Frederick C. Billard
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Frederick Chamberlayne Billard (22 September 1873 – 17 May 1932) served as the sixth Commandant of the United States Coast Guard from 1924 until his death. Billard's military career began with his appointment to the School of Instruction of the Revenue Cutter Service in 1894. Among his experiences before becoming Commandant, Billard commanded several cutters, served as aide to two Commandants and also served twice as superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy. After rising through the ranks, he was appointed to serve as Commandant in January 1924 and with the appointment, the rank of rear admiral. His leadership of the Coast Guard during the Prohibition era required careful planning and use of available resources to accomplish the mission while making sure that other required missions weren't slighted. He was very involved in the training of his officers as a superintendent of the United States Coast Guard Academy and he was responsible for the purchase of the permanent location of the academy at New London, Connecticut. Because of his emphasis on training, formalized coursework for enlisted personnel and standardized testing procedures for advancement in rating occurred while he was Commandant. Billard was supportive of newly available technologies such as aircraft and radio communication in order to accomplish the mission. The Coast Guard's involvement in oceanography was instituted during his tenure. He emphasized integrity in the Coast Guard's dealings with the public and expected his officers and men to be honest in order to preserve the image of the Coast Guard. Shortly after being appointed for an unprecedented third term as Commandant, Billard died of pneumonia in May 1932.