Admiral Daniel May is a 1979 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and served in a wide variety of operational, engineering, and staff positions throughout his over 33-year active-duty career many of which involved lighthouses. As a Project Engineer, he was responsible for numerous national level projects including the relocation of Block Island Southeast Light, the first move of a major lighthouse structure within the United States, the relocation of Cape Cod Light and the design and construction of a 5000-ton revetment to protect Montauk Light on Long Island. As the Commander of Group Boston, responsible for the oversight of Boston Light, he created an innovative partnership opening up the lighthouse and island to the public for the first time in its history. Working with Senator Ted Kennedy, his proposal to replace the three assigned Coast Guard personnel with a civilian “Light Keeper” was adopted in 2003 and remains today. Admiral May was also one of the original architects of the Maine Lights Program in 1996 transferring over 30 Coast Guard lighthouse properties to nonprofit organizations and other public entities throughout Maine.
His innovative work provided the groundwork for national legislation creating the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act (NHLPA) passed in 2000. Admiral May also served as the Chief of the Operations Division for the multi-agency search and recovery effort during the crash of JFK Jr’s plane in July of 1999 and as the Assistant Superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy from 2006-2008. His Flag assignments include Director of Reserve & Training from 2008-2010 and as the Commander, Personnel Service Center from 2010-2012. He is the 1992 RADM John B. Oren award recipient for the most significant contributions to the Coast Guard civil/ocean engineering program and he is also the 2011 recipient of the ROA’s Minuteman of the Year award, one of only several Coast Guard officers to ever receive this prestigious award that includes Presidents Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy as well as General Colin Powell, and other distinguished military officers.
Following military service, RADM May was selected as the Director of the Massachusetts Municipal Police Academy from 2013 until April 2019. There, he served as the senior executive responsible for daily operation of the Northeast Regional Municipal Police Academy for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, responsible for all training required for service as a municipal police officer within the cities and towns of Massachusetts. Now fully retired, RADM May and his wife Leslie reside in West Newbury, MA and Englewood, FL. He continues his involvement with lighthouses, volunteering with several groups throughout the country.