Paul A. Yost Jr.
Paul A. Yost Jr. served as the eighteenth Commandant of the United States Coast Guard from 1986 to 1990. He is a retired United States Coast Guard admiral.
Yost was born on January 3, 1929, in St. Petersburg, Florida. He graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy and holds graduate degrees from the University of Connecticut and The George Washington University. He has served as Coast Guard Chief of Staff, patrol boat commander during the Vietnam War, and served concurrently as Commander of the Atlantic Area Maritime Defense Zone and Commander of the New York City-based 3rd Coast Guard District. He also served in the Korean War.
While Commandant, he directed the Coast Guard toward a strong coastal defense mission and increased armament aboard Coast Guard cutters. He also upgraded naval warfare systems, but after his retirement the Coast Guard moved away from a defense mission toward search and rescue, law enforcement, and marine safety; that is, until the attack on September 11, 2001, created a need for coastal defense through Homeland security.
After his retirement, he was awarded the Naval Order of the United States’s Distinguished Sea Service Award. He also served as president of the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation.
Yost is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is the first member of the Church to head a branch of the U. S. military service. He and his wife, Jan, are the parents of five children.