United States Coast Guard
Overview
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services
Uniformed services of the United States
The United States has seven federal uniformed services that commission officers as defined by Title 10, and subsequently structured and organized by Title 10, Title 14, Title 33 and Title 42 of the United States Code.-Uniformed services:...

. The Coast Guard is a maritime
Sea
A sea generally refers to a large body of salt water, but the term is used in other contexts as well. Most commonly, it means a large expanse of saline water connected with an ocean, and is commonly used as a synonym for ocean...

, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement
Admiralty law
Admiralty law is a distinct body of law which governs maritime questions and offenses. It is a body of both domestic law governing maritime activities, and private international law governing the relationships between private entities which operate vessels on the oceans...

 mission (with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters) and a federal
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, and can be transferred to the Department of the Navy by the President at any time, or by Congress during time of war.

Founded by Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 as the Revenue Cutter Service
United States Revenue Cutter Service
The United States Revenue Cutter Service was established by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in 1790 as an armed maritime law enforcement service. Throughout its entire existence the Revenue Cutter Service operated under the authority of the United States Department of the Treasury...

 on 4 August 1790, it lays claim to being the United States' oldest continuous seagoing service.
Encyclopedia
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services
Uniformed services of the United States
The United States has seven federal uniformed services that commission officers as defined by Title 10, and subsequently structured and organized by Title 10, Title 14, Title 33 and Title 42 of the United States Code.-Uniformed services:...

. The Coast Guard is a maritime
Sea
A sea generally refers to a large body of salt water, but the term is used in other contexts as well. Most commonly, it means a large expanse of saline water connected with an ocean, and is commonly used as a synonym for ocean...

, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement
Admiralty law
Admiralty law is a distinct body of law which governs maritime questions and offenses. It is a body of both domestic law governing maritime activities, and private international law governing the relationships between private entities which operate vessels on the oceans...

 mission (with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters) and a federal
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, and can be transferred to the Department of the Navy by the President at any time, or by Congress during time of war.

Founded by Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 as the Revenue Cutter Service
United States Revenue Cutter Service
The United States Revenue Cutter Service was established by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in 1790 as an armed maritime law enforcement service. Throughout its entire existence the Revenue Cutter Service operated under the authority of the United States Department of the Treasury...

 on 4 August 1790, it lays claim to being the United States' oldest continuous seagoing service. As of August 2009, the Coast Guard had approximately 42,000 men and women on active duty, 7,500 reservists, 30,000 auxiliarists
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard and was established on June 23, 1939 by an act of Congress as the United States Coast Guard Reserve, and was re-designated as the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary on February 19, 1941...

, and 7,700 full-time civilian employees.

The Coast Guard's legal authority differs from the other four armed services and it operates simultaneously under Title 10 of the United States Code
United States Code
The Code of Laws of the United States of America is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal laws of the United States...

 and its other organic authorities, e.g., Titles 6, 14, 19, 33, 46, etc. Because of its legal authority, the Coast Guard can conduct military operations under the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 or directly for the President in accordance with Title 14 USC 1–3.

The Coast Guard's enduring roles are Maritime Safety, Maritime Security, and Maritime Stewardship. To carry out those roles the Coast Guard has eleven statutory missions as defined in .

The Coast Guard motto is "Semper Paratus
Semper paratus
Semper Paratus is the motto of a number of different organizations:-Canada:* The Windsor Regiment , an armoured regiment* The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry , an infantry regiment...

", Latin for "Always Ready" or "Always Prepared".

Role

The Coast Guard has roles in maritime homeland security
Homeland security
Homeland security is an umbrella term for security efforts to protect states against terrorist activity. Specifically, is a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the U.S., reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do...

, maritime law enforcement
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 (MLE), search and rescue
Search and rescue
Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, mostly based upon terrain considerations...

 (SAR), marine environmental protection (MEP), and the maintenance of river, intracoastal
Intracoastal Waterway
The Intracoastal Waterway is a 3,000-mile waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Some lengths consist of natural inlets, salt-water rivers, bays, and sounds; others are artificial canals...

 and offshore aids to navigation (ATON).

While most military services are either at war or training for war, the Coast Guard is deployed every day. With a decentralized organization and much responsibility placed on even the most junior personnel, the Coast Guard is frequently lauded for its quick responsiveness and adaptability in a broad range of emergencies. In a 2005 article in TIME magazine following Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

, the author wrote, "the Coast Guard's most valuable contribution to [a military effort when catastrophe hits] may be as a model of flexibility, and most of all, spirit." Wil Milam, a rescue swimmer from Alaska told the magazine, "In the Navy, it was all about the mission. Practicing for war, training for war. In the Coast Guard, it was, take care of our people and the mission will take care of itself."

Missions

The Coast Guard carries out three basic roles, which are further subdivided into eleven statutory missions. The three roles are:
  • Maritime safety
  • Maritime security
    Maritime Security (USCG)
    Maritime security is concerned with the prevention of intentional damage through sabotage, subversion, or terrorism. Maritime security is one of the three basic roles of the United States Coast Guard has gradually developed in response to a series of catastrophic events, which began in 1917.There...

  • Maritime stewardship


The eleven statutory missions as defined by law are divided into homeland security
Homeland security
Homeland security is an umbrella term for security efforts to protect states against terrorist activity. Specifically, is a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the U.S., reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do...

 missions and non-homeland security missions:

Non-homeland security missions

  • Marine safety
  • Search and rescue
    Search and rescue
    Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, mostly based upon terrain considerations...

  • Aids to navigation
  • Living marine resources (fisheries
    Fishery
    Generally, a fishery is an entity engaged in raising or harvesting fish which is determined by some authority to be a fishery. According to the FAO, a fishery is typically defined in terms of the "people involved, species or type of fish, area of water or seabed, method of fishing, class of boats,...

     law enforcement)
  • Marine environmental protection
    Marine Environmental Protection
    Marine environmental protection is one of the eleven missions of the United States Coast Guard.Officially, there are five areas of emphasis in the marine environmental protection mission...

  • Ice operations
    Icebreaker
    An icebreaker is a special-purpose ship or boat designed to move and navigate through ice-covered waters. Although the term usually refers to ice-breaking ships, it may also refer to smaller vessels .For a ship to be considered an icebreaker, it requires three traits most...


Homeland security missions

  • Ports, waterways and coastal security (PWCS)
  • Drug interdiction
    War on Drugs
    The War on Drugs is a campaign of prohibition and foreign military aid and military intervention being undertaken by the United States government, with the assistance of participating countries, intended to both define and reduce the illegal drug trade...

  • Migrant interdiction
    Illegal immigration to the United States
    An illegal immigrant in the United States is an alien who has entered the United States without government permission or stayed beyond the termination date of a visa....

  • Defense readiness
  • Other law enforcement
    Law enforcement agency
    In North American English, a law enforcement agency is a government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.Outside North America, such organizations are called police services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names In North American...


Search and Rescue

See National Search and Rescue Committee
See Joint Rescue Coordination Centers
Joint Rescue Coordination Centers
The National Search and Rescue Plan or National SAR Plan is a policy document of the Federal government of the United States that establishes the responsibilities for search and rescue within the United States....


While not the oldest, search and rescue (SAR) is one of the Coast Guard's best known missions. The National Search and Rescue Plan designates the Coast Guard as the federal agency responsible for maritime SAR operations, and the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 as the federal agency responsible for inland SAR. Both agencies maintain rescue coordination centers
Joint Rescue Coordination Centers
The National Search and Rescue Plan or National SAR Plan is a policy document of the Federal government of the United States that establishes the responsibilities for search and rescue within the United States....

to coordinate this effort, and have responsibility for both military and civilian search and rescue.

National Response Center

Operated by the Coast Guard, the National Response Center (NRC) is the sole U.S. Government point of contact for reporting all oil
Oil spill
An oil spill is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, especially marine areas, due to human activity, and is a form of pollution. The term is mostly used to describe marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters...

, chemical
Pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

, radiological
Radioactive contamination
Radioactive contamination, also called radiological contamination, is radioactive substances on surfaces, or within solids, liquids or gases , where their presence is unintended or undesirable, or the process giving rise to their presence in such places...

, biological
Pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

, and etiological
Etiology
Etiology is the study of causation, or origination. The word is derived from the Greek , aitiologia, "giving a reason for" ....

 discharges
Pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

 into the environment anywhere in the United States and its territories. In addition to gathering and distributing spill data for Federal On Scene Coordinator
Federal On Scene Coordinator
The Federal On Scene Coordinator , is a designation in the United States for an individual that:*Is responsible for providing access to federal resources and technical assistance...

s and serving as the communications and operations center for the National Response Team, the NRC maintains agreements with a variety of federal entities to make additional notifications regarding incidents meeting established trigger criteria. The NRC also takes Terrorist/Suspicious Activity Reports and Maritime Security Breach Reports. Details on the NRC organization and specific responsibilities can be found in the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan. The Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE)
MISLE
The Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement is a database system managed and used by the United States Coast Guard . The MISLE is used to store data on marine accidental and deliberate pollution and other shipping and port accidents in US territorial waters. It accounts for vessels and...

 database system is managed and used by the United States Coast Guard (USCG)for tracking pollution and safety incidents in the nation's ports.

Authority as an armed service

The five uniformed services that make up the Armed Forces
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 are defined in :

The Coast Guard is further defined by :

Coast Guard organization and operation is as set forth in Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations
Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations
Title 33 is the portion of the Code of Federal Regulations that governs Navigation and Navigable Waters within the United States. It is available in digital or printed form....

.

On 25 February 2003, the Coast Guard was placed under the Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to...

. The Coast Guard reports directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security. However, under as amended by section 211 of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006, upon the declaration of war and when Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 so directs in the declaration, or when the President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 directs, the Coast Guard operates under the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 as a service in the Department of the Navy
United States Department of the Navy
The Department of the Navy of the United States of America was established by an Act of Congress on 30 April 1798, to provide a government organizational structure to the United States Navy and, from 1834 onwards, for the United States Marine Corps, and when directed by the President, of the...

.

As members of the military, Coast Guardsmen on active and reserve service are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice
Uniform Code of Military Justice
The Uniform Code of Military Justice , is the foundation of military law in the United States. It is was established by the United States Congress in accordance with the authority given by the United States Constitution in Article I, Section 8, which provides that "The Congress shall have Power . ....

 and receive the same pay and allowances as members of the same pay grades in the other uniformed services.

The service has participated in every major U.S. conflict from 1790 through today, including landing troops on D-Day
D-Day
D-Day is a term often used in military parlance to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D-Day" often represents a variable, designating the day upon which some significant event will occur or has occurred; see Military designation of days and hours for similar...

 and on the Pacific Islands in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, in extensive patrols and shore bombardment during the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, and multiple roles in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Maritime interception operations, coastal security, transportation security, and law enforcement detachments
Law Enforcement Detachments
Law Enforcement Detachments or LEDETs are specialized, deployable maritime law enforcement teams of the United States Coast Guard. First established in 1982, their primary mission is to deploy aboard U.S. and allied naval vessels to conduct and support law enforcement, interdiction, or security...

 have been its major roles in recent conflicts in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

.

On 17 October 2007, the Coast Guard joined with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps to adopt a new maritime strategy called A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower is the United States' newest maritime strategy. It was presented by the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandants of the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard at the International Seapower Symposium at the U.S. Naval War College in...

that raised the notion of prevention of war to the same philosophical level as the conduct of war. This new strategy charted a course for the Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps to work collectively with each other and international partners to prevent regional crises, manmade or natural, from occurring or reacting quickly should one occur to avoid negative impacts to the United States. During the launch of the new U.S. maritime strategy at the International Seapower Symposium at the U.S. Naval War College in 2007, Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen said the new maritime strategy reinforced the time-honored missions the service has carried out in the United States since 1790. "It reinforces the Coast Guard maritime strategy of safety, security and stewardship, and it reflects not only the global reach of our maritime services but the need to integrate and synchronize and act with our coalition and international partners to not only win wars ... but to prevent wars," Allen said.

Authority as a law enforcement agency

authorizes the Coast Guard to enforce federal law. This authority is further defined in , which gives law enforcement powers to all Coast Guard commissioned officers, warrant officers, and petty officers. Unlike the other branches of the United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

, which are prevented from acting in a law enforcement capacity by the Posse Comitatus Act
Posse Comitatus Act
The Posse Comitatus Act is an often misunderstood and misquoted United States federal law passed on June 18, 1878, after the end of Reconstruction. Its intent was to limit the powers of local governments and law enforcement agencies from using federal military personnel to enforce the laws of...

 and Department of Defense policy, under the Coast Guard is exempt from and not subject to the restrictions of the Posse Comitatus Act.

Further law enforcement authority is given by and , which empower U.S. Coast Guard active and reserve commissioned officers, warrant officers, and petty officers as federal customs officers. This places them under , which grants customs officers general law enforcement authority, including the authority to:

(1) carry a firearm;

(2) execute and serve any order, warrant, subpoena, summons, or other process issued under the authority of the United States;

(3) make an arrest without a warrant for any offense against the United States committed in the officer's presence or for a felony, cognizable under the laws of the United States committed outside the officer's presence if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing a felony; and

(4) perform any other law enforcement duty that the Secretary of Homeland Security may designate.


The U.S. Government Accountability Office Report to the House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary on its 2006 Survey of Federal Civilian Law Enforcement Functions and Authorities, identified the U.S. Coast Guard as one of 104 federal components that employed law enforcement officers. The report also included a summary table of the authorities of the U.S. Coast Guard's 192 special agents and 3,780 maritime law enforcement boarding officers.

Coast Guardsmen have the legal authority to carry their service-issued firearms on and off base. This is rarely done in practice, however; at many Coast Guard stations, commanders prefer to have all service-issued weapons in armories. Still, one court has held that Coast Guard boarding officers are qualified law enforcement officers authorized to carry personal firearms off-duty for self-defense.

History

The roots of the Coast Guard lie in the United States Revenue Cutter Service
United States Revenue Cutter Service
The United States Revenue Cutter Service was established by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in 1790 as an armed maritime law enforcement service. Throughout its entire existence the Revenue Cutter Service operated under the authority of the United States Department of the Treasury...

 established by Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 under the Department of the Treasury
United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue...

 on 4 August 1790. The first Coast Guard station was in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Until the re-establishment of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 in 1798, the Revenue Cutter Service was the only naval force of the early United States. It was established to collect taxes from a brand new nation of patriot smugglers. When the officers were out at sea, they were told to crack down on piracy; while they were at it, they might as well rescue anyone in distress.

"First Fleet" is a term occasionally used as an informal reference to the U.S. Coast Guard, although there is no indication that the United States has ever officially used this designation with reference either to the Coast Guard or any element of the U.S. Navy. The informal appellation honors the fact that between 1790 and 1798, there was no United States Navy and the cutters which were the predecessor of the U.S. Coast Guard were the only warships protecting the coast, trade, and maritime interests of the new republic.

The modern Coast Guard can be said to date to 1915, when the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the United States Life-Saving Service
United States Life-Saving Service
The United States Life-Saving Service was a United States government agency that grew out of private and local humanitarian efforts to save the lives of shipwrecked mariners and passengers...

 and Congress formalized the existence of the new organization. In 1939, the U.S. Lighthouse Service
United States Lighthouse Service
The United States Lighthouse Service, also known as the Bureau of Lighthouses, was the agency of the US Federal Government that was responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all lighthouses in the United States from the time of its creation in 1910 until 1939...

 was brought under its purview. In 1942, the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation was transferred to the Coast Guard. In 1967, the Coast Guard moved from the Department of the Treasury
United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue...

 to the newly formed Department of Transportation
United States Department of Transportation
The United States Department of Transportation is a federal Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with transportation. It was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, and began operation on April 1, 1967...

, an arrangement that lasted until it was placed under the Department of Homeland Security in 2002 as part of legislation designed to more efficiently protect American interests following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.

In times of war, the Coast Guard or individual components of it can operate as a service of the Department of the Navy. This arrangement has a broad historical basis, as the Guard has been involved in wars as diverse as the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, the Mexican-American War, and the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, in which the cutter Harriet Lane fired the first naval shots attempting to relieve besieged Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter is a Third System masonry coastal fortification located in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The fort is best known as the site upon which the shots initiating the American Civil War were fired, at the Battle of Fort Sumter.- Construction :...

. The last time the Coast Guard operated as a whole within the Navy was in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. More often, military and combat units within the Coast Guard will operate under Navy or joint operational control while other Coast Guard units will remain under the Department of Homeland Security.

Organization

The current headquarters of the Coast Guard is at 2100 Second Street, SW, in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 near Nationals Park, where it will continue to have a presence at least into 2015. The new Department of Homeland Security headquarters complex is being built on the grounds of the former St. Elizabeths Hospital
St. Elizabeths Hospital
St. Elizabeths Hospital is a psychiatric hospital operated by the District of Columbia Department of Mental Health. It was the first large-scale, federally-run psychiatric hospital in the United States. Housing several thousand patients at its peak, St. Elizabeths had a fully functioning...

 in the Anacostia
Anacostia
Anacostia is a historic neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Its historic downtown is located at the intersection of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue It is the most famous neighborhood in the Southeast quadrant of Washington, located east of the Anacostia River, after which the...

 section of Southeast Washington, across the Anacostia River
Anacostia River
The Anacostia River is a river in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States. It flows from Prince George's County in Maryland into Washington, D.C., where it joins with the Washington Channel to empty into the Potomac River at Buzzard Point. It is approximately long...

 from the current Coast Guard headquarters. As part of this consolidation, the Coast Guard will be the first DHS agency to locate its headquarters in the new complex, estimated to occur in late 2013 or early 2014.

Shore establishments

Shore establishment commands exist to support the mission of the seaborne or airborne fleets through the use of facilities on land. The headquarters is in Washington DC. Other shore establishments are Coast Guard Stations, Coast Guard Air Stations
United States Coast Guard Air Stations
A Coast Guard Air Station provides aviation support for the United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard operates approximately 210 aircraft from 24 Coast Guard Air Stations in the United States. Fixed-wing aircraft, such as the HC 130 Hercules built for long range missions operate from air stations...

, Aids to Navigation Stations and the United States Coast Guard Yard
United States Coast Guard Yard
The United States Coast Guard Yard or just Coast Guard Yard is a United States Coast Guard operated shipyard located on Curtis Bay in northern Anne Arundel County, Maryland, just south of the Baltimore city limits. It is the coast guard's sole shipbuilding and major repair facility, and part of the...

. Training centers include the United States Coast Guard Academy
United States Coast Guard Academy
Founded in 1876, the United States Coast Guard Academy is the military academy of the United States Coast Guard. Located in New London, Connecticut, it is the smallest of the five federal service academies...

, Training Center Petaluma
Training Center Petaluma
Training Center Petaluma is a Coast Guard training facility in the northern California counties of Sonoma and Marin. Approximately 4,000 students train there each year. It was formerly the U.S. Army Two Rock Ranch Station....

, Training Center Cape May
United States Coast Guard Training Center Cape May
United States Coast Guard Training Center Cape May is the home of the Coast Guard enlisted corps and is the Coast Guard's only enlisted accession point and recruit training center. It is located on 1 Munro Avenue, Cape May, New Jersey....

 and Training Center Yorktown
Training Center Yorktown
The US Coast Guard Training Center in Yorktown, Virginia is one of three in the nation. The others are Training Center Petaluma, and Training Center Cape May. Training Center or TRACEN Cape May is the only US Coast Guard Base used for Basic Military Training or "boot camp"...

.

Personnel

The formal name for a uniformed member of the Coast Guard is "Coast Guardsman", irrespective of gender. "Coastie" is an informal term commonly used to refer to current or former Coast Guard personnel. "Team Coast Guard" refers to the four components of the Coast Guard as a whole: Regular, Reserve, Auxiliary, and Coast Guard civilian employees. In 2008, the term "Guardian" was introduced, but is being phased out of use. Sailor
Sailor
A sailor, mariner, or seaman is a person who navigates water-borne vessels or assists in their operation, maintenance, or service. The term can apply to professional mariners, military personnel, and recreational sailors as well as a plethora of other uses...

 is a term used for the sea-going members of the Coast Guard. Admiral Papp stated that it was his belief that no Commandant had the authority to change what members of the Coast Guard are called as the term Coast Guardsman is found in Title 14 of the USC, which in 1915 established the Coast Guard.

Commissioned Officers

Commissioned officers in the Coast Guard have pay grades ranging from O-1 to O-10, with O-10 being the highest and use the same rank structure as the Navy. Officers holding the rank of Ensign (O-1) through Lieutenant Commander (O-4) are considered junior officers, Commanders (O-5) and Captains (O-6) are considered senior officers, and Rear Admirals (O-7) through Admiral (O-10) are considered flag officers. The Commandant
Commandant of the Coast Guard
The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard is the highest ranking member of the United States Coast Guard. The Commandant is normally the only four-star Admiral in the Coast Guard and is appointed for a four-year term by the President of the United States upon confirmation by the United...

 is the only member of the Coast Guard to hold the rank of Admiral.

The Coast Guard does not have medical officers or chaplains
Military chaplain
A military chaplain is a chaplain who ministers to soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and other members of the military. In many countries, chaplains also minister to the family members of military personnel, to civilian noncombatants working for military organizations and to civilians within the...

. Instead, U.S. Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 chaplains and U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers are assigned to the Coast Guard to perform these functions. These officers wear Coast Guard uniforms but replace the Coast Guard insignia with that of their own service.
Commissioned Officer grade structure of the United States Coast Guard
Admiral
Admiral (United States)
In the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, admiral is a four-star flag officer rank, with the pay grade of O-10. Admiral ranks above vice admiral and below Fleet Admiral in the Navy; the Coast Guard and the Public Health...


(ADM)
Vice Admiral
Vice admiral (United States)
In the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, and the United States Maritime Service, vice admiral is a three-star flag officer, with the pay grade of...


(VADM)
Rear Admiral 
(RADM)
Rear Admiral
(lower half)
(RDML)
Captain
(CAPT)
Commander
Commander (United States)
In the United States, commander is a military rank that is also sometimes used as a military title, depending on the branch of service. It is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the military, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Naval rank:In the United States...


(CDR)
Lieutenant
Commander
Lieutenant commander (United States)
Lieutenant commander is a mid-ranking officer rank in the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, with the pay grade of O-4 and NATO rank code OF-3...


(LCDR)
Lieutenant
(LT)
Lieutenant
(junior grade) 
(LTJG)
Ensign
(ENS)
O-10 O-9 O-8 O-7 O-6 O-5 O-4 O-3 O-2 O-1

Warrant Officers

Highly qualified enlisted personnel from E-6 through E-9 with a minimum of eight years experience can compete each year for appointment as Warrant Officer
Warrant Officer
A warrant officer is an officer in a military organization who is designated an officer by a warrant, as distinguished from a commissioned officer who is designated an officer by a commission, or from non-commissioned officer who is designated an officer by virtue of seniority.The rank was first...

s (WO). Successful candidates are chosen by a board and then commissioned as Chief Warrant Officers (CWO-2) in one of sixteen specialties. Over time Chief Warrant Officers may be promoted to CWO-3 and CWO-4. The ranks of Warrant Officer (WO-1) and Chief Warrant Officer (CWO-5) are not currently used in the Coast Guard. Chief Warrant Officers may also compete for the Chief Warrant Officer to Lieutenant program. If selected, the officer will be promoted to Lieutenant (O-3E). The "E" designates over four years active duty service as a Warrant Officer or Enlisted member and entitles the member to a higher rate of pay than other Lieutenants.
Warrant Officer
Warrant Officer
A warrant officer is an officer in a military organization who is designated an officer by a warrant, as distinguished from a commissioned officer who is designated an officer by a commission, or from non-commissioned officer who is designated an officer by virtue of seniority.The rank was first...

 grade structure of the United States Coast Guard
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Chief Warrant Officer 3 Chief Warrant Officer 2
W-4 W-3 W-2

Enlisted Personnel

Enlisted members of the Coast Guard have pay grade
Pay grade
Pay grades are used by the uniformed services of the United States to determine wages and benefits based on the corresponding military rank of a member of the services...

s from E-1 to E-9, with E-9 being the highest. All enlisted members with pay grades of E-4 and higher are considered Petty Officers and follow career development paths very similar to those of U.S. Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 petty officers.

Petty officers in pay grade E-7 and higher are named Chief Petty Officers and must attend the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Academy, or an equivalent Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 school, in order to be advanced to pay grade E-8. The basic themes of the school are:
  • Professionalism
  • Leadership
  • Communications
  • Systems thinking and lifelong learning

Non-commissioned Officer grade structure of the United States Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard enlisted rate insignia
These charts represents the United States Coast Guard enlisted rate insignia. Rates are used to describe an enlisted sailor's pay-grade. Rates aren't to be confused with "ratings", which describe the Coast Guards enlisted occupations...


Note: Crossed anchors in the graphics indicate a rating of Boatswain's Mate
Boatswain's Mate
A Boatswain's mate is a job classification in Navies and Coast Guards.*Boatswain's mate , a job classification in the United States Navy*Boatswain's mate , a job classification in the United States Coast Guard...

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard
The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard is a unique non-commissioned rank in the United States Coast Guard.The holder of this rank and post is the senior enlisted member of the U.S...


(MCPOCG)
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Reserve Force
Master Chief Petty Officer
- Master Chief Petty Officer :U.S. Coast GuardMaster ChiefPetty OfficerCap & Collar deviceU.S. Coast GuardMaster ChiefPetty OfficerinsigniaGood conductRating badgeMaster ChiefPetty OfficerCap & Collar Insignia...

Command Master Chief Petty Officer
Command Master Chief Petty Officer
-Background:First referenced in OPNAVINST 1306.2C dated 16 October 1995, the Navy's Command Master Chief Program is a valuable asset which stimulates free-flowing communications and ensures the highest standards of professionalism are upheld at all levels within the chain of command...


(CMC)
Master Chief Petty Officer
Master Chief Petty Officer
- Master Chief Petty Officer :U.S. Coast GuardMaster ChiefPetty OfficerCap & Collar deviceU.S. Coast GuardMaster ChiefPetty OfficerinsigniaGood conductRating badgeMaster ChiefPetty OfficerCap & Collar Insignia...


(MCPO)
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Senior Chief Petty Officer
U.S. Coast GuardSenior ChiefPetty Officercollar deviceU.S. Coast GuardSenior ChiefPetty OfficerinsigniaGood conductvariationSenior ChiefPetty OfficerinsigniaSenior ChiefPetty Officercollar device...


(SCPO)
Chief Petty Officer
(CPO)
Petty Officer First Class
Petty Officer First Class
Good conductvariation,12 years or moreof good conductPetty officerfirst classinsigniaU.S. Navy &U.S. Coast GuardPetty officer, first class is the sixth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S...


(PO1)
Petty Officer Second Class
Petty Officer Second Class
Good conductvariation,Petty OfficerSecond Classinsignia&U.S. Coast GuardPetty officer second class is the fifth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S...


(PO2)
Petty Officer Third Class
Petty Officer Third Class
U.S. NavyGood conductvariationU.S. NavyPetty officerthird classinsigniaPetty officer third class is the fourth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above seaman and below petty officer second class, and is the lowest rank of non-commissioned officer, equivalent to a corporal in...


(PO3)
E-9 E-8 E-7 E-6 E-5 E-4









Enlisted grade structure of the United States Coast Guard
Seaman
Seaman
Seaman is one of the lowest ranks in a Navy. In the Commonwealth it is the lowest rank in the Navy, followed by Able Seaman and Leading Seaman, and followed by the Petty Officer ranks....


(SN)
Seaman Apprentice
Seaman Apprentice
ConstructionmanvariationFiremanvariationAirmanvariationSeamaninsigniaSeaman apprentice is the second lowest enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above seaman recruit and below seaman; this rank was formerly known as seaman second class.The actual title for an E-2 in the U.S....


(SA)
Seaman Recruit
Seaman Recruit
Seaman recruit is the lowest enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just below seaman apprentice; this rank was formerly known as seaman third class...


(SR)
E-3 E-2 E-1

Women in the Coast Guard

SPARS
SPARS
SPARS was the United States Coast Guard Women's Reserve, created 23 November 1942 with the signing of Public Law 773 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The name is a contraction of the Coast Guard motto: Semper Paratus and its English translation Always Ready...

 was the United States Coast Guard Women's Reserve created on 23 November 1942 with the signing of Public Law 773 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The name is a contraction of the Coast Guard motto Semper Paratus and its English translation, "Always Ready." The name also refers to a spar in nautical usage. Like the other women's reserves such as the Women's Army Corps and the WAVES, it was created to free men from stateside service in order to fight overseas. Its first director was Captain Dorothy C. Stratton
Dorothy C. Stratton
Dorothy Constance Stratton was the director of the SPARS, the United States Coast Guard Women's Reserve during World War II. She is the namesake of the Coast Guard's third National Security Cutter, the USCGC Stratton .-Early life and Coast Guard career:Stratton was born in 1899 in Brookfield,...

 and she is credited with creating the name for the organization. The cutter is named after the SPARS.

Officer training

The United States Coast Guard Academy
United States Coast Guard Academy
Founded in 1876, the United States Coast Guard Academy is the military academy of the United States Coast Guard. Located in New London, Connecticut, it is the smallest of the five federal service academies...

 is a four year service academy located in New London, Connecticut
New London, Connecticut
New London is a seaport city and a port of entry on the northeast coast of the United States.It is located at the mouth of the Thames River in New London County, southeastern Connecticut....

. Approximately 225 cadets graduate each year, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree
Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years .-Australia:In Australia, the BSc is a 3 year degree, offered from 1st year on...

 and a commission as an Ensign
Ensign (rank)
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name....

 in the Coast Guard. Graduates are obligated to serve a minimum of five years on active duty. Most graduates are assigned to duty aboard Coast Guard cutters immediately after graduation, either as Deck Watch Officers (DWOs) or as Engineer Officers in Training (EOITs). Smaller numbers are assigned directly to flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola
Naval Air Station Pensacola
Naval Air Station Pensacola or NAS Pensacola , "The Cradle of Naval Aviation", is a United States Navy base located next to Warrington, Florida, a community southwest of the Pensacola city limits...

, Florida or to shore duty at Coast Guard Sectors
United States Coast Guard Sectors
A Sector is a shore-based operational unit of the United States Coast Guard. Each Sector is responsible for the execution of all Coast Guard missions within its Area of Responsibility , with operational support from Coast Guard Cutters and Air Stations. Subordinate commands within a Sector...

, Districts, or Area headquarters units.

In addition to the Academy, prospective officers, who already hold a college degree, may enter the Coast Guard through Officer Candidate School
Officer Candidate School
Officer Candidate School or Officer Cadet School are institutions which train civilians and enlisted personnel in order for them to gain a commission as officers in the armed forces of a country....

 (OCS), also located at the Coast Guard Academy. OCS is a rigorous seventeen week course of instruction which prepares candidates to serve effectively as officers in the Coast Guard. In addition to indoctrinating students into a military lifestyle, OCS provides a wide range of highly technical information necessary for performing the duties of a Coast Guard officer.

Graduates of OCS are usually commissioned as Ensigns
Ensign (rank)
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name....

, but some with advanced graduate degrees may enter as Lieutenants (junior grade) or Lieutenant
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

s. Graduating OCS officers entering Active Duty are required to serve a minimum of three years, while graduating Reserve officers are required to serve four years. Graduates may be assigned to a cutter, flight training, a staff job, or an operations ashore billet.

OCS is the primary channel through which the USCG enlisted grades ascend to the commissioned officer corps.

Lawyers, engineers, intelligence officers, military aviators, graduates of maritime academies, and certain other individuals may also receive an officer's commission through the Direct Commission Officer
Direct commission officer
A direct commission officer is a uniformed officer who has received a commission without the typical prerequisites for achieving a commission, such as a four year service academy, a four year or two year college ROTC program, or one of the officer candidate school or officer training school...

 (DCO) program.

Depending on the specific program and the background of the individual, the course is three, four or five weeks long. The first week of the five-week course is an indoctrination week. The DCO program is designed to commission officers with highly specialized professional training or certain kinds of previous military experience.

Unlike the other military services, the Coast Guard does not have a Reserve Officers' Training Corps
Reserve Officers' Training Corps
The Reserve Officers' Training Corps is a college-based, officer commissioning program, predominantly in the United States. It is designed as a college elective that focuses on leadership development, problem solving, strategic planning, and professional ethics.The U.S...

 (ROTC) program.

Recruit training

Newly enlisted personnel are sent to eight weeks of recruit training
Recruit training
Recruit training, more commonly known as Basic Training and colloquially called Boot Camp, is the initial indoctrination and instruction given to new military personnel, enlisted and officer...

 at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May
United States Coast Guard Training Center Cape May
United States Coast Guard Training Center Cape May is the home of the Coast Guard enlisted corps and is the Coast Guard's only enlisted accession point and recruit training center. It is located on 1 Munro Avenue, Cape May, New Jersey....

 in Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May is a city at the southern tip of Cape May Peninsula in Cape May County, New Jersey, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the country's oldest vacation resort destinations. It is part of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 United States...

. New recruits arrive at Sexton Hall
Charles W. Sexton
Machinery Technician First Class Charles W. Sexton, USCG, was awarded a posthumous award of the Coast Guard Medal for "extraordinary heroism."-Coast Guard Medal citation:His award citation stated:...

 and remain there for three days of initial processing which includes haircuts, shots, uniform issue, and other necessary entrance procedures. During this initial processing period, the new recruits are led by temporary Company Commanders. These temporary Company Commanders are tasked with teaching the new recruits how to march and preparing them to enter into their designated "Company". The temporary Company Commanders typically do not enforce any physical activity such as push ups or crunches. When the initial processing is complete, the new "Seaman Recruits" are introduced to their permanent Company Commanders who will remain with them until the end of training. There is typically a designated "Lead" Company Commander and two support Company Commanders. The balance of the eight week boot camp is spent in learning teamwork and developing physical skills. An introduction of how the Coast Guard operates with special emphasis on the Coast Guard's Core Values is an important part of the training.

The current nine Recruit Training Objectives are:
  • Self-discipline
  • Military skills
  • Marksmanship
    Shooting
    Shooting is the act or process of firing rifles, shotguns or other projectile weapons such as bows or crossbows. Even the firing of artillery, rockets and missiles can be called shooting. A person who specializes in shooting is a marksman...

  • Vocational skills and academics
  • Military bearing
  • Physical fitness and wellness
  • Water survival and swim qualifications
  • Esprit de corps
  • Core values
    Core values
    Core values may refer to:*Core values, the first value category of the value system*Core democratic values*Family values*The core values of many military organizations:**Core values of the United States Marine Corps**Core values of the United States Navy...

     (Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty)

Service schools

Following graduation from recruit training, most members are sent to their first unit while they await orders to attend advanced training in Class "A" Schools. At "A" schools, Coast Guard enlisted personnel are trained in their chosen rating; rating is a Coast Guard and Navy term synonymous with the Army's and Marine Corps's MOS and Air Force's AFSC
Air Force Specialty Code
The Air Force Specialty Code is an alphanumeric code used by the United States Air Force to identify an Air Force Specialty . Officer AFSCs consist of four characters and enlisted AFSCs consist of five characters. A letter prefix or suffix may be used with an AFSC when more specific identification...

. Members who earned high ASVAB scores or who were otherwise guaranteed an "A" School of choice while enlisting can go directly to their "A" School upon graduation from Boot Camp.

Civilian personnel

The Coast Guard employs over 7,700 civilians in over two hundred different job types including Coast Guard Investigative Service
Coast Guard Investigative Service
The Coast Guard Investigative Service is a division of the United States Coast Guard that investigates crimes where the Coast Guard has an interest...

 special agents, lawyers, engineers, technicians, administrative personnel, and tradesmen. Civilian employees work at various levels in the Coast Guard to support its various missions.

Cutters

Originally, the Coast Guard used the term cutter in its traditional sense, as a type of small sailing ship. Today it officially uses the term for any vessel which has a permanently assigned crew and accommodations for the extended support of that crew, and includes only and all vessels of 65 feet (20 meters) or more in length.
  • Polar-class icebreaker (WAGB)
    USCG Polar Class Icebreaker
    USCG Polar-capable heavy icebreakers consist of three vessels, USCGC Polar Star , USCGC Polar Sea , and USCGC Healy . Polar Star and Polar Sea comprise the Polar class, while Healy is a larger, more modern design and constitutes an entirely different polar-capable icebreaker class...

    : There are three WAGB's used for icebreaking and research. Two are 399 feet (122 m) icebreakers (Polar Sea and Polar Star), and the other is a newer 420 feet (128 m) icebreaker, Healy.
  • National Security Cutter (WMSL)
    National Security Cutter
    The United States Coast Guard National Security Cutter , also known as the Legend class and Maritime Security Cutter, Large, is one design among several new cutter designs developed as part of the Integrated Deepwater System Program....

    : These are a new class of 418 feet (127.4 m) cutters, also known as the Legend
    National Security Cutter
    The United States Coast Guard National Security Cutter , also known as the Legend class and Maritime Security Cutter, Large, is one design among several new cutter designs developed as part of the Integrated Deepwater System Program....

     class, intended to eventually replace the aging Hamilton class high endurance cutters.
  • High Endurance Cutter (WHEC)
    High endurance cutter
    The designation of High endurance cutter was created in 1965 when the United States Coast Guard adopted its own designation system. High endurance cutters encompassed its largest cutters previously designated by the United States Navy as Coast Guard gunboats , Coast Guard destroyer escorts , and...

    : These are 378' Hamilton class cutter
    Hamilton class cutter
    The Hamilton class cutter was the largest class of vessel in the United States Coast Guard until replaced by the National Security Cutter, aside from the Polar Ice Breakers. The hull classification symbol is prefixed WHEC...

    s. Missions include law enforcement, search and rescue, and military defense.
  • Medium Endurance Cutter (WMEC)
    USCG Medium Endurance Cutter
    The United States Coast Guard's cutter fleet contains numerous smaller vessels, and about three dozen large icebreakers, High endurance cutters, Medium Endurance cutters, and three National Security Cutters. There are two legacy vessels, the Alex Haley and the Acushnet.There are 13 vessels in the...

    : These are mostly 210 feet (64 m) and 270 feet (82 m) cutters, although Alex Haley
    USCGC Alex Haley (WMEC-39)
    The United States Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley is a former U.S. Navy vessel that was recommissioned for Coast Guard duty on July 10, 1999. It was first commissioned as the USS Edenton , an Edenton-class salvage and rescue ship on January 23, 1971...

    also falls into this category. Primary missions are law enforcement, search and rescue, and military defense.: Mackinaw is a 240 feet (73 m) heavy icebreaker built for operations on the North American Great Lakes
    Great Lakes
    The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

    .: Eagle is a 295-foot sailing barque used as a training ship for Coast Guard Academy
    United States Coast Guard Academy
    Founded in 1876, the United States Coast Guard Academy is the military academy of the United States Coast Guard. Located in New London, Connecticut, it is the smallest of the five federal service academies...

     cadets and Coast Guard officer candidates. It was originally built in Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

     as the Horst Wessel, and was seized by the United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     as a prize of war
    Prize of war
    A prize of war is a piece of military property seized by the victorious party after a war or battle, typically at sea. This term was used nearly exclusively in terms of a captured ship during the 18th and 19th centuries....

     in 1945.
  • Seagoing Buoy Tender (WLB)
    USCG Seagoing Buoy Tender
    The Seagoing Buoy Tender is a type of U.S. Coast Guard cutter originally designed to service aids to navigation, throughout the waters of the United States, and wherever U.S. shipping interests require. The Coast Guard has maintained a fleet of seagoing buoy tenders dating back to its origins in...

    : The 225 feet (68.6 m) Juniper-class buoy tenders are used to maintain aids to navigation and also assist with law enforcement and search and rescue.
  • Patrol Coastal (WPC)
    Cyclone class patrol ship
    The Cyclone class patrol ships are a class of United States Navy coastal patrol boats. Most of these ships were launched between 1992 and 1994....

    : These are 179 feet (55 m) coastal patrol vessels on loan from the U.S. Navy
    United States Navy
    The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

    .
  • Coastal Buoy Tender (WLM)
    USCG Coastal Buoy Tender
    The United States Coast Guard commissioned a new Keeper-class of coastal buoy tenders in the 1990s that are 175 feet in length and named after Lighthouse keepers.Keeper Class cutters serve the Coast Guard in a variety of missions...

    : The 175 feet (53.3 m) Keeper class coastal buoy tenders are used to maintain coastal aids to navigation.
  • Bay-class icebreaking tug (WTGB): 140 feet (42.7 m) icebreakers used primarily for domestic icebreaking missions. Other missions include search and rescue, law enforcement, and aids to navigation maintenance.
  • Patrol Boats (WPB): There are two classes of WPBs currently in service; the 110 feet (34 m) Island-class Patrol Boats and the 87 feet (27 m) Marine Protector Class Coastal Patrol Boats

Aircraft

The Coast Guard operates about 210 aircraft from Air Stations throughout the continental U.S, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. U.S. Coast Guard aviators receive Primary (fixed-wing) and Advanced (fixed or rotary-wing) flight training with their Navy and Marine counterparts at NAS Pensacola, FL, NAS Whiting Field, FL, and NAS Corpus Christi, TX and are considered Naval Aviators
United States Naval Aviator
A United States Naval Aviator is a qualified pilot in the United States Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard.-Naming Conventions:Most Naval Aviators are Unrestricted Line Officers; however, a small number of Limited Duty Officers and Chief Warrant Officers are also trained as Naval Aviators.Until 1981...

. After receiving Naval Aviator Wings, Coast Guard pilots report to USCG Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama to receive 6–12 weeks of specialized training in the Coast Guard fleet aircraft they will operate.

Fixed-wing aircraft operate from Air Stations on long-duration missions. Helicopters operate from Air Stations and can deploy on a number of different cutters. Helicopters can rescue people or intercept vessels smuggling migrants or narcotics. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Coast Guard has developed a more prominent role in national security and now has armed helicopters operating in high risk areas for the purpose of maritime law enforcement and anti-terrorism.

The Coast Guard is now developing a UAV program which will utilize the Predator and Fire Scout UAV platforms for homeland security and search/rescue operations.

Fixed-Wing Aircraft:
  • Lockheed HC-130 H/J Hercules
  • CASA HC-144A Ocean Sentry
  • Dassault HU-25 A/C Guardian
    Dassault Falcon 20
    The Dassault Falcon 20 is a French business jet and was the first of a family of business jets built by Dassault Aviation.-Design and development:...



Rotary-Wing Aircraft:
  • Sikorsky HH / MH-60 J/T Jayhawk
    HH-60 Jayhawk
    The Sikorsky HH-60J Jayhawk is a multi-mission, twin-engine, medium-range helicopter operated by the United States Coast Guard for search and rescue, law enforcement, military readiness and marine environmental protection missions...

  • Aérospatiale HH / MH-65 C/D Dolphin


Fixed-Wing VIP Transport Aircraft assigned to CGAS Washington D.C:
  • VC-37A Long Range Command and Control Aircraft
    Gulfstream V
    The Gulfstream V is a business jet aircraft produced by Gulfstream Aerospace. It is also used by the US military under the designation C-37A. The G500 and G550 are improved versions which are currently in production...

  • VC-143 Medium Range Command and Control Aircraft
    Bombardier Challenger 600
    The Bombardier Challenger 600 series is a family of business jets designed by Bill Lear and produced first by Canadair until that company was bought by Bombardier Aerospace in 1986.-Development:...



In 2010 costs per hour (for a search, for example) were $6,530 for a HH-60 helicopter, $7,648 for a HC-130J turboprop, $5,731 for a HU-25D twin jet plane, and $1,171 for a 47-foot lifeboat and response boat.

Boats

The Coast Guard operates about 1,400 boats, defined as any vessel less than 65 feet (20 meters) long, which generally operate near shore and on inland waterways.

The Coast Guard boat fleet includes:
  • 47' Motor Life Boat (MLB)
    47-foot Motor Lifeboat
    The 47-foot MLB is the standard lifeboat of the United States Coast Guard . The 47′ MLB is the successor to the 44′ MLB.The 47' MLB is designed to weather hurricane force winds and heavy seas, capable of surviving winds up to , breaking surf up to 6 m and impacts up to three G's...

    : The Coast Guard's primary heavy-weather boat used for search and rescue as well as law enforcement and homeland security.
  • 45' Response Boat-Medium (RB-M)
    Response boat-medium
    The response boat-medium is a 45-foot utility boat used by the United States Coast Guard. It is intended as a replacement for the Coast Guard’s fleet of 41′ utility boats , which have been in use by the Coast Guard since the 1970s. The Coast Guard plans to acquire 180 of these RB-Ms over a 6–10...

    : A new multi-mission vessel intended to replace the 41-foot utility boat.
  • 42' Special Purpose Craft – Near Shore Lifeboat : Only two built. Shallow draft substituted for the 47 footer, based at Chatham, MA. SAFE BOAT 42' Hamilton jet driven Near Shore Lifeboat
  • 41' Utility Boat (UTB)
    USCG utility boat
    The USCG Utility Boat, or UTB, is a standard utility boat used by the United States Coast Guard for a variety of inshore missions. The 41 ft UTB is designed to operate under moderate weather and sea conditions where its speed and maneuverability make it an ideal platform.There are presently...

    : A general purpose boat used for nearly all Coast Guard missions.
  • 36' Long Range Interceptor (LRI)
    USCG Long Range Interceptor
    The United States Coast Guard Long Range Interceptor is an 11 meter high speed launch vessel designed to be deployed from cutters via a rear launching ramp....

    : A high-speed launch that can be launched from the rear ramps of the larger Deepwater cutters.
  • Aids to Navigation Boats (TANB/BUSL/ANB/ANB)
    USCG aids to navigation boat
    The United States Coast Guard maintains roughly 145 Aids to Navigation Boats. These boats were designed primarily to serve within the inland waters of the United States. These vessels include TANB/BUSL/ANB/ANB ranging from 26 to 55 feet in length....

    : Various designs ranging from 26 to 55 feet used to maintain aids to navigation.
  • 33' Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement (SPC-LE): Intended to operate in support of specialized law enforcement missions, utilizing three 300 hp Mercury Marine
    Mercury Marine
    Mercury Marine, founded in 1939, is a division of Brunswick of Lake Forest, Illinois, in the United States. Mercury provides engines for private, commercial and government sales. Mercury also has its own line of very successful racing engines tailored for power and speed. The company's primary...

     engines. The SPC-LE is capable of speeds in excess of 50 knots and operations more than 30 miles from shore.
  • 25' Response Boat-Small (RB-S)
    USCG Defender class boat
    The Defender-class boat, also called Response Boat – Small and Response Boat – Homeland Security , is a standard boat introduced by the United States Coast Guard in 2002...

    : A high speed boat, for a variety of missions, including search and rescue
    Search and rescue
    Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, mostly based upon terrain considerations...

    , port security
    Port security
    Port security refers to the defense, law and treaty enforcement, and counterterrorism activities that fall within the port and maritime domain...

     and law enforcement duties.
  • 25' Transportable Port Security Boat (TPSB)
    USCG transportable port security boat
    The 25 ft Transportable Port Security Boat : is a twin outboard motor, open deck, all weather, high performance, moderately-armed platform capable of operating in inner harbor/near shore environments in light sea conditions. It was first built in FY97 by Boston Whaler in Edgewater, Florida, for...

    : A well-armed boat used by Port Security Unit
    Port Security Unit
    United States Coast Guard Port Security Units are deployable units organized for sustained force protection operations. They can deploy within 96 hours and establish operations within 24 hours. PSUs conduct OCONUS port security in support of requesting regional Combatant commander. They provide...

    s for force protection.
  • 24' SPC-SW Special Purpose Craft, Shallow-water:
  • 23' Over-the-Horizon (OTH) boat
    Over the horizon boat
    The Cutterboat - Over the Horizon , is a cutter deployed rigid-hulled inflatable boat in service with the United States Coast Guard. It is designed to pursue and interdict fast, non-compliant vessels and is carried aboard the Coast Guard's Maritime Security Cutters, Hamilton class High Endurance...

    : A rigid hull inflatable boat used by medium and high endurance cutters and specialized units.
  • 23' Short Range Prosecutor (SRP): A rigid hull inflatable boat that can be launched from a rear launching ramp on the National Security Cutters.

Weapons

The Coast Guard uses a wide variety of Weapons. Assault Rifle, shotguns, and sidearm pistols are used to arm boat crew and boarding team members and machine guns are mounted aboard cutters, boats, and helicopters. Snipers are used from helicopters for fire support and to shoot engines on fast boats that try to outrun the coast guard maritime.

Weapons Include:
  • M16A2 rifle
  • M4 carbine
    M4 carbine
    The M4 carbine is a family of firearms tracing its lineage back to earlier carbine versions of the M16, all based on the original AR-15 designed by Eugene Stoner and made by ArmaLite. It is a shorter and lighter variant of the M16A2 assault rifle, with 80% parts commonality.It is a gas-operated,...

  • M14 EBR Scoped
  • HK416
  • MP5
  • Beretta 92
    Beretta 92
    The Beretta 92 is a series of semi-automatic pistols designed and manufactured by Beretta of Italy. The model 92 was designed in 1972 and production of many variants in different calibers continues today...

     Pistol
  • SIG Sauer P229R DAK .40 S&W
    .40 S&W
    The .40 S&W is a rimless pistol cartridge developed jointly by major American firearms manufacturers Winchester and Smith & Wesson. The .40 S&W was developed from the ground up as a law enforcement cartridge designed to duplicate performance of the FBI's reduced velocity 10mm cartridge which could...

     pistol
  • M9 pistol
    M9 Pistol
    The Beretta M9, formally Pistol, Semiautomatic, 9mm, M9, is a 9×19mm Parabellum pistol of the United States military adopted in 1985. It is essentially a military specification Beretta 92F, later the 92FS....

  • Remington M870P
    Remington 870
    The Remington Model 870 is a U.S.-made pump-action shotgun manufactured by Remington Arms Company, Inc. It is widely used by the public for sport shooting, hunting, and self-defense. It is also commonly used by law enforcement and military organizations worldwide.-Development:The Remington 870 was...

     12 gauge
    Gauge (bore diameter)
    The gauge of a firearm is a unit of measurement used to express the diameter of the barrel. Gauge is determined from the weight of a solid sphere of lead that will fit the bore of the firearm, and is expressed as the multiplicative inverse of the sphere's weight as a fraction of a pound . Thus...

     shotgun
  • Franchi SPAS-12
    Franchi SPAS-12
    The SPAS-12 is a combat shotgun that was manufactured by the Italian firearms company Franchi S.p.A. from 1979 to 2000. The SPAS-12 is a dual-mode shotgun, meaning it can be calibrated to cycle either semi-automatically or through pump-action. The SPAS-12 has sold well to military and police users...

  • FN
    Fabrique Nationale de Herstal
    Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal — self identified as FN Herstal and often referred to as Fabrique Nationale or simply FN — is a firearms manufacturer located in Herstal, Belgium....

     M240 machine gun
  • M2 heavy machine gun
  • M39 EMR sniper rifle
  • Barrett M82 .50cal sniper rifle

Units within the Deployable Operations Group also employ specialized weapons including the Mk 18 carbine, Mk 11
SR-25
The SR-25 is a semi-automatic sniper rifle designed by Eugene Stoner and manufactured by Knight's Armament Company. The SR-25 uses a rotating bolt and a direct impingement gas system. It is loosely based on Stoner's AR-10, rebuilt in its original 7.62×51mm NATO caliber...

 precision rifle, and M203 grenade launcher
M203 grenade launcher
The M203 is a single shot 40 mm grenade launcher designed to attach to a rifle. It uses the same rounds as the older M79 break-action grenade launcher, which utilize the High-Low Propulsion System to keep recoil forces low. Though versatile, and compatible with many rifle models, the M203 was...

. The Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron
Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron
The Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron is an armed U.S. Coast Guard helicopter squadron specializing in Airborne Use of Force and drug-interdiction missions. It is based at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida....

 uses a variant of the Barrett M107 .50-caliber rifle to disable the engines on fleeing boats.

Core values

The Coast Guard, like the other armed services of the United States, has a set of core values
Core values
Core values may refer to:*Core values, the first value category of the value system*Core democratic values*Family values*The core values of many military organizations:**Core values of the United States Marine Corps**Core values of the United States Navy...

 which serve as basic ethical guidelines for all Coast Guard Active Duty, Reservists, Auxiliarists and Civilians. The Coast Guard Core Values are:
  • Honor: Integrity is our standard. We demonstrate uncompromising ethical conduct and moral behavior in all of our personal actions. We are loyal and accountable to the public trust.

  • Respect: We value our diverse workforce. We treat each other with fairness, dignity and compassion. We encourage individual opportunity and growth. We encourage creativity through empowerment. We work as a team.

  • Devotion to Duty: We are professionals, military and civilian, who seek responsibility, accept accountability, and are committed to the successful achievement of our organizational goals. We exist to serve. We serve with pride.

The Guardian Ethos

In 2008, the Coast Guard introduced the Guardian Ethos. As the Commandant, Admiral Allen noted in a message to all members of the Coast Guard: "[T]he Ethos ... defines the essence of the Coast Guard and could be viewed as the contract the Coast Guard and its members make with the nation and its citizens.
The Ethos is as follows:
I am America’s Maritime Guardian.
I serve the citizens of the United States.
I will protect them.
I will defend them.
I will save them.
I am their Shield.
For them I am Semper Paratus.
I live the Coast Guard Core Values.
I am a Guardian.
We are the United States Coast Guard.

Creed of the United States Coast Guardsman

The Creed of the United States Coast Guardsman was written by Vice Admiral Harry G. Hamlet
Harry G. Hamlet
Harry Gabriel Hamlet served as the seventh Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, from 1932 to 1936.-Early life and career:...

, who served as Commandant of the Coast Guard from 1932 to 1936.
I am proud to be a United States Coast Guardsman.
I revere that long line of expert seamen who by their devotion to duty and sacrifice of self have made it possible for me to be a member of a service honored and respected, in peace and in war, throughout the world.
I never, by word or deed, will bring reproach upon the fair name of my service, nor permit others to do so unchallenged.
I will cheerfully and willingly obey all lawful orders.
I will always be on time to relieve, and shall endeavor to do more, rather than less, than my share.
I will always be at my station, alert and attending to my duties.
I shall, so far as I am able, bring to my seniors solutions, not problems.
I shall live joyously, but always with due regard for the rights and privileges of others.
I shall endeavor to be a model citizen in the community in which I live.
I shall sell life dearly to an enemy of my country, but give it freely to rescue those in peril.
With God’s help, I shall endeavor to be one of His noblest Works...
A UNITED STATES COAST GUARDSMAN.

Coast Guard Ensign

The Coast Guard Ensign
Ensign
An ensign is a national flag when used at sea, in vexillology, or a distinguishing token, emblem, or badge, such as a symbol of office in heraldry...

 (flag) was first flown by the Revenue Cutter Service in 1799 to distinguish revenue cutters from merchant ships. The order stated the Ensign would be "sixteen perpendicular stripes (for the number of states in the United States at the time), alternate red and white, the union of the ensign to be the arms of the United States in a dark blue on a white field."

This ensign became familiar in American waters and served as the sign of authority for the Revenue Cutter Service until the early 20th century. The ensign was originally intended to be flown only on revenue cutters and boats connected with the Customs Service but over the years it was found flying atop custom houses as well, and the practice became a requirement in 1874. On 7 June 1910, President William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

 issued an Executive Order adding an emblem to (or "defacing
Defacement (flag)
Defacement is a term used in heraldry and vexillology to refer to the addition of a symbol or charge to another flag. For example, the Australian flag is the British Blue Ensign defaced with the Southern Cross in the fly and the Commonwealth Star in the lower hoist quarter, beneath the Union...

") the ensign flown by the Revenue cutters to distinguish it from what is now called the Customs Ensign flown from the custom houses. The emblem was changed to the official seal of the U.S. Coast Guard in 1927.

The purpose of the ensign is to allow ship captains to easily recognize those vessels having legal authority to stop and board them. It is flown only as a symbol of law enforcement authority and is never carried as a parade standard.

Coast Guard Standard

The Coast Guard Standard is used in parades and carries the battle honors of the U.S. Coast Guard. It was derived from the jack of the Coast Guard ensign which used to fly from the stern of revenue cutters. The emblem is a blue eagle from the coat of arms of the United States on a white field. Above the eagle are the words "UNITED STATES COAST GUARD" below the eagle is the motto, "SEMPER PARATUS" and the inscription "1790."

Racing Stripe

The Racing Stripe, officially known as the Service Mark, was designed in 1964 by the industrial design office of Raymond Loewy
Raymond Loewy
Raymond Loewy was an industrial designer, and the first to be featured on the cover of Time Magazine, on October 31, 1949. Born in France, he spent most of his professional career in the United States...

 Associates to give the Coast Guard a distinctive, modern image. First used in 1967, it consists of a narrow blue stripe, a narrow white stripe between, and a broad CG red bar with the Coast Guard shield centered. The stripes are canted at a 64 degree angle, coincidentally the year the Racing Stripe was designed. The racing stripe is borne by U.S. Coast Guard cutters, aircraft, and many boats. Red-hulled icebreaker
USCG Polar Class Icebreaker
USCG Polar-capable heavy icebreakers consist of three vessels, USCGC Polar Star , USCGC Polar Sea , and USCGC Healy . Polar Star and Polar Sea comprise the Polar class, while Healy is a larger, more modern design and constitutes an entirely different polar-capable icebreaker class...

 cutters bear a narrow white bar, a narrow blue bar, and broad white bar, with the Coast Guard shield centered. Conversely, black-hulled cutters (such as buoy tenders and inland construction tenders) use the standard racing stripe. Auxiliary vessels maintained by the Coast Guard also carry the Racing Stripe, but in inverted colors (i.e., broad blue stripe over narrow white and CG red stripes) and the Auxiliary shield.

Similar Racing Stripe designs have been adopted for the use of other coast guards and maritime authorities, such as the Canadian Coast Guard
Canadian Coast Guard
The Canadian Coast Guard is the coast guard of Canada. It is a federal agency responsible for providing maritime search and rescue , aids to navigation, marine pollution response, marine radio, and icebreaking...

, the Italian Guardia Costiera
Guardia Costiera
The Corps of the Port Captaincies - Coast Guard is the coast guard of Italy and is part of the Italian Navy under the control of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport....

, the French Maritime Gendarmerie, the Indian Coast Guard
Indian Coast Guard
The Indian Coast Guard is a branch of the Indian Armed Forces. Its mission is the protection of India's maritime interests and maritime law enforcement with jurisdiction over both territorial and international waters....

, the German Federal Coast Guard
German Federal Coast Guard
The German Federal Coast Guard is a civilian law enforcement organisation whose primary missions are border protection, maritime environmental protection, shipping safety, fishery protection and customs enforcement...

, the Philippine Coast Guard
Philippine Coast Guard
The Philippine Coast Guard is a maritime law enforcement agency operating under the Department of Transportation and Communications of the Philippines....

, the Netherlands Coastguard
Netherlands Coastguard
The Netherlands Coastguard or Nederlandse Kustwacht is a national organisation responsible for various services along the Netherlands' coast line ....

, the European Maritime Safety Agency
European Maritime Safety Agency
The European Maritime Safety Agency is a European Union agency charged with reducing the risk of maritime accidents, marine pollution from ships and the loss of human lives at sea by helping to enforce the pertinent EU legislation...

, the Australian Customs Service
Australian Customs Service
The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service is the Australian Federal Government agency responsible for managing the security and integrity of the Australian border, facilitating the movement of legitimate international travellers and goods, and collecting border-related duties and...

, and many other law enforcement and rescue agencies.

Semper Paratus

The official march of the Coast Guard is "Semper Paratus
Semper Paratus (march)
"Semper Paratus" is the official march of the United States Coast Guard.Semper Paratus is also the official Coast Guard motto...

" (Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 for "Always Ready"; Click for audio clip).

Uniforms

Prior to 1972, U.S. Coast Guard personnel wore the same uniforms as the U.S. Navy with distinctive Coast Guard insignia, primarily distinctive cap devices for officers and chief petty officers, incorporation of the Coast Guard shield in lieu of line or staff corps insignia for officers, and different buttons on dress uniforms.

In 1972, the current Coast Guard "Service Dress Blue" (SDB) uniform was introduced for wear by both officers and enlisted personnel; the transition was completed during 1974. The uniform consists of a blue four-pocket single breasted jacket and trousers. A light-blue button-up shirt with a pointed collar, two front button-flap pockets, and shoulder loops, along with a tie of the same shade as the jacket are worn with the uniform. Officer rank insignia parallels that of the U.S. Navy but with the gold Navy "line" star being replaced with the gold Coast Guard Shield and with the Navy blue background color replaced by Coast Guard blue. Enlisted rank insignia is also similar to the Navy with the Coast Guard shield replacing the eagle on collar and cap devices. Group Rate marks (stripes) for junior enlisted members (E-3 and below) also follow U. S. Navy convention with white for seaman, red for fireman, and green for airman. In a departure from the U. S. Navy conventions, all Petty Officers E-6 and below wear red chevrons and all Chief Petty Officers wear gold. Unlike the U.S. Navy, there are no khaki uniforms, and all personnel wear the same color uniform.

The SDB uniform may be worn year-round for business within the Coast Guard and for social occasions where the civilian equivalent is coat and tie.

The "Tropical Blue" variation, worn in warm weather, omits the jacket and tie, and features a short sleeve shirt with rank insignia on shoulder boards for officers, and pin-on collar insignia for Petty Officers. The Tropical Blue uniform may be worn year-round for general office wear and for visits between commands. It may be worn in lieu of the SDB uniform, but not to functions where civilian dress is coat and tie.
Coast Guard officers also have a "Dress White" uniform, nearly identical to the "choker white" uniform worn by naval officers (aside from service-specific insignia and sword design), typically used for formal parade and change-of-command ceremonies. For similar occasions enlisted members wear either Service Dress Blue or Full Dress Blue. Full Dress Blue replaces the light blue shirt with a white shirt, and full size medals are worn on the jacket. A white belt may be worn for honor guard
Honor guard
An honor guard, or ceremonial guard, is a ceremonial unit, usually military in nature and composed of volunteers who are carefully screened for their physical ability and dexterity...

s. Mess dress
Mess dress
Mess dress is the military term for the formal evening dress worn in the mess or at other formal occasions. It is also known as mess uniform and mess kit...

 uniforms are worn by members for formal (black tie) evening ceremonies. Like the officers' Dress White uniform, the mess dress uniforms are identical to those of the U.S. Navy, aside from Coast Guard-specific insignia.
The current working uniform of the Coast Guard is the Operational Dress Uniform
Operational Dress Uniform
The Operational Dress Uniform is the normal work uniform of the United States Coast Guard and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.The Coast Guard introduced the new "Operational Dress Uniform" uniform in 2004 to replace the winter and summer "Undress Duty" uniform...

 (ODU). The ODU may be worn year-round primarily as a field utility and watchstanding uniform, and may be worn in an office environment. The ODU is similar to the Battle Dress Uniform
Battle Dress Uniform
The Battle Dress Uniform were the fatigues that the armed forces of the United States used as their standard uniform for combat situations from September 1981 to April 2005. Since then, it has been replaced in every branch of the U.S. military. Only the U.S. Navy currently authorizes wear of the...

 of other armed services, both in function and style. However, the ODU is in a solid dark blue with no camouflage pattern and does not have lower pockets on the blouse. The first generation ODU, wearable until July 1, 2012 is worn tucked in. The second generation ODU is worn untucked and has black Coast Guard insignias embroidered on the left shirt pocket as well as the side pockets of the trousers. The ODU is worn with composite-toed boots in most circumstances, but low-cut brown boat shoes may be prescribed for certain vessel boarding operations. A standard baseball-style ball cap is worn, embroidered in gold block lettering with "U.S. Coast Guard." Units may also additionally authorize ball caps with the unit name embroidered for wear while on the unit. A foul weather parka is the outerwear worn with the ODU. The former dark blue working uniform has been withdrawn from use by the Coast Guard but may be worn by Auxiliarists until no longer serviceable.

Coast Guard personnel serving in expeditionary combat units such as Port Security Unit
Port Security Unit
United States Coast Guard Port Security Units are deployable units organized for sustained force protection operations. They can deploy within 96 hours and establish operations within 24 hours. PSUs conduct OCONUS port security in support of requesting regional Combatant commander. They provide...

s, Law Enforcement Detachments
Law Enforcement Detachments
Law Enforcement Detachments or LEDETs are specialized, deployable maritime law enforcement teams of the United States Coast Guard. First established in 1982, their primary mission is to deploy aboard U.S. and allied naval vessels to conduct and support law enforcement, interdiction, or security...

, and others, wear the Camouflage Utility Uniform (CUU) with the woodland
Battle Dress Uniform
The Battle Dress Uniform were the fatigues that the armed forces of the United States used as their standard uniform for combat situations from September 1981 to April 2005. Since then, it has been replaced in every branch of the U.S. military. Only the U.S. Navy currently authorizes wear of the...

 or desert
Desert Camouflage Uniform
The Desert Camouflage Uniform is essentially the same as the United States military's Battle Dress Uniform uniform, only featuring the three-color desert camouflage pattern of light tan, pale green, and brown, as opposed to the dark green, black, brown, and dark tan of the BDU's woodland pattern...

 pattern/color scheme based on the operational commander's guidance. An eight-point cap is worn with rank insignia. The camouflaged utility sun hat
Boonie hat
A boonie hat, also known as a bush hat, is a form of wide-brim hat commonly used by military forces. Its design is similar to a bucket hat but with a stiffer brim. Often a fabric tape band of 'branch loops' is sewn around the crown of the hat. This 'foliage ring' is meant to hold additional...

 may be worn when prescribed by the operational commander, without rank insignia.

All Coast Guardsmen wear the combination cap
Peaked cap
A peaked cap, forage cap, barracks cover, or combination cap is a form of headgear worn by the armed forces of many nations and also by many uniformed civilian organizations such as law enforcement agencies...

 with all uniforms except the ODU and CUU. Company commanders (the Coast Guard's equivalent of drill sergeants) at Training Center Cape May wear the traditional "Smokey Bear" campaign hat
Campaign hat
A campaign cover is a broad-brimmed felt or straw hat, with a high crown, pinched symmetrically at the four corners .It is associated with the New Zealand Army, the Royal Canadian...

.

A 2006 of the Reservist magazine was devoted to a detailed and easy to understand graphical description of all the uniforms displayed as prescribed at that time.

Issues

The Coast Guard faces several issues in the near future.

Lack of coverage affects many areas with high maritime traffic. For example, local officials in Scituate, Massachusetts
Scituate, Massachusetts
Scituate is a seacoast town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States, on the South Shore, midway between Boston and Plymouth. The population was 18,133 at the 2010 census....

, have complained that there is no permanent Coast Guard station, and the presence of the Coast Guard in winter is vital. One reason for this lack of coverage is the relatively high cost of building storm-proof buildings on coastal property; the Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras is a cape on the coast of North Carolina. It is the point that protrudes the farthest to the southeast along the northeast-to-southwest line of the Atlantic coast of North America...

 station was abandoned in 2005 after winter storms wiped out the 12 feet (3.7 m) sand dune serving as its protection from the ocean. Faced with these issues the Coast Guard has contracted with General Dynamics C4 System to provide a complete replacement of their 1970s era radio equipment. Rescue 21 is the United States Coast Guard's advanced command, control and communications system. Created to improve the ability to assist mariners in distress and save lives and property at sea, the system is currently being installed in stages across the United States. The nation's existing maritime search and rescue (SAR) communications system has been in operation since the early 1970s. Difficult to maintain, increasingly unreliable and prone to coverage gaps, this antiquated system no longer meets the safety needs of America's growing marine traffic. In addition, it is incapable of supporting the Coast Guard's new mission requirements for homeland security, which require close cooperation with Department of Defense agencies as well as federal, state and local law enforcement authorities. Modernizing this system enhances the safety and protection of America's waterways.

Lack of strength to meet its assigned missions is being met by a legislated increase in authorized strength from 39,000 to 45,000. In addition, the volunteer Auxiliary acts as an air and surface resource in support of a variety of missions conducted by Coast Guard units.

Aging vessels are another problem, with the Coast Guard still operating some of the oldest naval vessels in the world. In 2005, the Coast Guard terminated contracts to upgrade the 110-foot (33.5 m) Island Class Cutters to 123 feet (37.5 m) cutters because of warping and distortion of the hulls. In late 2006, Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the Coast Guard, decommissioned all eight 123 feet (37.5 m) cutters due to dangerous conditions created by the lengthening of the hull- to include compromised watertight integrity. The Coast Guard has, as a result of the failed 110 ft (33.5 m) conversion, revised production schedules for the Fast Response Cutter
Fast Response Cutter
The Sentinel class Cutter, previously known as the Fast Response Cutter, is part of the United States Coast Guard's Deepwater program.At it is similar to, but larger than the 123-foot extended Island Class Cutters, like the USCGC Matagorda...

 (FRC). Of the navies and coast guards of the world's 40 largest navies, the U.S. Coast Guard has the 38th oldest surface fleet.

Live fire exercise
Live fire exercise
A live fire exercise or LFX is any exercise in which a realistic scenario for the use of specific equipment is simulated. In the popular lexicon this is applied primarily to tests of weapons or weapon systems that are associated with the various branches of a nation's armed forces, although the...

s
by Coast Guard boat and cutter crews in the U.S. waters of the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 attracted attention in the U.S. and Canada. The Coast Guard had proposed the establishment of 34 locations around the Great Lakes where live fire training using vessel-mounted machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

s were to be conducted periodically throughout the year. The Coast Guard said that these exercises are a critical part of proper crew training in support of the service's multiple missions on the Great Lakes, including law enforcement and anti-terrorism. Those that raised concerns about the firing exercises commented about safety concerns and that the impact on commercial shipping, tourism, recreational boating and the environment may be greater than what the Coast Guard had stated. The Coast Guard took public comment and conducted a series of nine public meetings on this issue. After receiving more than 1,000 comments, mostly opposing the Coast Guard's plan, the Coast Guard announced that they were withdrawing their proposal for target practice on the Great Lakes, although a revised proposal may be made in the future.

Deployable Operations Group

The Deployable Operations Group (DOG) is a Coast Guard command established in July 2007. The DOG established a single command authority to rapidly provide the Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to...

, Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

, Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 and other interagency operational commanders adaptive force packages drawn from the U.S. Coast Guard's deployable specialized force units.

The planning for the unit began after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and culminated with its formation on 20 July 2007. Its missions include maritime law enforcement, anti-terrorism, port security
Port security
Port security refers to the defense, law and treaty enforcement, and counterterrorism activities that fall within the port and maritime domain...

, pollution
Pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

 response, and diving operations
Underwater diving
Underwater diving is the practice of going underwater, either with breathing apparatus or by breath-holding .Recreational diving is a popular activity...

.

There are over twenty-five specialized units within the Deployable Operations Group including the Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT), Maritime Safety & Security Teams
Maritime Safety and Security Team
A Maritime Safety and Security Team or MSST is a United States Coast Guard anti-terrorism team established to protect local maritime assets...

 (MSST), Tactical Law Enforcement Teams
Law Enforcement Detachments
Law Enforcement Detachments or LEDETs are specialized, deployable maritime law enforcement teams of the United States Coast Guard. First established in 1982, their primary mission is to deploy aboard U.S. and allied naval vessels to conduct and support law enforcement, interdiction, or security...

 (TACLET), Port Security Unit
Port Security Unit
United States Coast Guard Port Security Units are deployable units organized for sustained force protection operations. They can deploy within 96 hours and establish operations within 24 hours. PSUs conduct OCONUS port security in support of requesting regional Combatant commander. They provide...

s (PSU), the National Strike Force (NSF), and Regional Dive Lockers. The DOG also manages Coast Guard personnel assigned to the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command
Navy Expeditionary Combat Command
The Navy Expeditionary Combat Command serves as the single functional command to centrally manage current and future readiness, resources, manning, training and equipping of the United States Navy's 40,000 expeditionary forces who are currently serving in every theater of operation. The NECC was...

 (NECC) and is involved in the selection of Coast Guard candidates to attend Navy BUD/S
United States Navy SEAL selection and training
The average United States Navy SEAL spends over a year in a series of formal training environments before being awarded the Special Warfare Operator Naval Rating and the Navy Enlisted Classification 5326 Combatant Swimmer or, in the case of commissioned naval officers, the designation Naval...

 and serve with U.S. Navy SEAL Teams
United States Navy SEALs
The United States Navy's Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command.The acronym is derived from their...

.

Coast Guard Reserve

The United States Coast Guard Reserve
United States Coast Guard Reserve
The United States Coast Guard Reserve is the reserve component of the United States Coast Guard. It is organized, trained, administered, and supplied under the direction of the Commandant of the Coast Guard through the Director of Reserve and Leadership....

 is the reserve military force of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard Reserve was founded on 19 February 1941. Coast Guard reservists normally drill two days a month and an additional twelve days of active duty each year. Coast Guard reservists possess the same training and qualifications as their active duty counterparts, and as such, can be found augmenting active duty Coast Guard units every day.

During the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 and shortly thereafter, the Coast Guard considered abandoning the reserve program, but the force was instead reoriented into force augmentation, where its principal focus was not just reserve operations, but to add to the readiness and mission execution of every day active duty personnel.

Since 11 September 2001, over 8,500 reservists have been activated and served on tours of active duty, to include deployments to the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 and also as parts of Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 combatant commands such as the U.S. Northern Command
United States Northern Command
United States Northern Command is a Unified Combatant Command of the United States military. Created on 1 October 2002 in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks, its mission is to protect the United States homeland and support local, state, and federal authorities...

 and Central Command
United States Central Command
The United States Central Command is a theater-level Unified Combatant Command unit of the U.S. armed forces, established in 1983 under the operational control of the U.S. Secretary of Defense...

. Coast Guard Port Security Unit
Port Security Unit
United States Coast Guard Port Security Units are deployable units organized for sustained force protection operations. They can deploy within 96 hours and establish operations within 24 hours. PSUs conduct OCONUS port security in support of requesting regional Combatant commander. They provide...

s are entirely staffed with reservists, except for five to seven active duty personnel. Additionally, most of the staffing the Coast Guard provides to the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command
Navy Expeditionary Combat Command
The Navy Expeditionary Combat Command serves as the single functional command to centrally manage current and future readiness, resources, manning, training and equipping of the United States Navy's 40,000 expeditionary forces who are currently serving in every theater of operation. The NECC was...

 are reservists.

The Reserve is managed by the Acting Director of Reserve and Leadership (CG-13), RDML David R. Callahan.

Coast Guard Auxiliary

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard and was established on June 23, 1939 by an act of Congress as the United States Coast Guard Reserve, and was re-designated as the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary on February 19, 1941...

 is the uniformed volunteer component of the Coast Guard, established on 23 June 1939 by an act of Congress as the United States Coast Guard Reserve
United States Coast Guard Reserve
The United States Coast Guard Reserve is the reserve component of the United States Coast Guard. It is organized, trained, administered, and supplied under the direction of the Commandant of the Coast Guard through the Director of Reserve and Leadership....

, it was re-designated as the Auxiliary on 19 February 1941. It works within the Coast Guard in carrying out its noncombatant and non-law enforcement missions. Auxiliarists are subject to direction from the Commandant of the Coast Guard making them unique among all federal volunteers (e.g. Air Force's Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol is a Congressionally chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force . CAP is a volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds, lifestyles, and...

 and FBI's Infragard). As of May 2010, there were approximately 30,000 active Auxiliarists. The Coast Guard has assigned primary responsibility for many recreational boating safety tasks to the Auxiliary, including public boating safety education and voluntary vessel safety checks.

Prior to 1997, Auxiliarists were limited to those tasks and on-water patrols supporting recreational boating safety. In 1997, however, new legislation authorized the Auxiliary to participate in any and all Coast Guard missions except direct military and direct law enforcement. Auxiliarists may support the law enforcement mission of the Coast Guard but may not directly participate in it, and Auxiliarists and their vessels are not permitted to carry a weapon while serving in any Auxiliary capacity. Auxiliarists use their own vessel (e.g., boats, aircraft, and vehicles), once it is registered as a Coast Guard Facility, in Coast Guard missions.

Medals and honors

One Coast Guardsman, Douglas Albert Munro
Douglas Albert Munro
-External links:...

, has earned the Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President, in the name of Congress, upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her...

, the highest military award of the United States. Fifty five Coast Guardsmen have earned the Navy Cross
Navy Cross
The Navy Cross is the highest decoration that may be bestowed by the Department of the Navy and the second highest decoration given for valor. It is normally only awarded to members of the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Coast Guard, but can be awarded to all...

 and numerous men and women have earned the Distinguished Flying Cross.

The highest peacetime decoration awarded within the Coast Guard is the Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal
Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal
The Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal is a United States military award which is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States by the United States Department of Homeland Security...

; prior to the transfer of the Coast Guard to the Department of Homeland Security, the highest peacetime decoration was the Department of Transportation Distinguished Service Medal
Department of Transportation Distinguished Service Medal
The Transportation Distinguished Service Medal was the highest decoration which could be bestowed by the Secretary of Transportation for exceptional service to the United States government in a position of great responsibility to a member of the United States Coast Guard...

. The highest unit award available is the Presidential Unit Citation
Presidential Unit Citation (US)
The Presidential Unit Citation, originally called the Distinguished Unit Citation, is awarded to units of the Armed Forces of the United States and allies for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after 7 December 1941...

.

In wartime, members of the Coast Guard are eligible to receive the U.S. Navy version of the Medal of Honor. A Coast Guard Medal of Honor is authorized but has not yet been developed or issued.

In May 2006, at the Change of Command ceremony when Admiral Thad Allen took over as Commandant, President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 awarded the entire Coast Guard, including the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation
Presidential Unit Citation (US)
The Presidential Unit Citation, originally called the Distinguished Unit Citation, is awarded to units of the Armed Forces of the United States and allies for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after 7 December 1941...

 with hurricane device, for its efforts during and after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl

Those who have piloted or flown in U.S. Coast Guard aircraft under official flight orders may join the Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl ("Flying Since the World was Flat").

The Ancient Albatross Award is presented to the active duty USCG member who qualified as an aviator earlier than any other person who is still serving. Separate enlisted and officer awards are given.

Coast Guard CW Operators Association

The Coast Guard CW Operators Association (CGCWOA) is a membership organization comprising primarily former members of the United States Coast Guard who held the enlisted rating of Radioman (RM) or Telecommunications Specialist (TC), and who employed International Morse Code (CW) in their routine communications duties on Coast Guard cutters and at shore stations.

USCG Chief Petty Officers Association

Members of this organization unite to assist members and dependents in need, assist with Coast Guard recruiting efforts, support the aims and goals of the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Academy, keep informed on Coast Guard matters, and assemble for social amenities; and include Chief, Senior Chief, and Master Chief Petty Officers, active, reserve and retired. Membership is also open to all Chief Warrant Officers and Officers who have served as a Chief Petty Officer.

Notable Coast Guardsmen

Numerous celebrities have served in the Coast Guard including tennis player Jack Kramer, golfer Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer
Arnold Daniel Palmer is an American professional golfer, who is generally regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of men's professional golf. He has won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, dating back to 1955...

, All Star baseball player Sid Gordon
Sid Gordon
Sidney "Sid" Gordon , known as "Sid," was a stocky, powerfully built American right-handed Major League Baseball outfielder, third baseman, and first baseman....

, boxer Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey
William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey was an American boxer who held the world heavyweight title from 1919 to 1926. Dempsey's aggressive style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history. Many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first...

, musicians Kai Winding
Kai Winding
Kai Chresten Winding was a popular Danish-born American trombonist and jazz composer. He is well known for a successful collaboration with fellow trombonist J. J. Johnson.-Biography:...

, Rudy Vallee
Rudy Vallée
Rudy Vallée was an American singer, actor, bandleader, and entertainer.-Early life:Born Hubert Prior Vallée in Island Pond, Vermont, the son of Charles Alphonse and Catherine Lynch Vallée...

, Derroll Adams
Derroll Adams
Derroll Adams was an American folk musician.-Biography:Adams was born Derroll Lewis Thompson in Portland, Oregon. At 16, he served in the Army and later in the Coast Guard. He was a tall, lanky banjo player with a deep voice...

, and Tom Waits
Tom Waits
Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car."...

, actors Buddy Ebsen
Buddy Ebsen
Buddy Ebsen was an American character actor and dancer. A performer for seven decades, he had starring roles as Jed Clampett in the long-running television series The Beverly Hillbillies and as the title character in the 1970s detective series Barnaby Jones, and played Barnaby Jones in the movie...

, Sid Caesar
Sid Caesar
Isaac Sidney "Sid" Caesar is an Emmy award winning American comic actor and writer known as the leading man on the 1950s television series Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour, and to younger generations as Coach Calhoun in Grease and Grease 2.- Early life :Caesar was born in Yonkers, New York,...

, Victor Mature
Victor Mature
Victor John Mature was an American stage, film and television actor.-Early life:Mature was born in Louisville, Kentucky to an Italian-speaking father from the town Pinzolo, in the Italian part of the former County of Tyrol , Marcello Gelindo Maturi, later Marcellus George Mature, a cutler,...

, Richard Cromwell
Richard Cromwell (actor)
Richard Cromwell, born LeRoy Melvin Radabaugh , was an American actor. His family and friends called him Roy, though he was also professionally known and signed autographs as Dick Cromwell. Cromwell's career was at its pinnacle with his work in Jezebel with Bette Davis and Henry Fonda and again...

, Alan Hale, Jr.
Alan Hale, Jr.
Alan Hale, Jr. was an American film and television actor, best known for his role as Skipper on the popular sitcom Gilligan's Island. Hale was the lookalike son of popular supporting film actor Alan Hale, Sr....

, William Hopper
William Hopper
William Hopper, born DeWolf Hopper, Jr. was an American actor. He is best-remembered for playing Paul Drake on television's Perry Mason.-Early life:...

, Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges
Jeffrey Leon "Jeff" Bridges is an American actor and musician. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Otis "Bad" Blake in the 2009 film Crazy Heart....

, Cesar Romero
Cesar Romero
Cesar Julio Romero, Jr. was an American film and television actor who was active in film, radio, and television for almost sixty years...

 and author Alex Haley
Alex Haley
Alexander Murray Palmer Haley was an African-American writer. He is best known as the author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family and the coauthor of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.-Early life:...

.

Vice Admiral Thad Allen in 2005 was named Principal Federal Officer to oversee recovery efforts in the Gulf Region after Hurricane Katrina. After promotion to Admiral, on the eve of his retirement as Commandant, Allen again received national visibility after being named National Incident Commander overseeing the response efforts of the Deepwater Horizon disaster (aka "BP oil disaster)
Deepwater Horizon oil spill
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which flowed unabated for three months in 2010, and continues to leak fresh oil. It is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry...

.

Former Coast Guard officers have been appointed to numerous civilian government offices. After retiring as Commandant of the Coast Guard in 2002, Admiral James Loy
James Loy
Admiral James Milton Loy served as Acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security in 2005 and United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security from December 4, 2003, to March 1, 2005...

 went on to serve as administrator of the Transportation Security Administration
Transportation Security Administration
The Transportation Security Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the safety and security of the traveling public in the United States....

 and later as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Admiral Loy was by no means the only Coast Guard officer who was later appointed to a civilian government position; following his Coast Guard career, Carlton Skinner
Carlton Skinner
Carlton S. Skinner was the first civilian governor of Guam and a prominent advocate for the integration of the United States Armed Forces...

 served as the first Civilian Governor of Guam, G. William Miller
G. William Miller
George William Miller served as the 65th United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Carter from August 6, 1979 to January 20, 1981...

, 65th Secretary of the Treasury
United States Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, which is concerned with financial and monetary matters, and, until 2003, also with some issues of national security and defense. This position in the Federal Government of the United...

 was a graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, and retired Vice Admiral Harvey E. Johnson, Jr.
Harvey E. Johnson, Jr.
Harvey E. Johnson Jr., retired Vice Admiral, United States Coast Guard, is the Vice President for National Preparedness and Response Solutions at BAE Systems. Mr. Johnson was the former Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer of the Federal Emergency Management Agency .-Early life:Johnson...

 served as Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, initially created by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978 and implemented by two Executive Orders...

 (FEMA) under President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

. Rear Admiral Stephen W. Rochon
Stephen W. Rochon
Rear Admiral Stephen W. Rochon is the former Director of the Executive Residence and White House Chief Usher. Admiral Rochon served his last day on active duty with the Coast Guard on March 9, 2007, and began his service at the White House on March 12. Admiral Rochon succeeds Gary J. Walters, who...

 was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the Director of the Executive Residence and White House Chief Usher
White House Chief Usher
White House Chief Usher is the title of the head of household staff and operations at the White House, the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States....

, beginning service on March 12, 2007, and continues to serve in the same capacity under President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

.

Two Coast Guard aviators, Commander Bruce E. Melnick
Bruce E. Melnick
Bruce Edward Melnick is a former American astronaut and retired United States Coast Guard officer. Following retirement from NASA and the Coast Guard, he entered the aerospace industry. He served as a Vice President with the Boeing Co.'s Integrated Defense Systems group, in charge of Boeing's...

 and Captain Daniel C. Burbank
Daniel C. Burbank
Daniel Christopher Burbank is an American astronaut and a veteran of two space shuttle missions. Burbank, a Captain in the United States Coast Guard, is the second Coast Guard astronaut after Bruce Melnick....

, have served as NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 astronauts.

In gaming

  • The 2005 survival horror video game, Cold Fear
    Cold Fear
    -Reception:The game received mixed or average reviews. Review aggregator Metacritic indicates that the Xbox version of the game received a score of 71 out of 100, a 68 out of 100 for the Playstation 2 version and a 66 out of 100 for the Windows version....

    , depicts a Coast Guardsman investigating paranormal events aboard a Russian whaling ship.

In literature

  • A Coast Guard cutter and its commanding officer and crew figured prominently in Tom Clancy
    Tom Clancy
    Thomas Leo "Tom" Clancy, Jr. is an American author, best known for his technically detailed espionage, military science, and techno thriller storylines set during and in the aftermath of the Cold War, along with video games on which he did not work, but which bear his name for licensing and...

    's books Clear and Present Danger
    Clear and Present Danger
    Clear and Present Danger is a novel by Tom Clancy, written in 1989, and is a canonical part of the Jack Ryan universe. In the novel, Jack Ryan is thrown into the position of CIA Acting Deputy Director and discovers that he is being kept in the dark by his colleagues who are conducting a covert war...

    , Without Remorse
    Without Remorse
    Without Remorse is a thriller novel published in 1993 by Tom Clancy and is a part of the Jack Ryan universe series. While not the first novel of the series to be published, it is first in plot chronology. The main setting of the book is set during the Vietnam War, in the American city of Baltimore...

    , and Executive Orders
    Executive Orders
    Executive Orders is a political and military thriller novel by Tom Clancy. It was published in 1996, and is a canonical part of the Jack Ryan universe.-Plot summary:...

    .
  • Sinbad
    Sinbad (USCG)
    K9C Sinbad, USCG, Retired was a mixed-breed canine sailor aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter George W. Campbell...

    , a dog serving aboard the cutter in WWII, who was enlisted and held the rank of Chief Petty Officer, was the first member of the United States Coast Guard to be the subject of a biography in George Foley's Sinbad of the Coast Guard in 1945.

Onscreen, in film

  • A 1957 comedy, Onionhead
    Onionhead
    Onionhead is a 1958 movie, set on a U.S. Coast Guard cutter during World War II, starring Andy Griffith and featuring Felicia Farr, Walter Matthau, and Erin O'Brien....

    , portrayed Andy Griffith
    Andy Griffith
    Andy Samuel Griffith is an American actor, director, producer, Grammy Award-winning Southern-gospel singer, and writer. He gained prominence in the starring role in director Elia Kazan's epic film A Face in the Crowd before he became better known for his television roles, playing the lead...

     as a Coast Guard recruit.
  • Thunderball
    Thunderball (film)
    Thunderball is the fourth spy film in the James Bond series starring Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, which in turn was based on an original screenplay by Jack Whittingham...

    (1965), involves James Bond
    James Bond
    James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

     played by Sean Connery
    Sean Connery
    Sir Thomas Sean Connery , better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globes Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born 25 August 1930), better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy...

     being hoisted by an HH-52 Seaguard. The climax involves an underwater battle between the Coast Guard and SPECTRE
    SPECTRE
    SPECTRE is a fictional global terrorist organisation featured in the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming, the films based on those novels, and James Bond video games...

    .
  • The 1966 film Assault on a Queen
    Assault on a Queen
    Assault on a Queen is a 1966 American action-adventure film, directed by Jack Donohue, starring Frank Sinatra and Italian beauty Virna Lisi. Based on a 1959 novel by Jack Finney, it was adapted for the screen by Rod Serling and released by Paramount Pictures on June 15, 1966.-Plot summary:A World...

    , starring Frank Sinatra
    Frank Sinatra
    Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

     and Verna Lisi, featured in the film.
  • The main character (Ensign Tom Garland, played by Robert Morse) in the 1970 Disney comedy film, The Boatniks
    The Boatniks
    The Boatniks is a 1970 American comedy film starring Robert Morse, Stefanie Powers, Don Ameche and Phil Silvers. It was made by Walt Disney Productions, released by Buena Vista Distribution and directed by Norman Tokar....

    , was commander of a small cutter on the West Coast.
  • The 1987 comedy, Overboard, features a Coast Guard cutter and crew intercepting a private yacht.
  • The 2000 film The Perfect Storm
    The Perfect Storm (film)
    The Perfect Storm is a 2000 dramatic disaster film directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is an adaptation of the 1997 non-fiction book of the same title by Sebastian Junger about the crew of the Andrea Gail that got caught in the Perfect Storm of 1991. The film stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg,...

    depicted the rescue operations of the as one of its subplots.
  • The 2003 film, Bad Boys II
    Bad Boys II
    Bad Boys II is a 2003 action/comedy film directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and starring Martin Lawrence and Will Smith. It is a sequel to the 1995 film Bad Boys. The film is about two police detectives investigating the flow of ecstasy into Miami...

    , depicts counter-drug helicopters from the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron
    Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron
    The Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron is an armed U.S. Coast Guard helicopter squadron specializing in Airborne Use of Force and drug-interdiction missions. It is based at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida....

     (HITRON).
  • In the 2005 family comedy Yours, Mine, and Ours
    Yours, Mine and Ours (2005 film)
    Yours, Mine & Ours is a 2005 film starring Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo. Directed by Raja Gosnell, it was released on November 23, 2005, and is a remake of the 1968 film of the same name, starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda...

    , Dennis Quaid
    Dennis Quaid
    Dennis William Quaid is an American actor known for his comedic and dramatic roles. First gaining widespread attention in the 1980s, his career rebounded in the 1990s after he overcame an addiction to drugs and an eating disorder...

     plays a fictional U.S. Coast Guard Academy superintendent who marries a character played by Rene Russo
    Rene Russo
    - Early life :Russo was born in Burbank, California, the daughter of Shirley , a factory worker and barmaid, and Nino Russo, a sculptor and car mechanic who left the family when Rene was two. Her father and maternal grandfather were of Italian descent. Russo grew up with her sister, Toni, and their...

     and together have 18 children.
  • The 2006 film The Guardian
    The Guardian (2006 film)
    The Guardian is a 2006 action-adventure drama film starring Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, and Melissa Sagemiller. The film was released on September 29, 2006, and was directed by Andrew Davis, director of The Fugitive...

    , starring Kevin Costner
    Kevin Costner
    Kevin Michael Costner is an American actor, singer, musician, producer, director, and businessman. He has been nominated for three BAFTA Awards, won two Academy Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards. Costner's roles include Lt. John J...

     and Ashton Kutcher
    Ashton Kutcher
    Christopher Ashton Kutcher , best known as Ashton Kutcher, is an American actor, producer, former fashion model and comedian, best known for his portrayal of Michael Kelso in the Fox sitcom That '70s Show...

    , was based on the training and operations of Coast Guard Aviation Survival Technician
    Aviation Survival Technician
    Aviation Survival Technicians are enlisted United States Coast Guard airborne "rescue swimmers". They are trained at the U.S. Coast Guard's enlisted Aviation Survival Technician/Rescue Swimmer school at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina...

    s.

Onscreen, in television

  • The Coast Guard has been featured in several television series, including Baywatch
    Baywatch
    Baywatch is an American action drama series about the Los Angeles County Lifeguards who patrol the beaches of Los Angeles County, California, starring David Hasselhoff. The show ran in its original title and format from 1989 to 1999, sans the 1990-1991 season, of which it was not in production...

    , CSI: Miami
    CSI: Miami
    CSI: Miami is an American police procedural television series, which premiered on September 23, 2002 on CBS. The series is a spin-off of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation....

    , Deadliest Catch
    Deadliest Catch
    Deadliest Catch is a documentary/reality television series produced by Original Productions for the Discovery Channel. It portrays the real life events aboard fishing vessels in the Bering Sea during the Alaskan king crab and C. opilio crab fishing seasons.The Aleutian Islands port of Dutch Harbor,...

    , Dirty Jobs
    Dirty Jobs
    Dirty Jobs is a program on the Discovery Channel, produced by Pilgrim Films & Television, in which host Mike Rowe is shown performing difficult, strange, disgusting, or messy occupational duties alongside the typical employees. The show premiered with two pilot episodes in November 2003...

    , Harbor Command
    Harbor Command
    Harbor Command is a syndicated adventure/drama television series starring Wendell Corey as Captain Ralph Baxter, a fictitious officer of the United States Coast Guard. The 39-episode Ziv program aired in black and white from October 11, 1957, to July 4, 1958. Casey Walters appeared in all episodes...

    , and Miami Vice
    Miami Vice
    Miami Vice is an American television series produced by Michael Mann for NBC. The series starred Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas as two Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami. It ran for five seasons on NBC from 1984–1989...

    , as well as in film.
  • In the television series Boston Legal
    Boston Legal
    Boston Legal is an American legal dramedy created by David E. Kelley, which was produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television for the ABC...

    , the characters of Allan Shore and Denny Crane, portrayed by James Spader and William Shatner, respectively, join the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
    United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
    The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard and was established on June 23, 1939 by an act of Congress as the United States Coast Guard Reserve, and was re-designated as the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary on February 19, 1941...

    .
  • Coast Guard was a syndicated television series that aired for three seasons from 1995 to 1997 in the United States as well as overseas, where it was called Sea Rescue. The series followed Coast Guard personnel as they performed their missions.
  • Cartoon character Popeye
    Popeye
    Popeye the Sailor is a cartoon fictional character created by Elzie Crisler Segar, who has appeared in comic strips and animated cartoons in the cinema as well as on television. He first appeared in the daily King Features comic strip Thimble Theatre on January 17, 1929...

     was in the Coast Guard after being a Merchant Mariner. He later joined the Navy.
  • Unnamed Coast Guardsmen were featured in a Channel 5 documentary Royal Navy Caribbean Patrol. They were serving aboard , a British Navy ship combating drug smugglers in the Caribbean.

See also

Coast Guard

  • Chaplain of the Coast Guard
    Chaplain of the Coast Guard
    The Chaplain of the United States Coast Guard is the senior chaplain of the United States Coast Guard and is attached to USCG Headquarters in Washington, D.C. as a United States Navy Chaplain Corps officer who reports directly to the Commandant of the Coast Guard. The current Chaplain of the...

  • Coast Guard Day
    Coast Guard Day
    Coast Guard Day is held every August 4 to commemorate the founding of the United States Coast Guard on August 4, 1790, by then Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton...

  • U.S. Coast Guard Intelligence
    Coast Guard Intelligence
    Coast Guard Intelligence is the military intelligence branch of the United States Coast Guard.The United States Coast Guard is a military, multi-mission, maritime service within the United States Department of Homeland Security and one of the United States's five armed services. Its core roles are...

  • U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS)
    Coast Guard Investigative Service
    The Coast Guard Investigative Service is a division of the United States Coast Guard that investigates crimes where the Coast Guard has an interest...

  • Joint Maritime Training Center
  • List of United States Coast Guard cutters
  • List of active United States military aircraft
  • Maritime Law Enforcement Academy
    Maritime Law Enforcement Academy
    The Maritime Law Enforcement Academy is a United States Coast Guard school located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, South Carolina...

  • MARSEC
    MARSEC
    MARSEC is the three-tiered United States Coast Guard Maritime Security system designed to easily communicate to the Coast Guard and the maritime industry pre-planned scalable responses for credible threats...

  • National Data Buoy Center
    National Data Buoy Center
    The National Data Buoy Center is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service...

  • National Ice Center
    National Ice Center
    The National Ice Center is a tri-agency operational center whose mission is to provide world-wide navigational ice analyses for the armed forces of the United States, allied nations, and U.S...

  • Patrol Forces Southwest Asia
    Patrol Forces Southwest Asia
    Patrol Forces Southwest Asia or PATFORSWA is a United States Coast Guard command based in Manama, Bahrain. PATFORSWA was created in November 2002 as a contingency operation to support the U.S. Navy with patrol boats...

  • U.S. Coast Guard Legal Division
  • United States Coast Guard Research & Development Center
    United States Coast Guard Research & Development Center
    The United States Coast Guard Research & Development Center located in New London, Connecticut is the Coast Guard's center for operational analysis and mission execution solutions...


Related agencies

  • List of United States federal law enforcement agencies
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement is a federal police part of the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland...

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration. CBP is the...

  • United States Marine Corps
    United States Marine Corps
    The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

  • United States Maritime Administration
  • United States Merchant Marine
    United States Merchant Marine
    The United States Merchant Marine refers to the fleet of U.S. civilian-owned merchant vessels, operated by either the government or the private sector, that engage in commerce or transportation of goods and services in and out of the navigable waters of the United States. The Merchant Marine is...

  • United States Navy
    United States Navy
    The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...


Further reading

  • Krietemeyer, George. Coast Guardsman's Manual. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 2000. ISBN 1-55750-468-7.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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