By Meaghan MacDougall
For years the Coast Guard has been trying to gather the funding to build their own National Coast Guard Museum. Well, the day has finally come, as the United States Coast Guard is currently building their very own national museum that honors and celebrates the men and women who serve.

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National Coast Guard Museum

The United States Coast Guard and the Space Force are the only branches of the military that don’t have a national museum dedicated to them, but the Coast Guard has been advocating for themselves for years. The first proposition to create the museum was brought up in 2001, but due to problems with funding, the idea was forgotten. Around 22 years later, the federal budget came up with $50 million to begin construction on the six-story, 80,000-square-foot facility. Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Linda Fagen, officiated the “keel-laying” ceremony for the main building of the museum on August 19, 2022. The new Coast Guard Museum is located in New London, Connecticut, where the Coast Guard Academy is located. The museum will also be free for anyone to visit, as the mission is to honor the Coast Guard’s history while providing visitors with the opportunity to have insight into Coast Guard life.

Exhibits and Visitor Experience

The components of the National Coast Guard Museum will reflect the missions of the United States Coast Guard in three themed areas: safety, security, and stewardship. Each of these themed areas will follow five storylines: the Defenders of the Nation, the Enforcers of the Sea, the Lifesavers Around the Globe, the Champions of Commerce, and the Protectors of the Environment. There’ll be over 200 exhibits to explore within the U.S. Coast Guard Museum, CT, that consist of subjects and events of national interest as well as those of global significance. As a visitor, you’ll learn about and explore accomplishments and missions of the Coast Guard and its history. The exhibits will capture 203 years of Coast Guard history and turn them into stories for visitors to have the ability to easily grasp. The museum will also include engaging exhibits that’ll be able to stimulate the minds of young people and motivate them to be the next proud generation of U.S. Coast Guard men and women. The museum will include a simulated Coast Guard Qualification Program that’ll require participants to garner knowledge, demonstrate competencies, and execute a mission. There’ll also be virtual reality simulators and immersive galleries that allow visitors to feel like they’re truly in the shoes of a Coast Guardsman. The museum will also feature a STEM Discovery Center integrating science, technology, engineering, and math concepts throughout the exhibit. Visitors will be able to gain knowledge about weather, global maritime environment, nautical science, buoyancy and stability, aviation principles, and survival at sea.

When Will The National Coast Guard Museum Open?

With all of the immersive and interactive exhibits and experiences within the U.S. Coast Guard Museum, the construction of the museum is estimated to take approximately two years to complete. If all goes as planned, the National Coast Guard Museum will be open to the public in New London, Connecticut, in the year 2024.

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