendent Rear Adm. Bill Kelly sent an email to staff Tuesday afternoon announcing the resignation, Milne confirmed.

The news was first reported by Navy Times.

VerHulst remains in the service and has been assigned to the Coast Guard Research and Development Center in New London, Connecticut.

He had served as the academy's command master chief since 2017. According to his academy bio, his primary duty was to serve as an adviser to Kelly on "issues and initiatives pertaining to the entire Coast Guard Academy workforce."

"Further, he helps to carry out command intent and facilitates communications and the effective functioning of the organizational chain of command," the biography states.

Before his orders to New London, he served as command master chief for the 17th Coast Guard District in Juneau, Alaska. He has served on three Coast Guard cutters and held assignments in Massachusetts, Oregon, Louisiana, California and Virginia, in addition to Alaska and Connecticut.

Master Chief Anthony Schell will serve as interim command master chief; Master Chief Maria D'Angelo is expected to become the academy's next permanent command master chief this summer.

VerHulst did not respond to a request for comment.

-- Patricia Kime can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @patriciakime.

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